Bob Dylan’s third album The Times They Are A-Changin’ was released just eight months after the extraordinary The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. While it’s his first album comprised entirely of original songs, The Times They Are A-Changin’ lacks the variety and humour of its predecessor. A series of earnest ballads focussed on social justice and racism, the album is a bit heavy going at times, but the presence of three extraordinary songs elevates its status.
Pulp’s sixth album This Is Hardcore is vastly underappreciated. A follow-up to 1995’s hugely successful A Different Class, the album was the victim of audience expectations. Debuting at number one in the UK, This Is Hardcore spent only one more week in the top ten before drifting out of the charts. It is clear that the majority of listeners were expecting more tracks like the bright, smart and funny pop songs from its predecessor, instead they got a collection of moody songs about disappointment and fear with a dark sexuality lurking beneath the surface. Continue reading “Pulp – This Is Hardcore”
The recent Criterion Collection blu-ray release of The Killers serves as an illuminating study of how different artists and circumstances can influence the adaptation of the same source material. This package collects three films from 1946, 1956 and 1964 all based on Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 (very) short story The Killers. Continue reading “The Killers”
It’s difficult to reconcile that the same artist released the landmark album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan only fourteen months after his relatively unremarkable debut Bob Dylan. This is the album where Bob Dylan’s skill as a songwriter became apparent. As opposed to his thirteen track debut which featured just two original titles, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan counts only two covers amongst its thirteen tracks and these have been rewritten in such a way to as put his own stamp of originality on them. Continue reading “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)”
Bob Dylan’s eponymous debut album certainly makes for enjoyable listening and gives many hints of the artist he will become, but realistically it is the sound of a young musician finding his voice. Of the album’s thirteen tracks, only two tracks (“Talkin’ New York” and “Song To Woody”) are written by Dylan, with the remainder of the album comprising folk and blues standards. Continue reading “Bob Dylan (1962)”
The “Watch This” section is essentially a place for me to talk about my favourite films. Mike Judge’s Idiocracy (2006) probably seems like an odd starting point, but I firmly believe that it is possibly the most unfairly maligned and criminally under seen of all films. It’s a film that I have watched at least once a year since its initial release and which becomes more prescient with each passing year. Continue reading “Idiocracy”
What can be said about movies today? Cinema has always been prone to fluctuations due to changes in culture and technology. The coming of sound, the Production Code, the Hollywood Blacklist, Television, the end of the Studio System, home video, CGI, the various iterations of 3D and illegal downloading. Each one of these changes had real or imagined impact on film production in the United States. Continue reading “Marvel Presents Salò”