Bob Dylan working on a new album!?

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:

  1. Lost Chronicles (04:22)
  2. Riders On The Clouds (03:31)
  3. A Tapestry Kingdom (03:49)
  4. Wizardry Practise Facilities (03:37)
  5. Ahead Of The Curve (03:11)
  6. Love Diaries (04:00)
  7. Private Symbols (03:58)
  8. Cluelessly Ready For You (04:22)
  9. Cavalry Row (07:10)
  10. Venom And Pride (07:30)
  11. Chain Gang Express (11:30)
  12. 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:

Lost Chronicles

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

Love Diaries

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

Private Symbols

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

Cavalry Row

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



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4 Responses to Bob Dylan working on a new album!?

  1. Harry Life says:

    There’s an out take of “A Tapestry Kingdom” , accompanied by a jazzy piano tune, that you may be unaware of.

    In it, Dylan sings:

    “Brushes are hanging on the walls
    My fair lady wears over-alls”.

    It’s on a TMQ vinyl bootleg that’s very hard to come by.

  2. jas says:

    Wow! Magic and amazing !!! Many many thanks Mr. Tambourine

  3. Baba Ganoosh says:

    I like the way you think.

  4. wyndham says:

    feb 2021 has been and gone.when is it due out?

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