Acoustics, they are a-changin',
complains unhappy Dylan
Legend derides 20 years
of 'atrocious' recordings
- including his own
Oliver Burkeman in New York
Thursday August 24, 2006
Forty years ago, at a Manchester concert,
an outraged folk music purist yelled "Judas!"
at Bob Dylan when he put down his acoustic
guitar and plugged in an electric one.
Now, though, it is Dylan's turn to berate
modern music technology: in an interview published this week,
the 65-year-old songwriter dubs modern recordings "atrocious"
and claims no one in the past 20 years has released a record that
has sounded any good.
"You do the best you can, you fight technology
in all kinds of ways, but I don't know anybody
who's made a record that sounds decent in the
past 20 years, really," Dylan tells the novelist
Jonathan Lethem for Rolling Stone magazine.
Responding to claims by record companies and some artists
that illegal downloading starves them of income, he says:
"It was like, 'everybody's gettin' music for free'.
I was like, 'well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway'."
His main criticism of contemporary CDs
is the lack of sound clarity arising when
producers try to make each strand of a
recording as uniformly loud as possible.
"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."
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