The headline to this post celebrating the 70th birthday of one Mr Bob Dylan is a quote ripped from an interview conducted by Martin Scorsese in his brilliant 2005 documentary No Direction Home which was airing over the weekend as part of a Dylan themed weekend on BBC and is fascinating for how much it reveals about a cultural figure often regarded as enigmatic or evasive throughout his storied career.
Of course, it could be argued that the shaping of Dylan’s identity and his life history is already traceable through his music and that no further inquiry is needed but our natural fascination the mechanics of creativity- i.e.,the intellectual and emotional impulses that light up the artists flame makes this an almost impossible, quaint notion.
And in fact, if analysis and reflection were the exception rather than the rule, I would find myself at a loss so I really shouldn’t be undermining myself here as I put forward a case for this track from a late Eighties “comeback” album No Mercy, produced by regular U2 collaborator Daniel Lanois.
I first heard it playing in a scene from High Fidelity back in 2000 and both the film and the song fitted my mood so perfectly on that fateful day I’ve never quite shaken off that spine tingling feeling which surged through my cold, cold heart everytime I listen to it.
Dylan’s wise some might say cliched lyrics are infused with a world weary melancholy by his broken voice and all wrapped inside Lanois’ hushed atmospherics which enhance the warmth and fragility of this wistful confessional. Subtle shades of resignation, hurt, defiance,acceptance travelling together in musical grace.