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Old 10-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #121 (permalink)
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I don't think so. I love their voices and I wouldn't want it any other way. Sometimes more is less and vice versa.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Neil young really isn't that much better musically than Dylan. I saw them both live last year, I was blown away with how good Dylan was at the organ. Of course Neil blew me away as well but he hasn't really progressed as a musician as much as Dylan. Neil youngs acoustic music is every bit as much as simple as bob Dylans. I might even give the edge to bob. Songs like "I was young when I left home" demonstrate a great fingerpicking ability that Bob possessed. That level of fingerpicking combined with singing at the same time surpasses anything that Neil did on a level of difficulty. Another example of great Dylan picking is on the track "buckets of rain". It's Neil's electric playing that gives him the edge on Dylan. But from my experience as a guitarist, the fingerpicking of Dylan is still more difficult than Neil's electric soloing. But it's the tone and style that makes Neil's electric guitar playing great, not the level of difficulty.

They're pretty musically equal in my opinion, being that they both have something different to offer.
I'm sorry, but Bob Dylan hasn't done much anything interesting music-wise since he started, and Neil's been trying things hardly attempted by rockers, folkies, or pop music in general at least since "Broken Arrow." His acoustics may not be as difficult or whatever but at least their more melodically interesting. I'd take "Needle and the Damage Done" over "Blowin in the Wind" or "Times they are blah blah" just for the melody alone. We can argue technicality or lyricism, but as far as the music is concerned, Neil (mostly) makes music, not words with accompaniment. I appreciate this more, in fact, because that inseparability of music and lyrics makes it much more essential.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:28 AM   #123 (permalink)
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The melody in "needle and the damage done" isn't any stronger than a song like "love minus zero". Just the fact that the only song you mention are two of his most famous just goes to show that you must not know his music very well. I'll take a song like "buckets of rain" over "needle and the damage done" just based on guitar playing alone. Although the subject matter and feeling is a lot more serious than the upbeat Dylan song. Bob has melodic songs and he has songs that are less focused on melody where the lyrics are more important. He can go either way.

I love them both and I would agree that music and melody are more dominant in youngs music overall. But it depends on which Dylan albums you're listening if you want to hear more melodic songs. Most songs from the era of the ones you mentioned aren't going to be very melodic or musical but that changed with time.

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:41 AM   #124 (permalink)
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I'd definitely disagree with Surrell's assertion that Dylan's work consisted mostly of lyrics with sparse, uninteresting musical accompaniment. His musical talent is really demonstrated on Highway 61 and even more so in Blonde on Blonde. It's most apparent for me in Nashville Skyline. Even his most famous songs have a great melody to them, it's just most carried through the vocals and harmonica on tracks like "The Times are a-Changin".

That being said, I'd actually agree that Neil Young's music can often surpass Dylan's in scope, depth, and that aching, sorrowful beauty found on tracks like "Cortez the Killer", "Needle and the damage done", "Long may you run", etc.

I connect with Dylan's music on a completely different level than Young's, so it's really difficult for me to pick a favorite.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #125 (permalink)
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I feel pretty much the same way as you, Conan. Neil touches me a little deeper than Bob does. As you said, theres a little more sorrow and sadness in the music of young, but then when I listen to Dylan songs like "I was young when I left home", "sign on the window", "tomorrow is a long time", to name a few, I'm reminded that Dylan can move me just a much as young. I think I prefer Dylan because he was more consistent, in my opinion.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:42 AM   #126 (permalink)
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Neil's guitar solo'ing usually makes me cringe at times, but I can appreciate the emotion he puts into it. I've got quite a few of his tunes in my collection and have found myself having a "Neil session" every once in a while. Cowgirl In The Sand, and Helpless get a lot of play in those sessions.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:47 AM   #127 (permalink)
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love them both and I would agree that music and melody are more dominant in youngs music overall. But it depends on which Dylan albums you're listening if you want to hear more melodic songs. Most songs from the era of the ones you mentioned aren't going to be very melodic or musical but that changed with time.
That's what I was saying. Young's melody-writing is just fabulous.

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Neil's guitar solo'ing usually makes me cringe at times, but I can appreciate the emotion he puts into it.
Yes, he is quite bad guitarist technically, but I've hardly ever seen someone to play with that emotion, which actually makes him a very good guitarist.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #128 (permalink)
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The melody in "simple twist of fate" is another Dylan melody that I really enjoy.

