Bob Dylan has something to say about his favorite songs.
He’s publishing a collection of around 60 essays reviewing them, from songwriters like Nina Simone, Elvis Costello, Australian rockabilly singer Alis Lesley, Eddie Cochran, Stephen Foster, and probably Little Richard.
Dylan’s favorite song writers include Peter Seeger, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, and George Harrison, so most of them are probably included. I would guess John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul Simon, as well.
Simon & Schuster will publish “The Philosophy of Modern Song” in November. It’s Dylan’s first book in 18 years. Apparently that’s when “Chronicles, Vol 1.” came out. It feels like yesterday.
An audiobook will be available, with Dylan reading some portions and “a mix of other voices” doing the narration on others.
According a press release, the book will constitute “a master class on the art and craft of songwriting,” as Dylan “analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal.” The announcement further declares that while the essays “are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition.”
I’m betting now that a lot of top songwriters will be hoping Dylan has included them in the book, and the ones who don’t appear will feel slighted. This should be interesting. Knowing Dylan, he’ll leave out someone like Carole King but include Metallica’s “Enter the Sandman.” Just watch.