Thursday, May 12, 2011

the "us vs. them" Jeremiah sneer of Dylan

"Like a Rolling Stone"   By Bono:

That sneer — it's something to behold. Elvis had a sneer, of course. And the Rolling Stones had a sneer that, if you note the title of the song, Bob wasn't

unaware of. But Bob Dylan's sneer on "Like a Rolling Stone" turns the wine to vinegar.

It's a black eye of a pop song. The verbal pugilism on display here cracks open songwriting for a generation and leaves the listener on the canvas. "Like a Rolling Stone" is the birth of an iconoclast that will give the rock era its greatest voice and vandal. This is Bob Dylan as the Jeremiah of the heart, torching romantic verse and "the girl" with a firestorm of unforgiving words. Having railed against the hypocrisies of the body politic, he now starts to pick on enemies that are a little more familiar: the scene, high society, the "pretty people" who think they've "got it made." He hasn't made it to his own hypocrisies — that would come later. But the "us" and "them" are not so clearly defined as earlier albums. Here he bares his teeth at the hipsters, the vanity of that time, the idea that you had a better value system if you were wearing the right pair of boots.....  CONTINUED

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