Op-ed: Leo Sayer Dissects Bob Dylan's Epic 'Murder Most Foul' - Noise11.com
Leo Sayer. photo by Ros O'Gorman Noise11.com

Leo Sayer. photo by Ros O'Gorman

Op-ed: Leo Sayer Dissects Bob Dylan’s Epic ‘Murder Most Foul’

by Leo Sayer on March 28, 2020

in News

Bob Dylan still has the ability and surprising agility to shoot the occasional missile deep into our hearts and minds. The title of his latest release ‘Murder Most Foul’ comes directly from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a fitting reference since Bob’s opus deals with the assassination of John F Kennedy, surely the last great leader of the U.S.A. – his death indeed a ‘Murder Most Foul’.

Bob Dylan Murder Most FoulThe song teases us with information of what we know and don’t know about the murder, about the players, the plotting and the aftermath. Bob’s now tired old voice growls surprisingly clearly through the 17 or so minutes here. The music is static, limpid, chords, soft cymbal beats and notes suggested and teased out, rather than truly set down. Yet it all suits the words as smoothly as a tailor’s perfect bespoke cut.

If ever you read the liner notes on the back of those classic albums of his, ‘Another Side Of Bob Dylan”, ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ or ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, you’ll understand the time shifting, stream of consciousness, quick talkin’ style of the writer here, much the same style as he fashioned in his strange, but intriguing autobiography ‘Chronicles’.

The Dallas killing may have marked the moment we lost our freedom, even lost our true democracy, so it is indeed a fitting moment in time to return there.

Bob’s timing with this YouTube release is perfect. Having obvious fun, he plays it forward too, the second part of the piece referencing The Who, Queen, Carl Wilson, Don Henley, Dicky Betts, Stan Getz, Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks, even Altamont and Woodstock.

Time travelling, unravelling a whole pile of decades in one single leap, the scope of the work is wide and immense. What to make of it? Dylanologists will probably have a field day here, but ‘yours truly’ is happy to play it over and over, let the relevant phrases fall out once at a time, and they sure do – like diamonds hidden in the lining of a dusty old bag.

I’ve been a fan and follower since my older cousin played me Bob’s debut album back in ’63. That record introduced me to a whole new world of realities and possibilities, introducing wrong-doing men and righteous heroes that fashioned my moral position, influenced my entire life.

Still the man keeps surprising us. I can only hope young folks are listening to this too. They need to see how far we’ve come, maybe arrest the blind ‘progress’ that leads us on to what seems like a thoroughly unwanted destiny.

So thank you Bob, and may you enjoy all your remaining time, and the effect you still have on us all.


Noise11 on Instagram

You’ll discover music news first following Noise11 on Twitter

Comment on the news of the day, join Noise11 on Facebook




Related Posts

The Beatles
Peter Jackson’s The Beatles ‘Get Back’ To Premiere On Disney+

The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ will premiere on Disney+ in November. ‘Get Back’ is Jackson’s reboot of the ‘Let It Be’ film. Paul McCartney always despised the film because he felt he was shown in a negative light.

3 days ago
Diana Ross, Noise11, Photo
Diana Ross To Release Her First Album In 15 Years

Diana Ross will release ‘Thank You’ in September. It will be her first album since 2006’s covers record ‘I Love You’ and first album of original songs since 1999’s ‘Every Day Is A New Day’.

4 days ago
Bob Dylan Heavens Door whiskey
Bob Dylan To Perform Streaming Show

Bob Dylan will perform his first show since December 2019 on Sunday July 18 at 2pm PT (Monday July 19 at 7am in Australia).

4 days ago
Eric Clapton photo by Ros O'Gorman
Eric Clapton Says His Friends Have Abandoned Him After His Public Covid Views

Eric Clapton's famous friends are deserting him in droves over his anti-vaccination stance.

4 days ago
Carole King, The Plenary, Melbourne, Photo Ros O'Gorman, Noise11
Carole King and Jennifer Hudson Write Song For Aretha Franklin Biopic

Carole King has brought her career full circle by teaming up with Jennifer Hudson to write a new song for the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.

4 days ago
Roger Waters played Rod Laver Arena Melbourne on Saturday 10 February 2018. Roger Waters is performing his Us and Them Australian tour. Photo, Ros O'Gorman
Roger Waters Rejects Facebook Pink Floyd Offer

Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has rejected an offer from Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg for the use of his classic track Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).

6 days ago
Robby Krieger of The Doors Melbourne 2005 photo by Ros O'Gorman
The Doors Recruited Elvis Bass Player For ‘L.A. Woman’

The Doors never had a bass player. Ray Manzerek used to play all of the bass parts on his keyboard. But when it came time to record the iconic ‘L.A. Woman’ album, producer Bruce Botnick recruited Elvis Presley’s bass player Jerry Scheff for the sessions.

June 14, 2021