The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3286042
Posted By: Little Hawk
06-Jan-12 - 01:20 PM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
I think there's a lot of bitter humour in Dylan's songs, both in the love songs and the social comment songs.

Regarding his influences, yes, he was very much influenced by Woody Guthrie's recordings...and Ramblin' Jack's material. Ramblin' Jack was a hell of a good player in his prime.

Dylan hit a real high point in the mid-70s as far as I'm concerned. His singing and playing and lyrical outuput had never been more effective. "Blood on the Tracks" just might be the best album he ever did. If not, it's one of the best 3 or 4 he ever did. "Desire" is also very strong, and I absolutely loved "Street Legal". "Infidels" could have been another album at that same level if he'd included 2 or 3 of the best songs he had at that time (1983?), but he inexplicably left some of the best ones (such as "Blind Willie McTell") off that album.

Good Soldier Schweik - Regarding your comments about Tom Paxton...I don't really know how to compare Tom Paxton to Bob Dylan, because I haven't heard enough of Paxton's songs to say. The few I have heard...yeah, they're very good.

As for Phil Ochs...another poster had spoken of his material as better than Dylan's...well, Ochs wrote a handful of VERY good songs. Most of his songs, though, I find kind of painful to listen to. I just don't think they're that good, because they're too literal and strident, in a way. His sincerity is unquestionable, however, and I respect that. I don't consider him anywhere near Dylan in a lyrical sense. Ochs himself considered Dylan to be the finest songwriter of the time and defended him against his harshest critics in the folk scene, even when Ochs and Dylan were not speaking to each other. That speaks very well for Phil Ochs.