Welcome to a very special issue of Uncut, as we celebrate Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday. As you might imagine, it’s an event that we’ve been working towards for some time. In fact, rummaging through my inbox, I’ve found an email exchange with Tom Pinnock from June last year, where we first discussed how we might mark this auspicious event. “Perhaps we should get to work now on a special Dylan CD,” we concluded. So approximately 10 months later, I’m thrilled to unveil Dylan Revisited – 14 covers of Dylan tracks recorded exclusively for Uncut alongside one previously unreleased gem from the man himself.
If I’m honest, the period from January 7, when Thurston Moore sent us the first completed track, to February 26, when Frazey Ford emailed across the final track, has been one of the most exciting during my years at Uncut. Every couple of days, yet another amazing song arrived in our inboxes. I humbly think it is one of our best ever CDs – and hymns and hosannas to Tom for pulling it all together so brilliantly. Judging from the early response on our social channels from subscribers, you all seem to be enjoying it, too. Call it our birthday gift from Bob to you…
Our Bobfest continues, as you’ll have noticed, with the cover story. We asked Dylan’s old friends, colleagues and admirers to share with us a favourite Bob encounter. Some of these stories shed new light on lesser-told parts of Dylan’s career, some are plain funny and some reveal tantalising glimpses of the man behind the myths and fables. Cumulatively, though, these yarns remind us of Dylan’s enduring capacity for reinvention – as Elton John tells us, “He’s 80 years old and still as good as he was in the ’60s, but in a completely different way. I admire that. How could you not?”
There’s more, of course. Paul Weller, Marianne Faithfull, Can, Spiritualized, Field Music, UB40, Stephen Stills, The Strokes, Will Oldham, James, The National and My Bloody Valentine for starters. It’s a busy month – let us know what you think, either at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at https://forum.uncut.co.uk/.
Take care, as ever.