January 14, 2003

News on the Dylan front -- the singer's upcoming film Masked & Anonymous premieres at Sundance next week and has just been picked up for North American distribution by Sony Pictures Classics. Billboard also tells us that Sony Music has plans to release 15 Bob Dylan albums (including Highway 61 Revisited, Nashville Skyline, Blood on the Tracks, Time Out of Mind, and Love and Theft) on the new Super Audio CD (SACD) format this fall. Great news; his back catalog's crying out for a remastering. But isn't it a little premature/sneaky to rerelease something as recent as Love and Theft (which came out in September 2001)? Can I just walk into Tower and trade my old one in, or do I have to spend eighteen additional dollars for an upgrade on a record that already sounds great?

News on the Strummer front -- Epic/Legacy has a new Clash anthology (yeah, another one) in the works. It's called Essential Clash -- 2 CDs, 40 songs, and oh fucking boy they just wasted no time with this one. As rush-job best-ofs go, though, Essential Clash looks pretty ace.

What's the connection here? I've been listening to the Dylan Live 1975 set a lot lately, and I'm noticing that on quite a few songs, his voice takes on a very rough, raspy, Joe Strummer-ish quality. The Clash hadn't formed yet (not til '76, right?) so there's no way the punk could have influenced the godfather -- but I wonder if Strummer got to catch Bob at any point on the Rolling Thunder tour.