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TMZ Music: Bob Dylan the Prophet

8/23/2006 12:22 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine Bob Dylan revealed his thoughts on the current state of music, commenting "I don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years."

bob dylan rollingstone coverAs the digital age of music has progressed, the process of producing an album has changed completely. Being Bob Dylan, an artist who rose to the status of American Icon at a time when music was produced by individual pieces (instruments) via tape instead of the current Protools (computerized) process, statements such as "You listen to modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them ... there's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing ... just like static" will not come as a surprise.

Bob Dylan has been at the forefront of some of the greatest revolutions in the history of music. Does this mean a revival of vinyl? Only time will tell. But if the Rolling Stone headline is correct ("The Genius of Bob Dylan"), the next progression in music may just be a regression.

Get your record players out of storage.

27 COMMENTS

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1.

muybonita    

Bob Dylan is right. Music is definitely not the same anymore. Any schmo can put out a record and call themselves an artist. (Hello! K. Fed, Paris, Jessica, Ashlee, Lindsay - i'm talking to you!) All the voices are digitized and enhanced. It's ridiculous. I long for the days when it was a true artist and his/her instruments.

2929 days ago
2.

Lisa    

Although there are too many "pop" artists out there with digitally enhanced vocals; Bob Dylan is a poet not a musician. He can't carry a tune in a bucket! I am all for the revival of folk music but damn get someone else to sing for you. You wail like a pitiful drowning sheep. It's horrible! It's a shame since you are from MN and so am I. Another embarrassment to the Northern State.

2929 days ago
3.

Momma    

While I'd rather listen to the jazz greats my husband insists we alternate between Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney! I only partially agree with Dylan.
I think that Nora Jones first album was undeniably great. However, one does wonder who buys Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson, Paris, Backstreet Boys, Justin and all the others?

2929 days ago
4.

bogart4017    

Bob Dylan is not powerful enough to bring back vinyl. I just wish he was. I really miss the days of meaningful cover art. Today you go blind reading the so-called liner notes on these little cd's. And i'm getting pretty fed up with paying $12 and bringing home 2 decent songs. Bring Back the 45!!!

2929 days ago
5.

kathryn    

It could be that I'm young, but Bob sucks. I like his son better. Sorry yall!

2929 days ago
6.

marianne.    

just another geezer complaining about something he doesn't understand. music is alive it evolves. stagnation would mean the death of it. i saw him at the newport folk festival in the sixties. the crowd was booing because he messed with the formula of folk music by electrifying it. but his career took off. ive seen the rolling stones, beatles, aerosmith, black sabbath, jimi hendrix, the doors etc. in concert. my parents thought each new act "made noise not music". i swore never to get into that rut. and i didn't. each musician brings some of the past with him, his influences. and, in a lot of cases they improve on it beause they started as teens bringing the best of the old and coupling it with new technology. i have favorite CDs from every decade. there will always be one hit wonders, the true test is when you hear songs being played from one decade to another, and i have. mr. dylan, pull out the rocking chair and afgan, you sound just like my dad.

2929 days ago
7.

Midwest    

Dylan is a living legend. Im glad to see him on the cover, and doing an interview for that matter. Good music is hard to come by these days. Best music is found in the earlier stages of rock and folk music. I like Dylans poetic nature, but anytime I hear Jim Morrison wail "Come on baby light my fire" I get chills up and down my spine. Now thats good music.

2929 days ago
8.

Betty    

Bob Dylan should be honored as the Poet Laureate of the United States just like Robert Frost and those other incredibly talented people who have had the honor in the past. As far as his singing goes, he has long been singing in the style of Woody Guthrie and could probably have used a singing lesson or two. Once my husband went on a Bob Dylan binge. We were a musical household with music on much more than tv. We listened to Bob Dylan every waking hour. I was ready to put a sledge hammer to the stereo after that two months. Too much of a good thing and all that. But I love Bobby and I always will! His poetry is a gift to all of us.

2929 days ago
9.

Dark Knight    

He's going a little far by saying there hasn't been a decent record in 20 years, but you have to wonder how far music's standards have fallen off and how far they will continue to fall off. This is the age of the "producer" who sits in a recording studio with digital instruments creating beats. Beats are what sells now, not real music, not real vocals. When Paris Hilton can have an album it tells you that music as a whole is in trouble. Before you had to work hard to get a record label to sign you, now if no one wants to sign you just create your own record label. If you know that you can put out an album even if no one will sign you how hard are you going to work on it? Not very, just put it out and wait for profits, if not you're rich anyway. It's not really about the music at that point, it's about exposure. There are so many record labels out there putting out music that really shouldn't be. It's like when a pro sports league adds teams and everybody says that waters down the talent, people make it to the big leagues that shouldn't. All these record labels pop up to sign artists nobody else wanted. I fear for the future of music. Maybe just maybe 2Pac and Elvis aren't dead, that would be a blessing.

