dylan: Bob Dylan’s new book ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song’ sees artist riff on songwriting

New York: Bob Dylan fans got a preview on Thursday of the Nobel laureate and folk-rock legend’s new book, ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song,’ slated for publication next month.

The collection of essays is his first book of new writing since 2004, when he published “Chronicles, Volume One.”

The book exploring the power of songwriting is due out November 8 from publisher Simon and Schuster.

Excerpts published in The New York Times offer the beloved American poet and musician’s thoughts on Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” and the Who’s anthem “My Generation.”

Many essays include “riffs” which see Dylan expand on his words with a shorter, looser track where the artist gets poetic over the track in question.

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“Something in your vital spirit, your pulse, something running through your blood, tells you that you must have this tender feeling of love now and forever, this essence of devoted love held firmly in your grasp – that it’s essential and necessary to stay alive and cheat death,” Dylan riffs on Sinatra.

The book should also include reflections on artists such as Hank Williams and Nina Simone.

Dylan says “My Generation,” the 1960s hit that’s one of The Who’s most recognizable songs, “does no one a favor and casts doubt on everything.”

He says that “the fear” – of getting old, namely – “is perhaps the most honest thing about the song”.

“We all laugh at the previous generation, but somehow we know it’s only a matter of time before we become themselves.”

Dylan, who burst onto the New York folk scene in the early 1960s, has sold over 125 million records worldwide.

Rumors of a “Chronicles, Volume Two” have swirled for years, but now fans will have “Philosophy” to tide them over until — or if — that sequel is released.

The 81-year-old has maintained a rigorous touring schedule and is currently on a global itinerary which is set to continue through 2024.

In 2020 he released his 39th studio album, “Rough and Rowdy Ways”, to critical acclaim.

He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 “for creating new poetic expressions in the great tradition of American song.”