Bob Dylan announces ‘Philosophy of Modern Song’ book
Traditional and audio book available this fall
Bob Dylan will release The Philosophy of Modern Song on November 1 via Simon & Schuster. This is Dylan’s first book of new writing since Chronicles: Volume One in 2004, and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.
Dylan, who began working on the book in 2010, offers his extraordinary insight into the nature of popular music. He writes over 60 essays focusing on songs by other artists, ranging from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, Hank Williams and Nina Simone. He analyzes what he calls the easy rhyme trap, breaks down how adding a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal. These essays are written in Dylan’s unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often funny. And even if they ostensibly talk about music, they are actually meditations and reflections on the human condition. Throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully selected photos as well as a series of dreamlike riffs that, taken together, sound like an epic poem and add to the transcendence of the work.
In 2020, with the release of his outstanding album Rough and rowdy waysDylan became the first artist to have an album in the Billboard Top 40 in every decade since the 1960s. Modern songwriting philosophy contains much of what he learned about his craft over the years. , and like everything Dylan does, it’s a momentous artistic achievement.
A companion audiobook will feature Dylan narrating the full book with a running time of seven hours. Uncut revealed that Dylan enlisted Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Oscar Isaac, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Sissy Spacek, Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Wright and Renée Zellweger to join him for narration.