2929 days ago
10.

lorenawoods    

He is absolutely correct!!! Hell, my 2 kids, ages 24 & 20 grew up listening to all the real music not only he provided, but the likes of Tom Petty, CSN&Y, Eric Clapton etc.......and thats all they still listen to. Too bad for those of you that just don't get it.....what a shame.

2929 days ago
11.

marianne.    

"don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the last 20 years" definately sounds closed minded to me. yep i'm convinced, let me just lay back and play the greatful dead for the rest of my life. old people always think the old way is the best. move over and make room for the future. to quote a famous musician "the times they are a-changin'"

2929 days ago
12.

kathryn    

#17, Leona, you got it 100% right.

2929 days ago
13.

Laury    

Ok, ok, calm down now, Mr. Dylan. I know that you,re an American icon and a very gifted musician. But that doesn't give you the right to say that all the music that's been released in the past 20 years is sh*t. Perhaps you've been listening to commercial radio too much, Bob. Of course, technology has made music lose a bit of its soul, that I can agree with. But I think that your statement is a bit exaggerated. Personnally, I don't listen to the radio much and I still manage to find a lot of very interesting albums. Stop living in the past, Mr. Dylan, there's more to music now than just guitars. Your music is great, but you're not the only great artist out there, so please, don't put others down. Sheesh, what an ego.

2929 days ago
14.

Steve    

I haven't read the full article in Rolling Stone and have just read the 3 or 4 lines quoted on many websites. I think Bob has done the right thing in bringing this topic up. I don't believe Bob really thinks that no good music has been invented in the last 20 years, firstly I think he's saying that the production techniques used aren't as good artistically as they perhaps should be, natural mistakes and variations in instrument and voice sounds make for better music artistically, rather that looped synths and perfected overdubs etc. The music industry itself has dug a deep grave for real artistic music, created by true musical genius' by creating such a large market for this 'easy' music. There are many, many musical genius' alive and at work today (same as always) but maybe they can't relise their full potential due to the limits set by this plastic market, a market personified by the digital CD age by Dylan in his interview. So I think he is speaking from an artistic view point for one. I think secondly he is infering a kind of 'only a pawn in their game' type of view about the people who enjoy'n fund this kind of music produced by the plastic market, he's not criticising them personally for the music they listen too, as they have been spoon fed it with a shovel since they were born, they're bound to like it, it's 'cool' man. A never ending source of easilly and cheaply produced sound (no talent necessary) fronted by ego being fed to normal hardworking people who have been molded and nudged into liking that sound and image (yeah women look great), it's quite a money spinner for those in charge. It's like a kind of entertainment tax for us to line their pockets, new people are bound to buy it.
Thing is Dylan ain't a new person, his life is founded on the old, and he is very known for that and he's also know for having always chosen his own direction away from this, not a direction dictated by others. He's bound to appear a old git to the young who know little of his world of musical and lyrical artistry and know only the plastic.
With this in mind I believe he is just the man to bring this topic into the public eye with such a profound series of statements, he needed them to cut to the quick and make people stop and get fired up in order to get this important message heard. He couldn't just have said 'I prefered it when music was recorded as it happened and not tampered with, I think it was better then', we would have all said 'yeah, I know you think that'.
Those who dismiss his view are too far gone to realise where their dosh is going and what they are missing by dropping it into the ever eager plastic hands, and of course there are those who don't really care, and those who don't pay, just nick it on mpfree. Dylan has no problem with that, that'll bring them all down.

Having said all that, I agree it doesn't apply to all music produced today, just the majority of popular music, especially here in the UK.

2929 days ago
15.

Rick    

FINALLY A TALENTED PERSON (ONE WHO IS NOT ACTING LIKE AN OLD DYKE re: ELTON FAT F*CKIN BALD WIG WEARING JOHN) IS SPEAKING OUT ON ALL THIS MEDIOCRE MUSIC THAT IS BEING PLAYED OUT THERE. NEW TO THE DISGUST OF PEOPLE TRYING TO SING OR WRITE SONGS IS MR BRITNEY SPEARS AND THAT LOW CLASS WHORE PARIS HILTON....ENHANCED AND THEY CANT PERFORM THEIR MUSIC IN PUBLIC UNLESS THE HAVE AROUND 500,000 DOALLARS OF ENHANCEMENT EQUIPMENT. ALL THESE LOSERS LIKE PARIS ,MR. SPEARS, LINDSAY ARE TRYING THEIR HAND AT CATAWAILING LIKE THE STUCK PIGS AND WHORES THEY REALLY ARE. AS IT WAS SAID BEFORE MR SPEARS IS A JOKE AND THE BIGGEST DICK OUT THERE. WHOEVER THINKS THIS GUY IS TALENTED, I SUGGEST ALL GET THERE EARS CHECKED!!

2929 days ago
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