by mr tambourine
Prelude: this article is not written with the intention of fooling anyone into thinking that Bob is actually working on a new album. Rather, I simply isolated myself for a day and and focused on what the new album would be like.
So here we go: Bob Dylan working on a new album!
The Nobel Prize laureate will release his 40th album on February 21st, 2021, called “Octogenarian”.
Dylan’s new album seems to be an interesting play with numbers.
First of all, the release date is 21.02.2021. Bob was trying to find the date that mostly resembles 2021, and February 21st seems the closest to that.
Second, “Octogenarian” is a very funny name for an album that’s released by a 79-year old, soon-to-be 80-year old in May.
Octogenarian is a person between the age of 80 and 89 or 90. Bob’s about to be that in a few months after this album’s release, but at the time of recording he was short of that age. But “Octogenarian” it is: a follow-up to the highly successful “Rough And Rowdy Ways”, will be another masterful album of new all original material.
Dylan here allows himself more tracks than usual (the same number as with Love And Theft from 2001) – 12 songs, this time at 67 minutes of length, slightly shorter than Tempest and Rough And Rowdy Ways.
This is the first time Dylan has released back to back albums of new material for two years in a row since 1989 and 1990, with Oh Mercy and Under The Red Sky.
And Dylan has even conducted a private interview discussing this album where he revealed that there are two songs that were planned for Rough And Rowdy Ways but didn’t make the final cut, two songs were written between 2017 and 2019, but were rewritten and finished in 2020, while the eight other songs were all fresh from 2020.
Dylan’s been busy being born again, evidently. The tracklist will look like this:
- Lost Chronicles (04:22)
- Riders On The Clouds (03:31)
- A Tapestry Kingdom (03:49)
- Wizardry Practise Facilities (03:37)
- Ahead Of The Curve (03:11)
- Love Diaries (04:00)
- Private Symbols (03:58)
- Cluelessly Ready For You (04:22)
- Cavalry Row (07:10)
- Venom And Pride (07:30)
- Chain Gang Express (11:30)
- Throne Sweet Throne (12:00)
The concept of this album is very interesting. It is a double album, that will feature songs one to eight on the first disc and the remainder on disc two.
For the vinyl edition, there will be three records: one with tracks 01-05, a second with tracks 06-08 and a third with tracks 09-12.
The discs separate the album nicely and the way it should be separated.
For the first five songs, the album sees Dylan getting back to his more upbeat songs. Only the opening “Lost Chronicles” is a little bit less upbeat, while others are upbeat jazz, blues, swing and rock n roll.
Also, the album features lots of short songs for Dylan standards, not passing the five minute mark for the first eight songs.
Songs 06-08 are love ballads and some of Dylan’s most open at that. Again, they are more upbeat than usual, continuing the short-length fiasco, which works very nicely and shows a very rare side of Dylan in many ways.
After shocking us with marvellous short pieces (although not short compared to Nashville Skyline songs!) Dylan offers some of his best work yet.
The first eight songs are great, don’t get me wrong. Your jaws will drop for sure seeing this side of Dylan. The lyrics especially, as always. But the 09-12 tracks…
Dylan has divided the album nicely.
- For people who love his upbeat songs, they have the first five tracks.
- For people who love his love ballads, they have tracks 06-08.
- For people who love absolute Dylan literary masterpieces , mostly at a slower pace, at least compared to the rest of the album, they will enjoy the final four mindblowing pieces.
It’s hard to choose which is better, although every next one ’til the end makes you forget the previous.
From Dylan’s detective novel “Cavalry Row”, through the staggering, Dylanesque “Venom And Pride”, through the story about the train that collects mortal and living musicians that went to jail “Chain Gang Express” – although all amazing pieces, nothing probably eclipses “Throne Sweet Throne”. This last song is the combination of the Dylan that wrote Masters Of War, to the Dylan who wrote the entire Tempest album filled with many murders. Dylan here nails incredible, once in a lifetime rhymes and plays with his persona and with historical characters like only he can, singing with first a croaky voice (apparently here on purpose), then with his crooning voice from the standards period, ending the song with some of his best and most convincing and soulful singing in years, maybe even ever.
The one-two punch of Rough And Rowdy Ways and Octogenarian will stand toe-to-toe with some of his greatest back-to-back album releases like Highway 61 Revisited-Blonde On Blonde and Blood On The Tracks-Desire.
(P.S. this album is funny as hell. Some of Dylan’s funniest and silliest lyrics ever!)
We have information, many months before the release of this, that the album will not feature any single until release date February 21, 2021. Dylan will release a single of one of the songs from the album upon the release of the album with an official video, trustworthy sources say. We’re not yet sure which song it will be.
But what we will get until then is the lyrics of 10 songs complete, and a few lyrics of the other two. The two songs that will not get lyrics in its entirety are the two closing tracks “Chain Gang Express” and “Throne Sweet Throne”. Of “Throne Sweet Throne”, people will get only a fragment of the lyrics.
