"THE PHILOSOPHY OF MODERN SONG is Bob Dylan’s first book of new writing since 2004’s CHRONICLES
- VOLUME ONE — and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.
Dylan, who began working on the book in 2010, offers a masterclass on the art and craft of songwriting. He writes over 60 essays focusing on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, and in between ranging from Hank Williams to Nina Simone. He analyses what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal.
These essays are written in Dylan’s unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often laugh-out-loud funny. And while they are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully curated photos as well as a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem and add to the work’s transcendence."
World released on 1 November 2022, Simon & Schuster, London, New York, Toronto, Sydney, New Dehli. The front cover shows a photography of Little Richard, Alis Lesley and Eddie Cochran at Sydney Airport on 28 September 1957.
An audiobook and Audio CD are available, with Bob Dylan himself reading chapters!
Signed copies were sold by a Canadian retailer for $599.00, but "in online forums many collectors raised suspicions that the books were, in fact, 'signed' using autopen, a device that replicates signatures." The orders of these signed books had to be cancelled: more details here and there. Exclusive copies "guaranteed to be personally hand-signed by Bob Dylan" were also sold by Simon & Schuster for $599.00. See more details on the autopen signature here.
So far, THE PHILOSOPHY OF MODERN SONG has been translated into Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
Fred Muller points that in chapter 60 of the book, that deals with Judy Garland’s recording of Come Rain or Come Shine, the composer, credited as ‘Howard Arlen’, actually is Harold Arlen.
Hardcover with dustjacket, illustrated, 339 pages: