Irish Examiner View: Forever young

Bob Dylan’s 39th album, Rough And Rowdy Ways, topped the charts, while Neil Young’s Homegrown landed at number two.
Irish Examiner View: Forever young
American music legend Bob Dylan (C) performs on stage during his concert in Shanghai 2011.  Picture: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images
American music legend Bob Dylan (C) performs on stage during his concert in Shanghai 2011.  Picture: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Bob Dylan, 79, tops charts

It is remarkable, and cheering for anyone of a certain vintage, that two septuagenarians topped last week’s music charts in Britain. That one of them is the oldest ever to do so adds lustre, and a good splash of defiance, to the achievement.

Bob Dylan’s 39th album, Rough And Rowdy Ways, topped the charts, while Neil Young’s Homegrown landed at number two.

Dylan topped the charts 56 years after he first did with The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It is his ninth number one, pairing him with Queen and Abba in all-time rankings.

Writing about Rough And Rowdy Ways, American author Peggy Noonan said: “Great art is always about right now. It time-travels. Mr Dylan’s music never settles down into an era. It’s dynamic, it’s like hearing the past in active conversation with the future.”

That’s one perfect summation of Dylan’s enriching, cutting, 60-year presence in world culture.

That his core themes — love, honesty, and hope — resonate so strongly at this stuttering moment in our history is uplifting, reassuring, and more important than we might imagine.

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