Dylan’s (possible) new album, “Days Of Yore” and the 2020 Summer European Tour?

by mr tambourine

I have recently written a couple of articles (Bob Dylan: Potential 2020 Setlists. Part 1, the Japan Tour and Bob’s Japanese tour: Potential set lists part 2) about Bob’s potential setlists for the Japanese Tour from April 1 to April 21. It seems that another show was added, April 24, also Tokyo. So that’s 12 concerts in Tokyo and 3 in Osaka for April

Now that I’m writing this new article, maybe it will get expanded some more? Maybe to Australia shortly for three more shows maybe? Maybe not. No one mentioned this so far, this is just my thinking.   Just like I started hearing some news about Bob’s new album coming up somewhere in the near future.

First time I read something, I saw some news of a ‘’2021 Promotional European Tour’’.

Now, I’m hearing rumours about Bob having eight to 10 songs, that are supposed to be original songs, some sources say eight, some sources say 10, no one mentions any covers. Just original songs were mentioned. Also, now it’s a 2020 Summer European Tour, not 2021 anymore.

Any names of the songs maybe? Not yet.   All I heard is the album name ‘’Days Of Yore’’.

Even though I was skeptical about it in the beginning, I think I’m beginning to see that it could make sense.

The only way I can imagine a new Bob album currently is by recalling all kinds of arrangements of songs in recent memory, let’s say from 2016, when it was announced Bob won the Nobel Prize for literature. Since then, there have been some pretty interesting arrangements.

So what is Days Of Yore exactly? What could it be?

Days Of Yore mostly gets mentioned in olden days of old songs. One of the occasions I heard them in was the Christmas songs – many of them from Bob’s Christmas In The Heart from 2009.

That’s why this name, when it came up, scared a lot of people. ‘’Oh, no, another cover album’’.

But let’s get one thing straight.   Bob never released three albums in a row with the same theme.

Even the famous Christian Era, was just three years long (1979-1981), even though when you take a look at the material Bob produced at the time, it seems like decades.

The Golden Age of Dylan, the Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde phase was just captured in three albums, it could’ve easily been five, or maybe even six.

An album like Infidels had material for seven albums it seems, with all the outtakes that got left off. Even Shot Of Love outtakes seem that way sometimes.

Since 1990, with the disaster of Under The Red Sky, Bob has been taking it slow with new material.

  • Under The Red Sky 1990 -> Time Out Of Mind 1997
  • Time Out Of Mind 1997 -> Love And Theft 2001
  • Love And Theft 2001 -> Modern Times 2006
  • Modern Times 2006 -> Together Through Life 2009
  • Together Through Life 2009 -> Tempest 2012
  • Tempest 2012 -> Days Of Yore 2020???

I know, this is the longest gap ever.  But I’m kind of getting tired of comments that Tempest was the last album of original material.  It is quite possible that Bob is just scaring us a little on purpose, and he’s taking his time.

But whatever this may be – this ‘’Days Of Yore’’ – if that’s really gonna be the name – this album should excite us all.

Why?  I think Dylan, based on his live performances, is in top form, no matter how you look at it.

Vocally – this is the best Dylan has sounded in – I gotta say it – more than 30 years. It’s crazy to say it, but it’s true. I know many people might disagree, but I have heard people who have seen him 100+ times that have said the same thing.

I remember the first time I heard Shadows In The Night. Still to this day it shocks me.  I thought Dylan was reborn in 1997 with Time Out Of Mind.  I thought Dylan was reborn in 1979 when he became a born-again Christian.  You have many cases where people mention his ‘’reborn’’ phases. It’s hard to tell which phase it truly was.

But the one from 2015 when singing the Sinatra songs – completely staying in key and showing a lot of passion – it was amazing.  But then came two more albums – then came the live shows 2015-2019 – and it just got better.

2018 and 2019 are amazing years for live Bob.  It’s crazy to think about it.

