Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter who emerged out of the early 60s folk revival to become an informal chronicler and reluctant figurehead of social unrest. He famously made the move from folk music to electric rock in the mid-60s, and has remained a major figure in music for five decades.
In 1973 Bob Dylan's contract with Columbia Records expired, and he signed with David Geffen's Asylum lablel. At the same time he began working with The Band again, with plans for a big joint tour. Dylan hadn't toured since 1966 (when The Band, then known as The Hawks, had been his backing group), so this was big news, and resulted in a lot of media attention and eager ticket-buying fans. He also began working on new material in the studio with The Band. Asylum wanted the album to be released on the opening day of the tour, but due to a last-minute title change its release was delayed. When Planet Waves came out in January 1974, they were already two weeks into the tour.
It was a great album, personal in nature and somewhat bleak in tone. The Band's instrumental backing throughout was fantastic, and complemented Dylan's songs perfectly, though they not add any of their own vocals. It included some very good new songs, including "Forever Young", which went on to endure as one of Dylan's best-known numbers. There were actually two versions of the song, the best-known one which closed side one of the record, and an alternative version that opened side two.
The album reached #1 (actually his first #1 album in the US), but despite its obvious strengths it was perhaps not quite the complete artistic comeback many fans were waiting for (it was his first 'proper' album of all original songs in over three years). Though it became one of his best-known songs, "Forever Young" was never actually released as a single. The comparatively lightweight "On A Night Like This" was however, and charted at #44. The new songs were played through the start of the tour, but before long they had all been abandoned except "Forever Young".
Dylan (1973) <|> Blood On The Tracks (1975)
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