Bob Dylan - "Murder Most Foul"


Midnight 3/27/2020 release. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NbQkyvbw18


reubent
Yep, saw it on Qobuz this morning.
Not played it yet though
Played it.
Not quite sure what to make of it tbh.
🤔🤔
It's definitely not the shortened for radio version ;-)
Check out the comments on YouTube for some interesting takes on the song.
@three_easy_payments  - Definitely not "radio-friendly", and not just because of the length. 
SO many great lines, this one’s gonna take many hearings. It seems to me to be a bookend to "Not Dark Yet". It just pours out of him. Ginsberg immediately recognized his genius. I can’t imagine what it would be like had he not been born.
Yes, the lines are exceptional. Their endless layerings seem, in total, as impenetrable as the multitudes of conspiracy theories themselves...a touchstone work of art for a touchstone national trauma. Can think of no finer contribution to the shared, collective memory of that family’s, and this nation’s loss, than this. Genius he is.
Genius he is while flipping off evil and the men who trade in it...
tomic,

"Genius he is while flipping off evil and the men who trade in it..."


Well put.



If this does not cause you to weep
check your pulse...
We often talk about "feeling" music.  I felt this one all right.
“ they killed him on the alter of the rising sun “
The embedded stream of consciousness Dylan playlist is unreal....

I have always let it be known to all and any, that John F. Kennedy was my hero above all others. If he had lived, the standard of living and quality of life would be immeasurably higher for the working man.
I listened to the whole  "song" last night. I'm not going to be extreme in my comments, because then they would just be dismissed completely, especially by this audience. 

To begin with, the music part of it, which not surprisingly for contemporary Dylan work was almost nonexistent; sort of a bland, tired background presence. 

As far as the lyrics are concerned, I listened carefully, and to my mind, they were neither great poetry nor brilliant observation; just pretty ordinary, like many people might write, and of course rambling all over the place with expected allusions and phrases conjuring up images of the period to those of us at that age who remember.

As usual with Mr. Dylan, I don't see the king's new clothes. What was really surprising to me were the comments beneath the video. I read several dozen of them, and not one of them was critical...and this is you tube! 

An aside; after I listened to it, I looked up "Bob Dylan 2019" on you tube out of curiosity, and found a 2019 live performance of "Simple Twist of Fate". I was truly shocked. There was an excited audience there who had actually paid for tickets to see this. I am certainly not a Dylan hater. Like many people, I thought his early work was often very observant and clever, even poetic, and even up to Blood on the Tracks there was interesting work, but I think that it may be true that poets do their best work when they're young. 
Didn’t get through it on the first go. 9+ minutes in. Have yet to go back but might….

It’s long and disturbing and arguably 57 years late which makes the timing of the release given current events even weirder.

Strikes me as something that didn’t get on to The Tempest. I haven’t tried to research when it might have been recorded, so could be way wrong on that.

I’m not anyone needing to be convinced of RZ’s genius, but I don't genuflect either.

Props to roxy54 for his candor.
Interesting piece. The music is just there for accompaniment obviously. Not quite sure what to make of it or why released now of all times. I’m sure there is a reason. The insinuation seems to be that something sinister showed its face back then and has maintained a broad influence ever since.
@Everyone! - Thanks for your comments, so far. I made the original post, without comment, to see if it would elicit comments and opinions..... and it has. Thanks again, and keep them coming.

@mapman 
Interesting piece. The music is just there for accompaniment obviously. Not quite sure what to make of it or why released now of all times. I’m sure there is a reason. The insinuation seems to be that something sinister showed its face back then and has maintained a broad influence ever since.

I agree, the music is there for accompaniment, and I think it is very effective. It's melancholy and almost a drone. I think it is beautiful and it sets the mood very well.

I'm also not quite sure what to make of it, or why it was released now. A couple of thoughts I've had regarding that are: 

JFK's killing had a profound affect on Dylan and made him very sad (well documented). Maybe the current situation in the country, and the world, has has a similar affect on him and brought up the old feelings again.

Or, possibly, he thinks something sinister is about to show its face again.....