When I heard Shadows In The Night – even though I saw a rebirth – I also thought it was the final curtain. It felt like Bob has left everything for the end – and the end seemed to be near.

I just keep praying – whenever I can – that Bob is alright.  Last year’s ‘’fall’’ in Vienna, when he was warning the crowd to stop taking pictures, really scared me. I thank God he was alright.

And not only that – he came back better.  The fans in Vienna must’ve made him furious.

As some of the followers of my YouTube channel know, Bob’s (so far) last album of original material Tempest was inspired by a statue in Vienna, Austria. The cover of the album that is.

So the fact that they made him angry that night, must’ve really inspired Bob.  It wasn’t until then that we got some setlist changes later during the tour.

And then, the recent Fall Tour 2019 – singing Not Dark Yet like he sang it; just mesmerizing really.

Bob’s peers seem to be doing Farewell Tours all over the place or are unfortunately passing away, but Bob keeps going – somehow, someway.   Indeed 2016 was a year where many celebrities died, especially musicians – Bob won the Nobel Prize that year.

Bob’s best buddies die then and there – like Robert Hunter before the Fall Tour 2019 – and Bob performs such versions of Not Dark Yet later – probably as a secret tribute to his good buddy – or maybe even Lenny Bruce; the same could be said about the Lenny Bruce performances.

And now – if he’s really recording a new album – and the fact that it might be the best we’ve heard in a while – as I said, because of Bob’s improved vocals.  And also, and I find this very interesting, his lyrical revisions over the last few years for songs like “Simple Twist Of Fate” or “Lenny Bruce” or even “When I Paint My Masterpiece” – could be a hint at something that’s coming. Honestly, some of those re-writes are so good. The new Simple Twist Of Fate lyrics are so great – I sometimes think they are better than the original.

Also, the Tangled Up In Blue lyrics from 2016 to 2018; we could be onto something really special.

I think if Days Of Yore really comes out, it will be something that could be Bob’s reaction to the Nobel Prize victory more than anything.   A lot of people were skeptical about it: well, now’s a chance for Bob to show them one more time that he earned it – fair and square. Nobody earned it more.   So Bob’s been taking his time – and he’s ready to surprise us.

Now, the tour of 2020 in summer in Europe?   Locations like France, Spain, Northern Italy, Balkan, Turkey and Israel are mentioned.  Something like a combination of a 2010 and 2011 Tours?

The only locations I heard are really in the mix are Italy and Turkey. So if that’s true, then a tour along the lines of that considered above could be what we get.

Although, I’m not sure that if Bob were to promote an album, that he would promote it anywhere other than the US – at home.  Tempest, after all, was debuted in the States – although precedent doesn’t have to mean a thing.

Hopefully, we got some more exact info soon. All of these are just rumours so far.  But soon, they might be true, we don’t know. Let’s just wait and find out, although no matter what, we should be excited.

I’m just – as always – worried about Bob going to Japan with the coronavirus still spreading.   Hopefully, everything will be alright, for Bob does invariably manage to jump over another obstacle in his way.

The Tour in Japan should be a good one – as always – if everything goes well as it hopefully will.

It’s looking like an exciting 2020 Tour for now – let’s hope Bob doesn’t disappoint us in any kind of way. So far, I have not felt that will happen. So, I know I will be happy no matter what – as long as he’s still playing, as long as he’s still producing something new – whether if it’s new studio work, new bootleg series, new movies about him, new books (Chronicles vol. 2 maybe??), new greatest hits compilations, new paintings, new arrangements in live shows or new setlist additions – it doesn’t matter.

To be living at the same time as Bob Dylan – what’s better than that?

What else is on the site

You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to all the 594 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.

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If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.

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  1. The Christian era WAS three albums in a row with the same theme. He did another trilogy in the late 1990s with Modern Times, Love & Theft, and Together Thru Life. Even Empire Berlesque, Knocked Out Loaded, and Down in the Groove are three of a kind.

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