Getting old is a lot of fun because you get to look back on the past and declare it all to be uniformly better than it is now even though there were no computers back then and everyone died of dysentery at the age of 36.
Bob Dylan is the latest old man to be exploiting this right. Even though he makes a lot of money broadcasting music from a radio studio up into space where it's bounced off a satellite back into a few million handheld digital devices, Bob Dylan has had it with technology. For example, in a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine Bob Dylan says that every piece of music made in the last 20 years has been "atrocious."
Bob Dylan has gone though something of a career renaissance over the last few years. His iconic curly hair, overworded songs and goosey harmonica noise has been re-evaluated as timeless, and Bob Dylan himself seems dangerously close to accepting the praise for once. Bob Dylan's memoirs sold millions of copies, Martin Scorsese made a cripplingly long Bob Dylan documentary, Bob Dylan now sells CDs exclusively through Starbucks and early Bob Dylan poems go for $78,000 at auction. And, thanks to all that, Bob Dylan is now such a star that he has his own radio show.
While Bob Dylan never gets more animated than making cryptic references to Blur during his radio show, he obviously relishes the chance of being The Voice Of A Generation every now and again. It's just a shame that it's now the generation that complains about immigrants, hoodies and how this all used to be fields. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan said:
"I don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really. You listen to these modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like … static… Even these songs probably sounded ten times better in the studio when we recorded 'em. CDs are small. There's no stature to it."
Goodness, we think Bob Dylan's really onto something here – music on CDs are bad because CDs are small. Why didn't we work it out earlier? It's exactly the same as the way that mobile phones aren't as good as they were 20 years ago because they're smaller now, and the way that Bob Dylan's poncey moustache looks so shit because it's quite small.
Now, part of us thinks that the only reason why Bob Dylan thinks small CDs are evil is because they're harder to pick up if you've got a touch of rheumatoid arthritis, and part of us thinks that the existence of Prince, Boards Of Canada and most hip-hop – to name but three – instantly disproves Bob Dylan's theory.
Of course, part of us also wants to take Bob Dylan by the hand, lead him to his comfy chair and tell him that a) nobody really buys CDs any more and b) he's made eight albums in the 20 years since all music instantly became terrible, but we don't really have the heart.
[story by Stuart Heritage]