Bob Dylan announces first album of original songs in eight years, Rough and Rowdy Ways

Album news revealed with release of False Prophet, swaggering third song from project

Bob Dylan performing in 2019. Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty

Bob Dylan performing in 2019. Photograph: Dave J Hogan/Getty

 

Bob Dylan has announced his first album of original songwriting in eight years. Rough and Rowdy Ways, which will be released on June 19th, follows three albums of cover versions, Shadows in the Night (2015), Fallen Angels (2016) and the triple album Triplicate (2017); his previous album of his own songs, Tempest, came out in 2012.

Two songs from the new album have been released in recent weeks. Murder Most Foul is his longest song ever, at 17 minutes, a mystical reflection on the JFK assassination that also rakes over decades of American pop culture. The shorter I Contain Multitudes saw Dylan singing: “I’m just like Anne Frank, like Indiana Jones/ And them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones… I sing the songs of experience like William Blake/ I have no apologies to make.”

He has now released a third song, a slightly more upbeat blues-rock number called False Prophet, where Dylan voices the figure in the title with a certain swagger: “I ain’t no false prophet/ I just said what I said/ I’m just here to bring vengeance on somebody’s head.”

He was due to tour Japan in April but was forced to cancel the concerts because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde manuscript. Photograph: Sotheby’s/PA Wire
Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde manuscript. Photograph: Sotheby’s/PA Wire

Sotheby’s in London is currently auctioning a manuscript page featuring lyrics written for Blonde on Blonde, including some that have never been recorded by Dylan. With four days to go it has already exceeded its estimate of £12,000-£15,000, or about €13,500-€17,250; the highest bid is currently £26,000, or just under €30,000. – Guardian