Who knows. Would be good to hear from him at some point.


 
I'm with roxy54 on this one, and I'm generally into this sort of vibe (compare contrast with Nick Cave's song Sun Forest). 

If Bob freestyled this, then its a miracle and a masterpiece. But if he wrote this down first...I guess I concur with one reviewer who wrote that, "At least he didn't also say it was a dark and stormy night..." (sic).

Who was Jack Ruby? Whatever he was he was not patriotic. He did what he had to do when he killed Lee Harvey Oswald, and he knew why.

When an oligarch orders a hit, he's certain it will never come back to him.

Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Oswald was a nut, just the kind of person to get for this type of mission. He was solicited by Jack Ruby; when Ruby came up to him, he expressed recognition of Ruby. He had a look of total astonishment on his face after he was shot.

Why is discussion of this subject total taboo, that's the question everyone should ask.
Murder for sure, but by whom? 

Geoffkait, I thought long and hard about your question, and the answer is 100% moot. Not only did they assassinate JFK, but they assassinated his way of thinking, which was the objective. They assassinated our way of thinking; while they didn’t assassinate me, they assassinated my way of thinking.

JFK did the unthinkable, he took into consideration poor Black People. He was a rich White Man, and he took into consideration poor Black People, that was unthinkable.

For rich people to think of those who were less fortunate was unthinkable.

Today we live by the law of the jungle; it’s every man for himself, and every woman for herself.
Hmm well the song is very tastefully done, very understated but lovely musically and there is enough lyrical content to easily make all the way through. Not an easy task to pull off. I guess that’s why he’s Bob Dylan.
After "MMF" plays, let You Tube take you to more Dylan. "Desolation Row" will soon be heard, and if you aren't stunned silent by what you hear, he is wasting his time on you, and you on he.
orpheus10,

"Not only did they assassinate JFK, but they assassinated his way of thinking, which was the objective."


Therein lies the real tragedy.


As far as I know (I go by what I’ve read and saw during the senate investigations) nobody knows why JFK was killed or who did it. Obviously there’s been a lot of speculation.
I mostly agree with Roxy54's take.  It sure ain't Masters of War, which connects with really hard punches till it finally hits with a knife and twists it with a vengeance.

Roxy54, I recommend you check out the 1981 song Every Grain of Sand for a "later" Dylan tune that is quite deserving of attention.
Thanks tostadosunidos, I will check that out. I'm glad that I didn't get flamed for an opposing opinion. Again, I'm far from black and white on the subject, I just don't hold him in blinded awe, and wonder what his every utterance might mean.

When you give a man a fish, you feed him for one meal, when you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for life; JFK aspired to teach men how to fish.


With the aid of other experts, he set up schools, called "Government Programs" all over the country. I talked to people who were involved; students and teachers, I was the same age as some of the students (early twenties). For young ladies on welfare, it was compulsory; consequently, they didn't like it at first, but when they realized this was a real school, where they could learn how to become qualified secretaries and achieve a higher standard of living, they viewed things in a different light.

Young unemployed men were being taught various skills that would keep them out of the unemployment line.

JFK put dedicated experts in charge of these "Programs", people like himself who had a vision of a better country; one without high unemployment.


I've been told more than once that this forum is exclusively for audio, and that my posts deviate from that subject; consequently, anyone who wants to has my permission to delete this post.

Surprised no one has commented about the recording itself. IMO for the Qobuz version, the recording is reference quality; the texture of the voice, snares, deep bass and sense of space. Hats off to the recording engineer.

The first half of the song sounded a lot more focused to me than the second half.

My thought is that he had an idea for a song but didn't really know where he wanted to go with it so he decided to play with it during a studio rehearsal. The second half of the song sounds like he is just riffing, throwing ideas against the wall and seeing if anything sticks. My guess nothing or at least not enough did so the song was abandoned at that time and not released.

