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The Lyrics: 1961-2012 Hardcover – October 28, 2014
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About the Author
Bob Dylan has released thirty-eight studio albums, which collectively have sold over 120 million copies around the world. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature and has been awarded the French Legion of Honor, a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. His memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, spent a year on the New York Times bestseller list.
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One thing I will advise anyone looking to purchase this book, BE CAREFUL. Simon and Schuster and/or Amazon screwed up on this book. The title on the cover is "The Lyrics." "Bob Dylan". The publisher's information page says "The Lyrics since 1962". They then published another Dylan "Lyrics" book, a continuation of the series from the first one ("Writings and Drawings") titled "The Lyrics 1961 - 2012" (the one with the red dust jacket also shown on Amazon). The two get mistaken for each other by sellers. Amazon shows the picture of this collector's edition as the grey cover which is correct but lists it as "The Lyrics 1961 - 2012". Look at the cover, it only states "The Lyrics.". The red dust jacket has the STANDARD lyrics only and sell for about $40 or less. The grey book has 960 pages and the red one only 679. Make sure you are getting the correct book by the ISBN number. The big grey book is ISBN 978-1-4767-9770-0 and lists for $299.00, the red dust jacket book is ISBN 978-1-4516-4878-8 and lists for $60.00.
Now that that's out of the way, what do we actually have in this book? Absolute gorgeousness. It's massive, hefty, extremely well made and well bound. The paper stock is smooth and supple, and the color reproductions of each studio album (LP covers mostly) is on an even heavier paper stock. The plasticky die-cut dust jacket is functional and should keep the cloth from rubbing and staining. The ribbon bookmark is nice, but I never use them.
As for the contents, it's basically what you'd expect -- lyrics for pretty much every song Dylan's written, with a large number of alternate lyrics and their sources. There are massive amounts of white space, since the lyrics aren't cluttered together, so it's an art book as well as a reference volume. Alternate lyrics are printed in several different shades of ink, a process explained in the rear of the book. Christopher Rick's introduction is practical and plain, keeping the focus on the contents of the book -- Dylan's lyrics. I suspect there will be carping about omissions of certain lyrics (I haven't gone through the book that intently yet), but the Internet fills the gaps.
Having gotten this at the Amazon pre-order price of $120, I'm absolutely delighted with my purchase, and would like to see some reviews that *aren't* based on the slipcase snafu. Personally, I value the book enough that I'm going to have a slipcase made for it for about fifty bucks. It's well worth protecting.
Addendum: In looking through the book, I've noticed one significant omission, and that's "I'm Not There," from The Basement Tapes, which did have an official release on the soundtrack album of the film I'M NOT THERE. I wonder what other similar songs might be missing.
Addendum: Just today (12/16) got an email from bobdylan.com announcing a reprinting: "Back in Print After Worldwide Sellout!" They seem to have raised the price by $100, and list is now $300 as opposed to the previous $200. The email also repeats the previous error of saying the book is slipcased (unless they decided to add a slipcase for the extra hundred bucks). Something to be aware of...
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