Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

6. Bob DylanBob Dylan

I love this record. Of course Bob Dylan is a genius, and most of the acknowledgements of Dylan are for his compositions. These tracks, many of them I think are traditional songs, there’s one or two originals. I love listening to this all the way through. His extraordinary rendition of ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’ is somehow overlooked. It amazes me. I know the Animals’ one is brilliant, but I prefer the Dylan one, because it just tears your heart open. You really get a strong sense of the meaning of the lyric when Dylan does it, the melancholy of it. I think the reason why I love it is, you get the sense of the beginning of something. You know, this guy’s gonna have a future. The simplicity of it, as well. It’s just this guy with a harmonica and a guitar, yet it’s profound. And I think credit has to be given to [producer] John Hammond as well, who’s one of my great heroes. What a guy. A champion of African American music, yet at the same time, a champion of bringing white music and black music together. That to me is the message of the last century, more than anything. It’s not separating the two, it’s what they did together. You wouldn’t have a job, and probably I wouldn’t [laughs], without that marriage, because rock music wouldn’t have happened without it, it wouldn’t even exist.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Yusuf/Cat Stevens
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