Dylan 1980: The Album Cover & the utter, amazing masterpiece (one more time)

By Tony Attwood

I say you can be trusted with the power you been given
But you’re making a liar out of me

You can now hear the whole album on Youtube

When we tagged the notion of designing an album cover for “Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing.” (the album that Aaron invented  to replace “Down in the Groove”) onto his excellent choice of tracks, I wasn’t sure that we would get anyone to take up the invitation.

But we have been overwhelmed.   Here are the replies we had

That was all so good that I decided to take my own personal bizarre pet project a stage further.  Having created the mythical album “Bob Dylan: 1980” which takes us through that most magical of years in terms of Dylan’s compositions, I thought “why not lets look for a cover?”

This is the year when (in my interpretation at least) Bob meandered away from Christianity.  True, it was a meandering that continued through the following year, but the amazing meandering of 1980 is, in my judgement, enough to occupy most Dylan fans for several months without a break.

And  the first submission we have had is an absolute corker.   (S0rry that might be an English expression unknown in the rest of the universe, but it means that it is jolly good.  Excellent.  Brilliant. I love it.)

It comes from Nathan Alcock (ceilingfan_broken)

First, so you have the background, the three articles relating to this album are here

The album consists of all the songs of 1980 taken in order except for the first and last tracks for which the date is uncertain.

  1. Street Rock (date uncertain)
  2. Are you ready?
  3. I will love him
  4. Cover Down 
  5. Ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody
  6. Property of Jesus
  7. Every grain of sand
  8. Caribbean Wind
  9. Groom’s still waiting at the alter
  10. Yonder comes sin
  11. Let’s keep it between us
  12. Making a liar out of me
  13. City of Gold (date uncertain)

Now here is the front cover we have been offered….

and the reverse

OK, you are probably getting fed up with my totally over the top articles about “Dylan: 1980.”  And I can assure you that in the end I will shut up.  But, perhaps you can remember back to moments when you first heard a new Dylan album, or one of the classic songs.  And maybe you can recall how utterly you were knocked out by what you now had in your hands, and you played it over and over again.

Well, that’s how Dylan:1980 strikes me.   And everything, yes utterly everything builds up to “Making a Liar Out of Me.

The one thing to remember if you don’t share my utter enthusiasm for this, is that we are still publishing other writer’s materials, so this site is not just me.  You can argue against me, or put your own views forward.   But for now I have the floor, and so I present the album, and its newly created cover, and its most brilliant masterpiece…

I tell people you’re just going through changes
And that you’re acquainted both with night and day
That your money’s good and you’re just being courageous
On them burning bridges knowing your feet are made of clay
Well I say you won’t be destroyed by your inventions
That you brought it all under captivity
And that you really do have all the best intentions
But you’re making’ a liar out of me

Well I say that you’re just young and self-tormented
But that deep down you understand
The hopes and fears and dreams of the discontented
Who threaten now to overtake your promised land
Well I say you’d not sow discord among brothers
Nor drain a man of his integrity
But you’ll remember the cries of orphans and their mothers
But you’re making a liar out of me
But you’re making a liar out of me

Well I say that, that ain’t flesh and blood you’re drinking
In the wounded empire of your fool’s paradise
With a light above your head forever blinking
Turning virgins into merchandise
That you must have been beautiful when you were living
You remind me of some old-time used-to-be
I say you can be trusted with the power you been given
But you’re making a liar out of me

So many things so hard to say as you stumble
To take refuge in your offices of shame
As the earth beneath my feet begins to rumble
And your young men die for nothing not even fame
I say that someday you’ll begin to trust us
And that your conscience not been slain by conformity
That you’ll stand up unafraid to believe in justice
But you’re making a liar out of me
You’re making a liar out of me

Well I can hear the sound of distant thunder
From an open window at the end of every hall
Now that you’re gone I got to wonder
If you ever were here at all
I say you never sacrificed my children
To some false god of infidelity
And that it’s not the Tower of Babel that you’re building
But you’re making’ a liar out of me
You’re making a liar out of me
Now you’re making a liar out of me

Untold Dylan: who we are what we do

Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan.  It is simply a forum for those interested in the work of the most famous, influential and recognised popular musician and poet of our era, to read about, listen to and express their thoughts on, his lyrics and music.

We welcome articles, contributions and ideas from all our readers.  Sadly no one gets paid, but if you are published here, your work will be read by a fairly large number of people across the world, ranging from fans to academics who teach English literature.  If you have an idea, or a finished piece send it as a Word file to Tony@schools.co.uk with a subject line saying that it is for publication on Untold Dylan.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with approaching 6000 active members. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page of this site.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.  Not every index is complete but I do my best.

But what is complete is our index to all the 604 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found, on the A to Z page.  I’m proud of that; no one else has found that many songs with that much information.  Elsewhere the songs are indexed by theme and by the date of composition. See for example Bob Dylan year by year.



  1. Still injecting (auto)biographical material into what can be viewed as ‘art for art’s sake’ is a tricky business.,,,one cannot really read another person’s mind, let alone that of God, whatever one considers ‘Him’ to be.

    I think of Dylan as a seeker of self-knowledge, a kind of ‘gnostic’, in order that I might escape the problems fermnted by mixing these two elements – cowardness has its virtue! (lol)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *