Modern Times, Bob Dylan’s First Number One Record in 30 Years

Damn fine news, just posted at Billboard:

Dylan Earns First No. 1 Album Since 1976

Bob Dylan

September 06, 2006, 11:15 AM ET

Katie Hasty, N.Y.

For the first time in 30 years, Bob Dylan tops The Billboard 200 with “Modern Times.” Not only is it the legendary songwriter’s first album to reach the throne since “Desire” in 1976, it’s also his highest debuting album and his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The Columbia set moved 192,000 copies in the United States in its first week.

“Modern Times” is Dylan’s third consecutive top 10 studio set, following 1997’s “Time Out of Mind” and 2001’s “Love & Theft.” Aside from “Desire” and “Modern Times,” only two other Dylan albums assumed the plateau on the chart: 1974’s “Planet Waves” and the 1975 classic “Blood on the Tracks”…

I’ll grant you, there really were no heavy-hitters going head-to-head with this release…except one. If you keep reading the article via the link above you see that Toby Keith, who some hail as a country music messiah, saw his soundtrack to his movie “Broken Bridges” bow at a measly number 36. Imagine me here, playing my tiny little violin of sorrow…or not. Too bad, so sad. Buh-bye.

Still, it shows that a considerable number of people still have faith in and/or curiosity about what Mr. Zimmerman will do next. For my part, I know that buying a Dylan album is never a waste of time. Even if a specific release turns out not to be something I adore, I always learn innumerable things from each record. And many times, while a record won’t strike my fancy at first, coming back and listening later, whether it be a few hours or few years, I feel very differently. There is nothing speedy or disposable about listening to this man’s work; things sink in at various rates of slow, and pop up again in your mind when you least expect it — slow-release music, my favorite, and something that very few musicians manage anymore.

Many thanks to those who made me go back and take another listen to this man’s work — you know who you are.


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