Dylan versus Young

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Well....?

Bob Dylan
18
56%
Neil Young
14
44%
 
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C
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Dylan versus Young

Postby C » 05 May 2018, 18:43

Okay, perhaps sacrilegious to some but my vote goes to Neil Young.

Both are great musicians, songwriters and poets but which one is your choice in the seminally robust department?

I have umpteen Dylan albums but rarely play one or two. whereas my Neil Young albums get a right thrashing on a very regular basis.

So views?



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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby space. invadere » 05 May 2018, 18:50

Neil has more heart. And a greater number of fine albums.

I also prefer his voice.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby sloopjohnc » 05 May 2018, 19:00

The Ivy League Spiritual Gonad Orchestra wrote:Neil has more heart. And a greater number of fine albums.

I also prefer his voice.


Young certainly empathizes or sympathizes with his song subjects more. And personal taste, I enjoy his albums and voice more.

Young can be biting, but not like Dylan. Young's subjects also seem more personal. Dylan likes to go for the big, overarching statement.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Positive Passion » 05 May 2018, 19:39

Dylan. Why would anyone listen to Neil Young?

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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Moleskin » 05 May 2018, 19:42

Positive Passion wrote:Dylan. Why would anyone listen to Neil Young?


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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby toomanyhatz » 05 May 2018, 20:20

Using the same format I used in the Sly vs. Zappa thread:

Best of Dylan vs. Best of Young - Dylan (sort of close, but not really)

Average Dylan vs. Average Young - Toss-up, probably. Dylan's harder to establish an average for, since he's been much more erratic (surprisingly so).

Worst of Dylan vs. Worst of Young - Really, really close. Both are really pretty awful at their worst. But I think the bad Dylan sometimes adds to his mystique (or has some humor value) and the worst Young is incredibly dull and forgettable. Even the worst Dylan albums will have a decent track or two. Not so Young's.

As for both being great musicians, songwriters and poets, I'd rate them thusly:

Young is the better musician (though Bob's underrated).
Dylan is the better songwriter. (I'd be surprised if even his detractors would deny it. It's attitude with Young a lot of the time. Though I guess you could make a case that he's more prolific.)
Neither of them are poets in the way, say, Leonard Cohen is, but as far as the traditional definition of "poet" goes Bob fits the bill a lot closer than Neil.

So Bob it is, but it's closer than I initially thought.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 May 2018, 20:39

I don't think Bob's really been that erratic though, Dave. I don't know if you've heard all of his albums, but really - only a handful in a fifty + year career are really dire. Down in the Groove, Knocked Out Loaded, and Under the Red Sky come to mind but even those have good tracks. I'm not crazy about his early '90s folk albums, but they have their admirers, and even something relatively recent like Together through Life is about half good. There really aren't too many '60s survivors you can say that about. When's the last time Young released a halfway good LP?

To me, Dylan, like Lou Reed up through the early '90s, is a lot more consistent than people give him credit for. And the ongoing Bootleg Series is a revelation.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby toomanyhatz » 05 May 2018, 20:41

But who would Bob and Neil vote for? I say they'd both vote for Bob. :lol:
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby toomanyhatz » 05 May 2018, 20:47

Matt Wilson wrote:I don't think Bob's really been that erratic though, Dave. I don't know if you've heard all of his albums, but really - only a handful in a fifty + year career are really dire. Down in the Groove, Knocked Out Loaded, and Under the Red Sky come to mind but even those have good tracks. I'm not crazy about his early '90s folk albums, but they have their admirers, and even something relatively recent like Together through Life is about half good. There really aren't too many '60s survivors you can say that about. When's the last time Young released a halfway good LP?

To me, Dylan, like Lou Reed up through the early '90s, is a lot more consistent than people give him credit for. And the ongoing Bootleg Series is a revelation.


Dylan has bad - or at least comparatively not so good - albums throughout his entire career. Neil's got a much straighter downward arc in the 80s and 90s. That said, I think Psychedelic Pill is a lot more than halfway good. I'd take it over Together Through Life in a heartbeat. And Neil doesn't have a single 70s release that I never play. When's the last time you were dying to hear Dylan or even Nashville Skyline?

It's the "like Lou Reed" part where you really lose me, though. There are precisely two Reed albums in the last 20 years of his career I think rate even "halfway good."
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 May 2018, 20:56

toomanyhatz wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:I don't think Bob's really been that erratic though, Dave. I don't know if you've heard all of his albums, but really - only a handful in a fifty + year career are really dire. Down in the Groove, Knocked Out Loaded, and Under the Red Sky come to mind but even those have good tracks. I'm not crazy about his early '90s folk albums, but they have their admirers, and even something relatively recent like Together through Life is about half good. There really aren't too many '60s survivors you can say that about. When's the last time Young released a halfway good LP?