Neither of them have ever really stood out to me as a great melody writer. Sure, they were, but what has always stood out to me about their music is emotion and sincerity. Especially when it comes to Neil. Lyrically, bob definitely stand out the most and musically, well it's pretty close. I know Bob isnt responsible for all the music on his albums but nonetheless there is some really great instrumentation in his music. "you're a big girl now" is a great song musically, lyrically and melodically. And Bob wrote the foundation of the song, chords, lyrics and melody. It's a really simple, but great chord progression.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:07 AM   #129 (permalink)
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Maybe i don't listen more closely because what i've heard was too relentlessly cliche to give anything else a chance. But okay, i still think something like "Visions of Johanna" doesn't stack up to "Ambulance Blues" in musical songwriting, and he not only lifts the melody from an older folk player, but he sounds like Bob Dylan while he does it and still comes out victorious.

We can dog Neil's technicality all day but the fact is nobody sounds like him. You've cited "Leopard Skin whoopdi do" as an example of one of Dylan's best guitar moments, but i just don't see what the deal is- it sounds like a blues riff i could have found anywhere in 60's blues inspired rock/folk-rock. But how imitable is a solo/are solos found in songs like "Down By the River," "Cortez the Killer," or "Danger Bird"?

Yes, Dylan has some pretty interesting stuff/pretty melodies - "Rainy Day Women this and that" is a trip and a lot of fun, and "I Want You" has a lovely little melody in the chorus. I stick to my guns though; Neil seems so much more nonchalant and on a whim than Dylan, and maybe i sense more honesty in that.

PS: Maybe i'm just handing out pamphlets everyone already read and threw away, but Neil's dissonant solos are actually due to the fact that, during a good many of them, he holds the Whammy bar as he's soloing. If you watch live performances, you'll notice him doing it but only during the solos. I think it's an interesting idea, nothing Hendrix didn't already do i'm sure, but i think it's an interesting idea that really brings his style to it. I'm not sure how many other artists are accustomed to doing this, he's the only one with that particular sound during solos as far as i've heard. But i'm kinda ignorant too.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:45 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Nobody said Anything about "leopard skin pillbox hat". And I don't think anyone claimed that Dylan could play electric guitar like young. All I ever said is that there are acoustic fingerpicking Dylan songs that are harder to play than some of youngs electric guitar solos.

If you think "ambulance blues" is better than "visions if Johanna", then that's fine, it doesn't make sense to me but whatever.

On the other hand, claiming that all the Dylan you've heard is "relentlessly cliche", well, that's quite a claim. Dylan is the master, according to young himself. Sure, nobody really sounds like Neil, but nobody sounds like Dylan either. Unless you're talking about his very early music. Bob was much more original, in my opinion. After all, he came first and was a big influence on young.

I'm not saying its absurd to say young is better, it's understandable. I have tons of respect for them both. To generalize my feelings of them both, I can agree Neil is the better guitar player. But at the same time, they're just different. I suppose that really loud, crashing style of Neil just stands out more to some. But I can appreciate the more subtle and reserved playing of Bob. And like I've mentioned, there are Dylan songs that are harder to play than some Neil solos. As far as songwriting goes, I think Neil was on Bobs level from time to time, bit overall Bob is quite a bit better. Some of Neil's songs just really bore me with mediocrity. And I also hold the rather controversial opinion that Dylan was the better singer. Youngs voice was monotonous at time, and rather weak. I think Dylan had a lot more power in his voice. All Neil had was that falsetto, which was great. However, Neil's voice has lasted a lot longer, no denying that.

To expound on that young quote I referenced:

In an extensive interview in TIME Magazine, in September 2005, interviewer JOSH TYRANGIEL asks Young who's the best musician he has ever seen and the standard for what he does?

YOUNG: "Bob Dylan, I'll never be Bob Dylan. He's the master. If I'd like to be anyone, it's him. And he's a great writer, true to his music and done what he feels is the right thing to do for years and years and years. He's great. He's the one I look to. I'm always interested in what he's doing now, or did last, or did a long time ago that I didn't find out about. The guy has written some of the greatest poetry and put it to music in a way that it touched me, and other people have done that, but not so consistently or as intensely. Like me, he waits around and keeps going, and he knows that he doesn't have the muse all the time, but he knows that it'll come back and it'll visit him and he'll have his moment."

Last edited by blastingas10; 10-18-2012 at 01:58 AM.
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