No longer did songwriters have to pen the same lyric over and over again in order to make their way up the pop charts. After Dylan, they could let loose whatever thoughts stuck in their heads. There was something different about Dylan that separated him from his ilk. His words weren’t simply put together to find a rhyme; they were far deeper than that. They were cosmic and lucid and Mercury like. That’s what separated Dylan from the rest.
He didn’t make much of a splash upon the release of his first album in 1962. It was hardly a ripple. People began to turn their ears towards Dylan after the release of his second studio album, The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dylan, in May of 1963. The lyrics on Free Wheelin’ displayed wisdom beyond his twenty-two years, and it spawned the first social anthem of the 1960’s: Blowin In The Wind.
Blowin’ In The Wind was recorded by hundreds of artists, and it became an enormous hit for the folk-trio Peter, Paul, and Mary. It peaked at number two on the Billboard charts and set the stage for Dylan to become the most admired songwriter of his time. Soon thereafter, every major artist wanted a piece of the Dylan pie. One of the first Post-Dylan band...
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...at that time. On August 28, 1963, Dylan performed When the Ship Comes In at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. The hippies at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival of 1969 referred to their makeshift campsites as “desolation row,” which was the title of a song off Dylan’s 1965 album, Highway 61 Revisited.
It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like had Dylan never been discovered. His music was light-years beyond that of his contemporaries and it provided the soundtrack of social change. He crossed the sacred boundaries of Folk music that no one dare disturb and by doing so, created an entirely new genre of music. He publicly questioned social norms and challenged the citizens of the world to open their eyes and admit that the waters around them have grown.
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