Fiona Apple’s second album When The Pawn… sits quite comfortably amongst my favourite dozen albums of all time and is an album that I genuinely return to on pretty much a weekly basis. Although When The Pawn… went platinum in the US, it didn’t attain the same commercial success of her triple platinum debut album Tidal. Part of this may have been due to the over the top backlash against Apple at the time, which seemingly grew out of negative reactions to the Mark Romanek directed video for her song “Criminal” in 1997 and continued on with attacks on her for being too thin, saying too much, saying too little and being too pretentious.
It seems appropriate at this point to take a brief diversion from Bob Dylan: The Complete Album Collection Vol. One to close out Dylan’s “folk” years by looking at the remainder of his studio recordings from this era. The Bootleg Series Volume 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 collects together demos recorded by Dylan for the publishing companies Leeds Music and M. Witmark & Sons. Although over two-thirds of the tracks on this release were subsequently re-recorded and released by Dylan in the 1960s, there are fifteen tracks that until the release of this album in 2010 had only been available as bootlegs.
Anyone with more than a passing interest in The Criterion Collection would be aware of the general commotion that occurs every couple of years when Criterion release their special edition of the Wes Anderson film before last. The whole process is always quite fascinating to follow on social media. The Criterion Collection is justifiably the most esteemed home video company in the world, renowned for not only the exceptional scope and quality of their releases, but also the time and effort that they put into packaging and supplements. As a result of the excellence of their work, the company has quite rightly built up their own rather zealous group of followers.
Another Side Of Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan’s fourth studio album and is one that is too readily dismissed. Recorded just five months after The Times They Are A-Changin’, the album comes at an interesting point in Dylan’s career and is unique amongst his discography. The album is often referred to as Dylan’s last “folk” album and musically this is correct, the album was recorded solo by Dylan on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica in a single session on June 9 1964. However, lyrically Another Side Of Bob Dylan breaks away from the earnest protest songs and tales of injustice so prevalent on the previous albums.
Along with Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, Jacques Tati is one of the great silent film comedians. The only difference of course being that Tati never actually made a silent film. Between 1953 and 1971, Tati directed four classic films revolving around the character Monsieur Hulot (also played by Tati). Supposedly named after “Charlot”, the name used in France for Chaplin’s character The Tramp, like Tati, Monsieur Hulot is a man out of time. Instantly recognisable by his hat, pipe, overcoat and stooping gait, Monsieur Hulot is constantly at odds with authority and technology.