Everybody starts by copying. This fact is acknowledged, admitted and even bragged about by the modern greats in pop music- Lennon/McCartney, Jagger Richards and, above all, Bob Dylan. His latest album consists of demo recordings of his earliest songs and there’s scarcely an original tune among them. Dylan ransacked old blues and folk music, even Scottish folk songs- the tune for Blowing in The Wind comes from a Scottish folk ballad. In these early days Dylan used to borrow lyrics too. There’s a well known saying in pop
music- “where there’s a hit there’s a writ” and many of the great song writers have spent years in court fighting allegations of plagiarism. But Dylan was crafty- he only used stuff that was well out of copyright. The dead don’t sue. It wasn’t long before he found his own muse. This latest album is his 57th and I bought it as soon as it was released, as I have with all the 56 that came before, not caring a jot whether the songs were original or not.