Bob Dylan and Neil Young: Musicians who keep a-changin
As long time readers of TW know, we have been following the musical intersections of Bob Dylan and Neil Young for literally decades now.
And with the upcoming Desert Trip Festival in October featuring mega acts -- along with Bob Dylan and Neil Young -- such as The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who and Roger Waters, the inevitable compare and contrast Bob & Neil game will carry on.
So let the games begin. Here's an opening round from that ever so well respected musical publication The Economist with an article "Musicians who keep a-changin'" by J.T.:
Mr Dylan’s motivations may not have been entirely sales-driven, but he did what any shrewd businessman would do: assess the performance of his most successful rivals, and innovate accordingly.So after coining the phrase "Neil Young is the second most influential singer-songwriter of the 20th century still performing today" 20 years ago, the accolade still stands unchallenged by all the fans of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who, Roger Waters, etc.
This strategy has served many musicians well, allowing them to prolong their careers. Neil Young is one such. In the seven years after he released “Harvest”, a gentle harmonica-infused album that topped the American charts in 1972, Mr Young’s sales plummeted. By 1979, Americans were buying the soundtracks to “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”, while the Clash and the Sex Pistols had caught the ears of British listeners. Mr Young borrowed the raw sound of the latter for his album “Rust Never Sleeps”: the title alluded to his slowly decaying career, and its format mirrored Bob Dylan’s 1966 concerts, beginning with folk and finishing with grungy rock. The final track name-checked Johnny Rotten and influenced a young Kurt Cobain.
The record became Mr Young’s first to sell more than 1m copies since “Harvest”.
More for your perusing pleasure...
- "If Bob Dylan is an icon, Neil Young is a category."
- Neil? As Good As Bob Dylan?
- Poll: Who's the greater songwriter? Bob Dylan or Neil Young?
- Bob Dylan & Neil Young: "Helpless", 1975 Radio Broadcast
- Neil Young Covers Bob Dylan
- Here We Go Again: Neil Young vs. Bob Dylan
- Top 10 Reasons Why Neil Young is Better Than Bob Dylan
- Dylan & Young on Tour 1978
Bob Dylan and Neil Young
Madison Square Garden, New York City - 1992