Dylan’s new album continues his legacy, honors his past

By Julia Chirls II Staff Writer

Singer-songwriter, artist, and writer Bob Dylan has continued to influence the music industry with his talent in rock and folk for over five decades, and he is still going strong. On February 3, his 36th studio album, Shadows in the Night, hit iTunes following the releases of two singles: “Full Moon and Empty Arms” and “Stay With Me.” For the production of his latest album, Dylan made covers of 10 songs from legendary vocalist Frank Sinatra’s 59 studio albums recorded during his 60-year career.

Dylan’s career took off in 1963 when he released his second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan at age 22. Of the 13 songs on its track list, 11 were original compositions. That year, it placed on the U.S. Billboard 200 at number 22. In 2003, it was ranked 97 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Since the start of his admirable career in 1959, Dylan has won numerous awards for his legendary work. These include 10 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, and one Golden Globe Award. Dylan hit another milestone when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. He also received a well-earned Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1992 Grammy Awards.

What many may not know about Bob Dylan is that he is not only a successful singer and performer, having sold more than 100 million records, but is also an accomplished artist. Since 1994, he has published six books of original drawings and paintings, over 200 of these pieces have been showcased.

Bob Dylan selected a list of tunes for Shadows of the Night that honors Frank Sinatra’s beloved music, but at the same time incorporates his own talent that earned him the overwhelming following that he has today.

The third and most popular song on the album, “Stay With Me” is also the second single, which was released January 19. The original version recorded by Frank Sinatra was used as the main theme for The Cardinal, a Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture Drama in 1963. The film touched upon various social issues present at the time of the film’s release such as racial prejudice and war. Dylan sings along to the slow tempo of the tune, making the song into his own with his acclaimed bluesy voice. A synthesizer as well as a small ensemble of strings in the background contributes to the somber mood of the lyrics.

“Some Enchanted Evening” is the sixth song on the album and was featured in the musical South Pacific, the Tony Award winning Broadway show that tells the story of a romance during World War II.

Bob Dylan joins Frank Sinatra on the list of 24 singers to cover the song. The music includes strings accompanied by a piano, adding to the elegance of the background instrumentals. The featured artists create the perfect balance with Dylan’s unique style.

Shadows in the Night is a perfect way to reminisce and remember the incredible career of Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, and many other artists, as well. More importantly, it is a wonderful listen to enjoy a classic spin that world-renowned singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has brought to the present music industry.

Sophomore Julia Chirls is a staff writer. Her email is jchirls@fandm.edu.

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