BOB DYLAN: A Retrospective by Craig -- Ed. McGregor

BOB DYLAN: A Retrospective

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten years worth of Dylan probings and journalistic bric-a-brac which variously inflate, deflate, psychoanalyze, and worship at the shrine. Folk-rock critics Robert Shelton, Ralph Gleason, Jon Landau and Richard Goldstein review live performances and record albums, agonizing their way through the surreal symbolism of Highway 61 and Blond on Blond and reiterating their wonderment at the strange powers of Dylan's unlovely ""husk and bark"" voice. When the nether regions of the ""dark Felliniesque world of clowns and grotesques"" gave way to the sugar 'n' spice and everything nice banalities of Nashville Skyline, a new kind of uneasiness set in among the Dylan-watchers: is this ""maturity"" or ""mysticism"" -- the exhaustion of talent or a simple cop-out? The latter view is hysterically aired by ""Dylanologist"" A. J. Weberman currently mobilizing the FREE BOB DYLAN campaign. The interviews with Bobby -- from Playboy, Fusion and Rolling Stone -- abound with the now-familiar equivocations, obfuscations, and disingenuous denials of his own sociocultural importance. Necessarily this is more impressionistic and uneven than Anthony Scaduto's recent painstakingly researched biography (1971) but cultists will no doubt be delighted: at last they can throw out their five-year-old frayed, yellowing clippings from Rolling Stone, McGregor having performed the ecological service of putting it all between bound covers.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1972
Publisher: Morrow