The lyrics, in order, will be like this:
Winter is gone The sun now arrives at dawn Time to walk outside A road so wide Don't have to watch out for the icicles Thinking about the lost chronicles They say I'm old I forgot it all in the winter cold I feel like I'm young Like I never even sung Like I never even heard about a hospital Thinking about the lost chronicles They say I'm funny Especially since I earned some money Especially the girls You know they currently control the world They told me when we made love that I'm comical Thinking about the lost chronicles I'm a gardener here In this garden sphere I'm far away from the urban grounds Far away from the city sounds I live in nature and they call me mr. Botanical Thinking about the lost chronicles I love history There I find a lot of mystery A lot of things to learn Thanks for your concern Don't worry for me, worry for all these characters, mostly mythological They're in the lost chronicles I love to read in general, General I would read myself to my funeral I read all the lines I can Lines written by god-given men and women Spend a lot of time lately reading periodicals Thinking about the lost chronicles I like to think that I'm smart I don't think with my mind, I think with my heart I solve all the puzzles I find I exercise, not my heart, but my mind My heart does things in a natural way and logical Thinking about the lost chronicles I often think about the sky If I'll ever get there, when each day passes by I'm trying to think about it less I get lost in my spontaneous happiness My mind is full of unmistakable oracles Thinking about the lost chronicles I'm sailing away I'd like to leave the horrors of the day I'm gonna get lost I'm leaving the dull frost Gonna visit a place that's tropical Distract myself from the lost chronicles
Riders On The Clouds
Riders on the clouds Who could they be? Servants of apocalypse Or a fake copy? Are they watching us Through the cloudy dust? Damn spies of the skies! Damn riders that fly! Riders on the clouds Who could they be? Helicopter hunters Or disturbers of the breeze? Are they telling us something? Is there something they're hunting? Damn riots of the sky-ots! Damn pilots full of lie-ots! Riders on the clouds Who could they be? Like the riders on the storm But just their parody? Any news from up there? Are we supposed to care? Damn them scams! Damn them sky hooligans! Riders on the clouds Who could they be? I fantasize about them They don't fantasize about me Should we listen? Is there anything that we're missing? Damn liars of the sky-ers! Damn vampires from their cloud shires!
A Tapestry Kingdom
Brushes hanging on the walls My fair lady wearing her shawl Paintings by the stairs Pendulums standing on the corner chairs Wherever you see bells here, just ring them Welcome to the Tapestry Kingdom Doors made of stainless steel Skin of the fox on the working desk, 100% real A portrait of Shakespeare by the dinner desk Two living rooms, one room of renneisance, one room of burlesque Another room, before its time, it wasn't even a thing then Welcome to the Tapestry Kingdom Shelves with the widest books Next to the dark rooms full of spooks Watch out for the axe that falls from the ceiling There's also a statue of a woman, too revealing Right around the corner, you begin to sing when You enter the center of the Tapestry Kingdom There's no room for you here You may think that while thinking it's all clear It's all just to lure you in This is a place where you can't win If you're married, you need to pass the ring scan Your loyalty to your partner is tested in Tapestry Kingdom If you're not cheating, they turn you into a charming scam And become a part of the Tapestry Kingdom You become a victim In Tapestry Kingdom
Wizardry Practise Facilities
Potions and spells Under the wishing wells Formulas to make you dizzy Just say "abra-cadabra", it's very easy Take these, these are the keys To all the wizardry practise facilities You'll learn the wizard magic Time to brighten up your life so tragic Time to gain control Over any living soul Pick anyone to break, anyone who hurt you or brought you to your knees That's the point of the wizardry practise facilities You can become telepathic You can know every move that a person can pick Right before he or she even thinks it through You'll know it all before anyone else will do Here, you can try it first on me Remember, you're in a wizardry practise facility Be aware that this can be very dangerous But once we learn it all, no one can enable us We have the power then, and the control We can take away anybody's soul We can forever change reality Once we succeed in wizardry
Ahead Of The Curve
They wait for their king A king not nice A king that rolls And shoots the dice A king that they serve, serve, serve He thinks he's ahead of the curve They wait to replace him Who will it be Six of them waiting in line Who's gonna get lucky Whoever it ends up being, he will feel a verve, verve, verve Thinking he's ahead of the curve They overturned the tables And all the food fell down Feels like a revolution In the heart of town And the king loses every nerve, nerve, nerve He thought he was ahead of the curve Then the king saw a pretty young lady Killed his wife, his queen, right on the spot Cut her arm off and cut her head Grabbed this pretty young lady who he wanted a lot And the pretty young lady screamed "you perve, perve, perve!" He got what he wanted 'cause he's ahead of the curve
Baby, please come back You're the thing I mostly lack People ask me what is love to me I always point at you for them to see If you want a lover, then hire me Include me in your love diaries Baby, if you ever leave again All the love I have will be spent It's you and only you I'm dreamin' of No one else but you, my love If you want another lover, then fire me Exclude me from your love diaries Too much to ask And too much to say It's a heavy task Gets harder each day A heavy burden To carry through I know I'm hurting But at least it's because of you Now, I'll be standing here I've got nothing to fear I just have one more dream I want our love to be redeemed I'll let you go unless you desire me In that case I'll join your love diaries
