Thursday, October 25, 2007

No one can sing the blues like...

“For a songwriter, Dylan is as essential as a hammer and nails and a saw are to a carpenter.” - Tom Waits

“Dylan is so brilliant. To me, he makes William Shakespeare look like Billy Joel.” - George Harrison

“When Another Side of Bob Dylan was released Pete played it endlessly, especially the track ‘All I Really Want To Do.’ Dylan and particularly this track spurred him on with his own song writing.” - Pete Townsend’s roommate Richard Barnes, 1964

“It almost makes me furious sometimes, how good his lyrics are. You know, you aspire to things. I’m trying and trying [to write a song], and I’ll get something and I’ll say, ‘That’s pretty good,’ and then I’ll listen to Blood On the Tracks and think ‘Who the hell am I kidding? What the hell am I talking about?’” - Dave Matthews

“This man can rhyme the tick of time. The edge of pain. The what of sane.” - Johnny Cash

“There’s no concession to the fact that Dylan might be a more sophisticated singer than Whitney Houston, that he’s probably the most sophisticated singer we’ve had in a generation. Nobody is identifying our popular singers like a Matisse or Picasso. Dylan’s a Picasso - that exuberance, range, and assimilation of the whole history of music.” - Leonard Cohen

“I never showed any interest outside of the blues until I heard Bob Dylan.” - Eric Clapton

“Dylan’s an extraordinary man. I don’t know if he’s going to sell, but he has something profound to say.” - John Hammond

“Bob Dylan’s one of the greatest blues singers of the western world; ancient art, on-the-spot improvisation, mind quickness, endless variation, classical formulae, prophetic vision, mighty wind-horse.” - Allen Ginsberg

“That boy’s got a voice. Maybe he won’t make it in his writing, but he can sing it.” - Woodie Guthrie

“If Woody Guthrie set the bar for American songwriters, Bob Dylan jumped right over it. No one I know will ever come close to possessing the beauty of melody and the use of language that Dylan shares with us, with ease.” - John Mellencamp

“When I heard the first album, I thought, ‘Wow, this is terrible.’ Nobody sang like that. After a while, I loved it, but it took a little time.” - Arlo Guthrie

“It began of course with Bob Dylan, and that must have been an incredible time; I think everything that’s happened since then came from that energy.” - Shawn Colvin

“The Basement Tapes was a big influence on me, because again, it was a seamless mixing of all these American musical forms. And they were doin’ it so easily. It was like, ‘Oh, we’re just goofin’ off,’ which is why I think it worked so well.” - Dave Alvin of the Blasters and X.

“The only way to explain his contribution is by playing his songs.” - Eddie Vedder

“After he wrote those images, thousands of young kids scribbling on their pads have tried to duplicate that and nobody’s been able to. He’s influenced every songwriter in rock and roll and folk. And whether or not he was involved in social action or not, he wrote this artillery for us.” - Joan Baez

“I’m an intense Dylan fan… I think Infidels is one of the most remarkably written albums I’ve ever heard.” - Rodney Crowell

“If I had an axe on the evening at Newport when [Dylan] broke out the electric guitar, I’d have cut his cable.” - Pete Seeger

“I always wanted to do in rap what Bob Dylan did for rock, when he picked up the electric guitar and everybody booed him, and yet he just played on, and he broke down that barrier.” - Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC

“He was no longer doing this nasally folk thing. He was screaming his songs through the rafters, and it was like thunder. It was very dynamic, very violent, and very exciting.” - Robbie Robertson

“…You couldn’t help being influenced by Dylan.” - Al Kooper

“Coming from my background of rock and heavy metal and then blues and jazz, I wasn’t really hip to folk music in general. But when I heard ‘Positively 4th Street,’ it totally blew me away. I don’t know if it’s popular, but it’s an amazing song that everyone should know about.” - Kirk Hammett, guitarist for Metallica

“I don’t think [Dylan and the Beatles] influenced me a lot. I think it was inevitable; they were so powerful that you couldn’t really escape the influence.” - Paul Simon

“Overall, Dylan’s probably my favorite of everyone. The Basement Tapes are something I can’t get enough of and all the unoffical, unreleased basement tapes too. Desire is one of my favorite records of all time.” - Jeff Tweedy of Wilco

“Now 30 years, 38 albums, and almost 500 songs later, Bob Dylan is universally recognized as one of the most powerful creative artists of our time.” - Kris Kristofferson

“Great tunes like ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,’ or ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ for that matter, or ‘Chimes of Freedom,’ taught me a whole lot of what songwriting essentially is about: a three-way marriage of melody, harmonic progression, and lyrics.” - Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

“Dylan was a revolutionary… the way that Elvis freed your body, Dylan freed your mind.” - Bruce Springsteen

“But there’s still some people I admire and listen to who can’t be ignored. Dylan is the greatest living poet. It was interesting because I’d stopped thinking about the whole music business, making albums. I was quite fed up with it. Then I saw him recently and I thought, ‘Well, here’s somebody who’s still doing it and he’s good.’ It sort of gave me a kick in the ass.” - Van Morrison

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