Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Who is better, Neil Young or Bob Dylan? It's a weird question, but a few blogs, including the great Neil fan site Thrasher's Wheat and a funny blog called Eight Track Mind have both been hosting the debate. Eight Track Mind is written by someone who is named Jaded Bitterman.

Neil and Bob are two of my favorite artists of all time. It's like, them, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and a few others. Does it really matter who is "better?" What does that even mean, anyway? 

I have seen both of them a number of times over the years, and I have most of the albums in both catalogs. When it comes to touring, they have pretty different philosophies. Dylan tours all the time, whether or not he has a new album out, and even when he has a new album, he doesn't lean on it too heavily. The members of his band change, but the format remains pretty much the same: guitar, bass, steel guitar, drums and Bob (used to play guitar, now plays more piano). Neil, on the other hand, has a vision for his albums and tours: he uses specific bands, brings back specific songs from his back catalog and always plays a bunch of new songs. 

Although Dylan's shows were pretty amazing in the '90s, I don't think they've been as good in the past eight years or so. Neil plays every show like his life depends on it. I'll never miss a Neil tour, but I don't catch Bob every time he passes through town. But I wouldn't put Neil's albums over the past ten years up against Time Out Of Mind, "Love And Theft" and Modern Times

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