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2018-05-06

Sony Music's looting of Bob Dylan's genius





This is a studio outtake, a version of the song that was abandoned by Bob Dylan for the superior version he included on Blonde On Blonde. It has been released 50 years later because Sony Music do not want unreleased Bob Dylan recordings to enter the public domain. Many of these "bootleg" releases are great treasures, but mostly it is just an attempt by Sony to milk Bob Dylan's popularity for all it is worth, and Bob is clearly beyond caring.

The video itself is a meaningless set of advertising-like images with only the most superficial and incoherent relationship to the song and to each other. It is basically an advertisement for the album release and has zero artistic intention or integrity in itself.

To read more into it than perhaps is appropriate, it can be seen as an attempt, inadvertent maybe, to render powerless the incredibly powerful artistry of Dylan's mid-'60s music, by releasing all of the outtakes and dregs and failed attempts to capture the brilliance that has surprised and delighted many people over the last 50 years, and to juxtapose that music with images that suggest a vacuous simulacrum of the world that the song emerged from and that it represents and reminds us of.  Basically, turning great art into hollow artifice.

It is a sign of the incredible strength and integrity of Bob Dylan's work that it survives the shameless looting Sony Music has subjected it to over the last 20 years.

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