On October 28, 2014 the first complete book of Bob Dylan’s lyrics will be published in a limited edition of 3500 copies. Priced at $200 for the 960 page, 13.3 pound book, Amazon is currently taking advance orders for the book at a discounted price of $126.74.
The New York Times can a story today, which said, in part:
The songs are presented chronologically, including alternative versions released as part of Mr. Dylan’s archival “Bootleg Series.” The album covers, front and back, are reproduced.
The way the songs are laid out is meant “to help the eye see what the ear hears,” Mr. Ricks said. “If you print the songs flush left,” he added, “it doesn’t represent, visually, the audible experience.” So refrains, choruses and bridges are indented. And where Mr. Dylan intended a line, however long, to be unbroken, it sprawls across the 13-inch-wide page.
How did the editors know which lines were meant to be unbroken? Did Mr. Dylan provide feedback or comments? Mr. Karp said he had heard that Mr. Dylan provided notebooks and manuscripts. Mr. Ricks refused to elaborate.
“I think the right thing for us,” he said, “is not to go into the question of the particular kinds of help and assistance and advice that we were in a position to receive.”
“The Lyrics: Since 1962” (Hardcover – October 28, 2014)
by Bob Dylan (Author), Christopher Ricks (Editor), Lisa Nemrow (Editor), Julie Nemrow (Editor)
Hardcover: 960 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 28, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 12.4 x 2.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.3 pounds
A major publishing event—a beautiful, comprehensive collection of the lyrics of Bob Dylan with artwork from thirty-three albums, edited and with an introduction by Christopher Ricks.
As it was well put by Al Kooper (the man behind the organ on “Like a Rolling Stone”), “Bob is the equivalent of William Shakespeare. What Shakespeare did in his time, Bob does in his time.” Christopher Ricks, editor of T. S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, Tennyson, and The Oxford Book of English Verse, has no argument with Mr. Kooper’s assessment, and Dylan is attended to accordingly in this authoritative edition of his lyrics.
In the words of Ricks: “For fifty years, all the world has delighted in Bob Dylan’s books of words and more than words: provocative, mysterious, touching, baffling, not-to-be-pinned-down, intriguing, and a reminder that genius is free to do as it chooses. And, again and again, these are not the words that he sings on the initially released albums.”
This edition changes things, giving us the words from officially released studio and live recordings, as well as selected variant lyrics and revisions to these, recent revisions and retrospective ones; and, from the archives, words that, till now, have not been published.
The Lyrics, edited with diligence by Christopher Ricks, Lisa Nemrow, and Julie Nemrow. As set down, as sung, and as sung again.
While you wait, here’s Dylan, Ry Cooder and Van Dyke Parks performing Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” at the Malibu Performing Arts Center in January 2009:
— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —