The three Bob Dylan songs Keith Richards thinks form a trilogy

keith richards

As The Rolling Stones came into being in 1962, Bob Dylan was just starting out as an acoustic folk musician. He was a skilled guitarist and harmonicist with a nasal, yelping voice ready for countercultural uprising. He had spent years idolizing Woody Guthrie. Even though his sound was different from the electric blues of the Stones, this gap would soon close.

Following his powerful and politically trusted songs such as “Masters of War” and “With God on Our Side,” Dylan won over the hearts and minds of a young generation horrified by the Cuban Missile Crisis and started to rediscover his teenage love of rock ‘n’ roll. The young star started to “go electric” in 1965 after Bringing It All Back Home and a contentious performance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Despite some disgruntled folk purists, Dylan’s adoption of folk-rock increased his worldwide fan base. A peak in Dylan’s inventive songwriting was marked by the more textured, electric sound and the trilogy of albums Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde. These albums included songs that portrayed the status quo in a more generalised way and had more abstract, Beat Generation-inspired lyrics.

Even though Mick Jagger and Keith Richards listened to Dylan’s early songs, they were more drawn to his blues-infused folk-rock. Jagger has always admired Dylan’s work as an aspiring singer and songwriter. He thinks that “Desolation Row,” the last song on Highway 61 Revisited, is one of the best songs ever composed. “The lyrics by Desolation Row are incredibly intriguing and varied. He once remarked of the song, “You create your own fantasy because it’s not a real street.” “You can listen to it constantly and still learn something amazing and fresh from it,” the speaker continued.

In a similar vein, Keith Richards immediately admired Dylan. He did, however, appear to be targeting Dylan’s seemingly senseless lyrics and their naive, young followers in 1966. Richards remarked, “I bet these sweet young things who dig Dylan don’t really understand much of what he is doing.” Brian and I listen to a lot of his vinyl records, and many of the lyrics are meaningless to us. Although I have nothing against Dylan or Donovan, I’m really tired of the characters who are just riding a wave and believing they can become extremely wealthy.

It seems that Keith Richards started to connect with Dylan’s abstract lyrics over time. In 2015, he declared, “I love Bob,” before complimenting the veteran on his exceptional work ethic. The guitarist for the Stones talked about “Girl From the North Country,” one of Dylan’s songs that he loved, in an interview with The Guardian four years earlier. This folk era classic implies that Richards continues to prefer Dylan’s more concrete songwriting.

Keith Richards observed, “It has all the makings of beautiful folk writing without being pretentious.” There isn’t any of Bob’s later cutting edge in the lyrics or melody. That animosity doesn’t exist. The Stone also mentioned how much he loved Dylan’s 1969 album Nashville Skyline’s reworked rendition of the song. This included a lovely duet with Johnny Cash.

Nevertheless, nothing compares to the original from 1963‘s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in Richards’ opinion. He recalled noticing—or maybe imagining—a connection between three different songs while listening to Dylan’s iconic second studio album. “To Ramona, Boots of Spanish Leather, and Girl From the North Country, in a way, seem like a trilogy to me,” Richards went on. “Is Ramona the country girl from the north? Is she the same girl that sends the leather boots made in Spain? There is a link of sorts between them.

Given that the fingerstyle guitar progression heard in “Boots of Spanish Leather” and “Girl From the North Country” is nearly identical, Richards might have a point. Richards continued, “It’s like an extension of the same song.” “There was a lovely flow to Bob’s songs that comes only from a voice and a guitar, before he went electric and gave in to that unyielding discipline of a rhythm section.”

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