Why it is being released now is a very good question and we can all speculate until the cows come home and have calves. Maybe he wanted to see if any of the comments he gets spark an idea on how to finish it
I'm waiting for "Murder Most Foul" the musical.
Well I have Dylan that I appreciate and that I can leave behind, as I am sure he would himself agree. I do appreciate the respectful tone this particular thread has evolved to. 
A lot of his riffing stream of consciousness mid song and later speaks to other musical art and artists... might be worth digging thru that playlist....

what a terrible world if Bob ( RZ ) was our only prophets...

” they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look “ just another Bob
@orpheus10 
I've been told more than once that this forum is exclusively for audio, and that my posts deviate from that subject; consequently, anyone who wants to has my permission to delete this post.

You've been hangin' out with the wrong crowd! :~) 

I'm the OP, and I welcome your comments.


@tomic601 
I do appreciate the respectful tone this particular thread has evolved to.

Me too.......
One of my favorite Dylan songs is I and I off of Infidels


Funny how some expect more from a musician/songwriter than our elected leaders. Protest music where art thou?

I thank you for your welcome Reubent. When I think of those times I think of how much better off working class people would be, and in essence the entire country, had he lived.

If anyone is serious about wanting to know who assassinated JFK, they will have to study Bobby and MLK's assassinations. All three men were assassinated by faceless nuts. There were also "Buffers" between the faceless nuts and the real perpetrators. Remember "buffers";


          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EWcPlq2YIk


I make no cause and effect link between organized crime and those assassinations, just threw in the "Buffer" thing as humor, and to indicate the fact that "buffers" were used, as is always the case when the criminally insane rich and powerful are involved.
"Post Blood On the Tracks Dylan isn't worth...."
Pity so many early fans gave up on him. Sure he has had problems knowing which songs to put on an album. That has mostly been corrected by the Bootleg Series. Listen to "Tell Tale Signs" for later Dylan with great meaning and social relevance. Another Self Portrait made it clear that Dylan was at his singing and studio best even when he had writers block. The recent sessions with Johnny Cash are very fine listening too....
This JFK lament helps me mourn a loss that has festered way too long...just like staying in Mississippi...way too long (Tell Tale Signs).
At least the BOTT New York sessions shows Dylan had good taste in his sessions then - they are not better than the Minnesota sessions, they are just different but both are very fine music indeed.
I still miss JFK but thanks to the Bootleg series I dont miss hearing Dylan at his best.
Here are my thoughts -

reubent - thank you for flagging this release for me to find - I am on my third listen via my LUMIN T 2 via my Maggie’s. The recording (via Tidal ) is world class - delicate and detailed. I love digital music! Did not have to wait for the ‘vinyl version’ . 

This is is why I visit this forum - you guys expand my ‘universe’

in reference to the lyrics - Bob Dylan is ‘The Poet’ of my generation. IMO he is highlighting the loss of John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. He is criticizing our infatuation with ‘distractions’ (our current culture). He makes me think. He touches my soul! 

I just hope others listen listen closely to what this man is saying.

Happy Listening and stay healthy!


I consider Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul", a singular work of art that could be put on an exhibit at a museum.
Certainly the assassination of JFK marked the end of the age of innocence..
The Rolling Stone review asserts MMF is an attempt by Dylan to highlight the therapeutic value of all kinds of music during difficult times at yet another time currently when people need it.

Very insightful and I’ll buy that! Something that folks in these parts in particular can relate to, I'm sure.

The Kennedy assassination launched a lot of revolutionary cultural and related musical forces back in the sixties.

What now?
I respect Dylan but that song not my cup of tea. Hurricane was one of his great tribute,songs.
regarding the late president-s ,none better then the Great Dion’s song
Abraham,Marten & John !!

How should the music to a "Murder Most Foul" sound? Should it be beautiful?

When JFK was murdered, the future of millions of people was murdered; I dare say, the future of generations of people was murdered, and the killer knew that.

What kind of song do you sing, and what kind of music do you compose for such a catastrophic event?
Orpheus10,
I understand that you respected the man, and you had your reasons, but I think you have gone over the edge with that last comment. 
What edge ? 
I write in anguish and in joy

i am in two worlds

Mourning Ellis Marsalis

and looking about for the sun

Roxy54, the President of The United States Of America "always" affects millions of people whether it be for good or bad.