Show me your private symbols, babe The kinds I like to see The kinds that made you Fall in love with me You know what you gotta do Private symbols, honey, for them it takes two Show me your cards, babe The ones that you're hiding I'll give you a ride, babe If you're ready to be riding You know what you gotta do Private symbols, honey, you know that it takes two Honey baby, let's do one more round Our symbols need to match We can play hide and seek Or we can play catch You know what you gotta do Private symbols, you know it takes two Our love is in its prime You can see it by our actions Wanna stay in this position Or do you wanna change the section? You already know what you gotta do Private symbols, you know it takes two
Cluelessly Ready For You
I was your man And I was always alarmed I always hoped that you don't hurt me I was never willing to do you harm I was slow and I was steady for you I was always cluelessly ready for you You were my woman And you say you still are You promised me to stay I only promised you the stars I was one of the lucky ones, waiting in the queue Forever being cluelessly ready for you I'll never be comfortable In your presence Even though I'm with you forever I still haven't learned my lesson Hard to be near you, hard to believe you're true I'm always gonna be cluelessly ready for you Give me my coat Give me my tie I'm gonna take my madame with me We're gonna pass the world by Nothing comes close to anything we do It's just that I'm cluelessly ready for you I don't have much left But at least I have you No other one Ever would do Why are you with me? Will I ever have a clue? I'm gonna die cluelessly ready for you
Another case to solve I gotta get involved A crime scene Like it's always been On another square I have to go there I've been there once before Still hurts me to the core Memories remain Of that earthly domain Even though it was long ago That's Cavalry Row Cavalry Row is a row of bandits Where all the crime seed is planted They catch a citizen And they have him hanged Or they have him join their gang Their gang full of slangs This location is not on the map Probably because it's a trap Otherwise, detectives would come here often And all the bandits would soften When you come here, you're lost You could get slammed or tossed If you're frightened, you better go Get out of Cavalry Row You can find things here around the corner Hopefully, you previously pass the bloody border Everyone tries to shoot at you Everyone has their crew Cavalry Row is based in a faraway town Nobody lives there, no one's gathered around Hookers, unrelated to John Lee Hooker, Walk around, when one's gone, you wonder who took her I gotta turn into Sherlock To get rid of these inner city murlocks Or at least turn into Poirot Whenever I put my foot on Cavalry Row I can tell you stories But it will increase your worries I can tell you conspiracies That you don't wanna see Don't start me talkin', I'll tell everything I know About Cavalry Row Cavalry Row used to be innocent Agatha Christie was once even its citizen She couldn't find a single crime to write about Didn't need a main detective that the story would've been incomplete without But, during the industrial revolution, this place started to grow And became Cavalry Row Even when you got no other place to go Don't visit Cavalry Row
Venom And Pride
In my dream last night I dreamed about our fight Of ancient times We picked up our swords 'Cause we had nothing else to afford Couldn't see any other signs We used to walk side by side Like venom and pride Is our love really love Is there any use of what we're dreamin' of Should we kill each other to death? I know one thing for sure You never really felt like my cure I could never see you help me with my dying breath At least we don't hide That we're like venom and pride Love to us is not even a game We don't call each other by name But we somehow manage to stay together We're not sure where we're going Not sure how much we're knowing But it never gets better When will be the final ride Of us being venom and pride? You used to shine your light on me But that was only temporary You never came close again I wonder if I should stay But then again, this seems like the only way Me leaving you might ruin all your plans When you became my bride And when we became venom and pride Many times I have lied Many times I tried to hide I was unfaithful, I was Many times we fought And then we made love, trying not to get caught Never knowing the cause My hands are still tied As long as we're venom and pride I let you have the power Especially in the darkest hour And I must say you always respond I still see us together Through any kind of weather I see us in the great beyond Whenever I'm in the right mind I'm grateful and blessed that we're venom and pride
Chain Gang Express (incomplete)
Chain Gang Express To join, you need a jail sentence Come aboard, show your licence At least you're riding without a ticket Sid stabbed a maid, it was vicious He admitted it was very suspicious He was charged anyway Was in jail for 59 days Papa was a rolling stone He took fake drugs alone Went to jail for a month His local pharmacist was also on the hunt Yarrow, a person I know Harrassed a 14-year old Later granted clemency By president Jimmy Spector acted like a spectator Saw a hostess die, he said later Claimed that he was innocent Given a 19-year sentence Chuck Berry and his armed robbery And his affair with the Mexican lady Handed a 5-year sentence Ended up serving 3 years less ... ... ... You can even find Johnny Cash Here on Chain Gang Express
Throne Sweet Throne (fragment)
They tried to unplug my guitar But I still became a star Throne sweet throne I'm bringing it all back home