Rough And Rowdy Ways

2CD £13.99
  • SKU: 19439780982
  • UPC: 0194397809824
  • Release Date: 19 June 2020


Label Review. 

2020 album. First new collection of original songs in eight years. Also available on Vinyl

Our Overview. 

For nearly sixty years, Bob Dylan is one of the biggest and influential songwriters and musicians in the world and releases his 37th studio album (depending exactly what counts!) ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’ in 2020. It is his first collection of original material since ‘Tempest’ in 2012 although he hasn’t been idle since then nor has his fanbase around the world been starved of product. He has released three albums of American songbook standards in the interim as well as a further six vault combing ‘Bootleg Series’ sets. On top of this Bob keeps up a constant touring schedule although that has been scuppered in 2020 due to the Covid crisis. There is also the matter of his Nobel Prize for Literature he collected in 2017.

Fans had been wondering if Bob had the ability to come up with a new album but on 27th March 2020 with no warning he announced the unveiling of an “unreleased” track “Murder Most Foul” a 17 minute “gift to fans for their support and loyalty over the years.” It was seen as a possible response to the Covid-19 pandemic while more hopeful fans felt that maybe a new album was finally in the offing. Ostensibly about the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in 1963 over a delicate instrumental backing of violin, piano and hushed percussion, Bob moved onto a roll call of musicians, movie lyrics and other pop culture references. Ann Powers and Bob Boilen of National Public Radio analysed the song and identified over 70 songs referenced in the work.

Three weeks later a second song “I Contain Multitudes” dropped - a more convention length but instrumentally cut from similar cloth as the first and again referencing pop culture icons like The Rolling Stones and David Bowie in his lyrics. Another three weeks down the line a third song, the more upbeat and bluesy “False Prophet” came with the end of the suspense and the announcement that a new album was indeed on the way. On the evidence of the songs issued so far and assuming the quality holds up this promises to be the best Bob Dylan in many years.

Tracklisting: I Contain Multitudes / False Prophet / My Own Version Of You / I've Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You / Black Rider / Goodbye Jimmy Reed / Mother Of Muses / Crossing The Rubicon / Key West / Murder Most Foul