To me, Dylan, like Lou Reed up through the early '90s, is a lot more consistent than people give him credit for. And the ongoing Bootleg Series is a revelation.


Dylan has bad - or at least comparatively not so good - albums throughout his entire career. Neil's got a much straighter downward arc in the 80s and 90s. That said, I think Psychedelic Pill is a lot more than halfway good. I'd take it over Together Through Life in a heartbeat. And Neil doesn't have a single 70s release that I never play. When's the last time you were dying to hear Dylan or even Nashville Skyline?

It's the "like Lou Reed" part where you really lose me, though. There are precisely two Reed albums in the last 20 years of his career I think rate even "halfway good."



Nashville Skyline is '69, and it's great. Better than Neil's first album anyway, but not Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. You can't even count Dylan, since it's not a real album and was released by Columbia when Bob went with Asylum. No Neal record of the eighties until Freedom really interests me - that's a long time to be mediocre. And I haven't heard all of Psychedelic Pill, the title put me off...

As far as Lou, I'm aware I'm in the minority. But then you're crazier about Leonard Cohen's 'poetry' than I am too.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby space. invadere » 05 May 2018, 21:05

Psychedelic Pill was a really pleasant surprise. Give it a go, Matt.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby toomanyhatz » 05 May 2018, 21:06

Matt Wilson wrote:Nashville Skyline is...great. Better than Neil's first


Just for the record, I disagree with this rather strenuously. NS is "interesting" and maybe "good." And certainly a bold move at the time. "Great?" Not by my standards. Not close.

I do agree about the Bootleg Series being a revelation, mind. Lots of crap to weed through in Neil's archives by comparison, especially for the last quarter century or so....
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Darkness_Fish » 05 May 2018, 21:11

I don't have that many albums by either, and I don't intend to rectify that any time soon, I think what I do have is probably enough. However, Dylan's heights were transcendent and era-defining, whereas Neil Young's heights are just some really good songs.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby George P. Smackers » 05 May 2018, 21:17

It's easy, I like one and don't much like the other, so Neil Young it is.

There's something impressive about Bob Dylan but I can't really think he's much good.

It's not just that he comes across as a dick, though he does. Many of his signature songs are about elaborately insulting somebody ("Like a Rolling Stone," "Positively 4th Street," etc.)--often the person is down on his luck, definitely an inferior. I guess we're supposed to think the guy deserves it, but I can't get any joy out of it and can't imagine liking anybody who does.

His best period (mid-sixties) is also the one most full of verbiage. If verse 3 doesn't get you, then maybe verse 27 will. And then his later, simpler songs, even the supposedly good ones, are full of utter tripe:

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung

Who doesn't climb on every rung, you idiot. Anyway this sounds like some granny's idiotic needlepoint pillow.

Even the songs celebrated as literary masterpieces are shoddy. "Never did like momma's homemade dress, papa's bank book wasn't big enough." That is, her parents didn't like that mine were poor, said in ridiculous fashion.

Yeah you can point to crappy lines in Neil Young songs but he's not a dick or a pompous ass about it. Often his sloppiness has a certain charm like "the morning sun has yet to climb my hood ornament." And his songs have actual tunes, and he's a fun noisy guitar player.

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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 May 2018, 21:20

:lol:

Good Lord, I don't think I agreed with too much of that.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Darkness_Fish » 05 May 2018, 21:22

I don't know I think I agreed with everything he said, apart from the sentiment. I do love Dylan's cruelty sometimes. The guy was a dick, but a dick who could write a great song about his being a dick.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby space. invadere » 05 May 2018, 21:24

Matt Wilson wrote::lol:

Good Lord, I don't think I agreed with too much of that.


No, well, you've always had a kind of unquestioning, undiscerning admiration for all those old American rock artists.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Matt Wilson » 05 May 2018, 21:28

I love a lot of old rock artists, John. British too.
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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby George P. Smackers » 05 May 2018, 21:36

Darkness_Fish wrote:I don't know I think I agreed with everything he said, apart from the sentiment. I do love Dylan's cruelty sometimes. The guy was a dick, but a dick who could write a great song about his being a dick.

You put it that way, I can almost agree with you. But I'd say "cruelty" is too grand a word for it. It's petty and superior--dickish. He's good at it, you're very right.

But he just goes on so long. If he'd wrap it up quickly and move on to something else, his sense of superiority would be more credible.

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Re: Dylan versus Young

Postby Mike Boom » 05 May 2018, 21:42

toomanyhatz wrote:But who would Bob and Neil vote for? I say they'd both vote for Bob. :lol:


Indeed, even Neil would vote for Dylan.