A December of Dylan, Day 1: Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue (live in 1975)

A December of Dylan, Day 1

If I had to pick the one song that first really drove home Dylan’s brilliance for me, it would be “Tangled Up In Blue”. I was a teenager when Biograph came out. Beyond “Like A Rolling Stone”, his appearance in “We Are The World”, and a few other things I’d probably heard on WLAV (local radio station), Biograph was my introduction to Dylan.

My dad bought it – he was a big fan – and those three discs got a lot of listens on his new Denon CD player.  I love every song on that collection, and “Tangled Up In Blue” was one of my favorites from the start. Every verse tells an amazing story in a few short lines. It also has what is probably my favorite Dylan line(s) ever (interestingly, not included in the video version below):

And then she opened up a book of poems, and handed it to me / Written by an Italian poet from the fifteenth century / And every one of them words rang true, and glowed like burning coal / Pouring off of every page, like it was written in my soul from me to you.

For me, the book of poems is Biograph. Every one of those songs, and every one of his words rang true. And it felt like they were written in his soul from him to me. 25 years or so later, the song remains the same.

The white stuff on his face is, of course, cocaine. I mean, c’mon, it was the seventies… I kid, of course. That’s just white face paint, a common affectation on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour.