2012 Artists In Review: Bob Dylan
As 2012 comes to a close, we’re revisiting the year’s biggest stories through the lens of some of our station’s biggest artists.
Status: His voice may not be what it once was, but it’s not likely Bob will be stopping anytime soon.
New Albums Released: One, Tempest
Forever Young: The Year in Dylan started off with a four-album Amnesty International tribute to folk-rock’s creator, titled Chimes of Freedom. Several months later, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a U.S. civilian can receive. But 71-year-old Dylan isn’t one to simply be eulogized, or a stagnant legend to just be praised. Keeping in line with the late-career renaissance that started with 1997’s Time Out Of Mind, Dylan celebrated 50 years in the biz with a new album, Tempest, released September 11th. Despite being snubbed for GRAMMY nominations, the dark album made waves and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The shockingly violent video for lead single “Duquesne Whistle” set the sinister tone. Watch below.
Dylan also spent much of the year on the road, touring Europe and North America before the release of Tempest, then back out again with Mark Knopfler for an arena tour throughout October and November.
Dylan “Transfigured”: Dylan is notoriously averse and guarded to the press, but when he graced the cover of Rolling Stone this fall, he revealed something deeply personal and long-questioned about himself. People often talk about how Bob Dylan changed following his 1966 motorcycle accident. The man born Robert Zimmerman finally addressed it, claiming the accident spurred his transfiguration (in reference to Jesus’ transformation from a physical to spiritual entity in the New Testament). Upon reading a book about the Hells Angels, he realized he was transfigured in conjunction with a man sharing his name – Bobby Zimmerman, the president of the San Fernando chapter of the Hells Angels – who also got into a motorcycle accident in the 1960s and died. The old Bob Dylan is supposedly “long dead.”
Related Features: 5 Revelations From Bob Dylan’s Rolling Stone Cover Story
7 Bob Dylan Songs That Teach You Everything You Need To Know About Love & Heartache
Don Was On Producing ‘Under The Red Sky’: ‘I Don’t Think I Was Of Great Service To Bob Dylan’
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local