01 May 2004

Google divination

I just did a web search on ''tangled up in blue,'' for no really good reason, and got this New York Observer article, ''That Wild Mercury Sound,'' dated today.*
I think the title question is important. It has to do with something I think Mr. Dylan said to me in the course of that 1978 interview: I think he told me that he got the title of the song from a lost weekend he spent listening to Joni Mitchell’s classic Blue album, which predated Blood on the Tracks by three years. In effect, Mr. Dylan had been tangled up in Blue before writing ''Tangled Up in Blue.''
And then there’s the question of whether, even if he said it, he meant it. I don’t know, it makes sense to me: There’s a new kind of Dylan songwriting on Blood on the Tracks, one that he’s described as a shift from the kind of ''unconscious'' songwriting of the Blonde on Blonde period to the more conscious artistry of ''Tangled Up in Blue,'' which plays with time schemes and rhyme schemes in a way Joni Mitchell does quite artfully when she doesn’t tip over into self-parody. I’m not a big fan of "Blue," the Joni Mitchell song (my all-time Joni Mitchell fave is "Amelia"). Nonetheless, I could see Mr. Dylan getting rapt or wrapped up in Blue.
I interpert this peculiar little synchronicity as a sign that I need to tell you about the article. So there it is: it's pretty good.

* Looking again, I see that the Observer tricked me --- the article isn't really dated today. But still, it's really good.

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