Bob Dylan’s Shadows In The Night Album Becomes Worldwide Hit


Columbia Records DylanHIGH-RANKING GLOBAL CHART POSITIONS MATCH ALBUM’S CRICITCAL ACCLAIM

Bob Dylan’s new album, Shadows In The Night, has debuted in the Top Ten in 13 countries spanning the globe, including #1 chart entries in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Ireland, #2 in the Netherlands and Switzerland, #3 in Austria, Japan and Spain, #6 in Germany and Belgium, #8 in Finland and #10 in Canada.  The album has also debuted at #7 in the United States, making it the artist’s 17th studio album to debut in the Top 10 in this country.

Showcasing the artist’s singular interpretive artistry on ten classic American songs, Shadows In The Night is the 36(th) studio album from Dylan and the first since the release of his worldwide hit Tempest in 2012.  Produced by Jack Frost, Dylan’s unique approach to recording the songs included refining complicated arrangements for 30-piece orchestras down to those uniquely tailored for his five-piece band.

The high worldwide chart entries of Shadows In The Night comes on the heels of Dylan’s honor as Musicares Person Of The Year at a sold-out ceremony in Los Angeles on February 6.  The event raised more than $7 million for Musicares, the most in the 25-year history of the event.  Following performances of Bob Dylan songs by a who’s who of contemporary musicians – including Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Norah Jones, Jack White, Willie Nelson, Beck, Bonnie Raitt and many others – Dylan held the audience rapt with a wide-ranging, nearly 40-minute speech that has now been excerpted in countless media outlets around the world.  The complete transcript of Dylan’s speech, taken directly from the artist’s handwritten notes, has been reproduced in its entirety in the New York Times and can be found here:  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/arts/Bob-Dylan-Speech-Transcription-20150207.pdf

Critical response to Shadows In The Night has been rapturous, with rave reviews coming in from around the globe:

—  David Fricke wrote in Rolling Stone, “The great shock here is Dylan’s
singing. Dylan’s focus and his diction evoke his late-Sixties poise and
clarity with an eccentric rhythmic patience in the way he holds words
and notes across the faint suggestions of tempo. It is not crooning. It
is suspense.”
—  The Los Angeles Times’s Randall Roberts summed up his thoughts in his
review, writing, “Ten songs, 34 minutes, a soaring lifetime’s worth of
emotion conveyed with the fearlessness of a cliff diver spinning flips
and risking belly flops in the open air — that’s Dylan and his band on
the graceful, often breathtaking Shadows….Profound, thematically
devastating and so well curated as to feel essential.”
—  USA Today’s Elysa Gardner opined, “To have a songwriter of Dylan’s
stature champion interpretive singing is cause for celebration. The
genuine care and knowing he brings to a different American pop
tradition, to the music and lyrics – it’s something wonderful.”
—  In his 5-star review of the album, The Guardian’s Alex Petridis wrote,
“It may be the most straightforwardly enjoyable album Dylan’s made since
Time Out of Mind. He’s an unlikely candidate to join the serried ranks
of rock stars tackling standards: appropriately enough, given that Frank
Sinatra sang all these songs before him, he does it his way, and to
dazzling effect.”
—  In another 5-star review, Mojo’s Michael Simmons wrote, “While countless
other contemporaries have recorded Great American Songbook collections,
Shadows In The Night — Dylan’s flat-out brilliant contribution to the
concept – is not, by any definition, a recreation of the past. His
singing on Shadows is his best vocalizing in years – in-studio or out.
He glides with the melodies and relaxes into them, enjoying the ride
that these gems provide….Much will be made of the autumnal theme: from
the age of the material to songs that address mortality. But this
extraordinary record is more refreshing burst than last gasp and its
timelessness speaks more to life than death.”
Concurrent with the release of Shadows In The Night is a 9,000-word interview with Dylan in AARP The Magazine.  Conducted by the publication’s Editor-In Chief Robert Love, the interview is one of the most extensive of Dylan’s career and covers a broad array of topics, including Frank Sinatra’s enduring influence, Irving Berlin, recording of the new album, whether young people find songs from the ’40s and ’50s to be ‘corny,’ corporate influence in the U.S., his period of self-seclusion in the mid-1960s and growing up without television, to name only several.  The interview can be found in its entirety on AARP’s website (http://aarp.org/dylan).

Bob Dylan’s five previous studio albums have been universally hailed as among the best of his storied career, achieving new levels of commercial success and critical acclaim for the artist. The Platinum-selling Time Out Of Mind from 1997 earned multiple Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year, while “Love and Theft” continued Dylan’s Platinum streak and earned several Grammy nominations and a statue for Best Contemporary Folk album.

Modern Times, released in 2006, became one of the artist’s most popular albums, selling more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and earning Dylan two more Grammys. Together Through Life became the artist’s first album to debut at #1 in both the U.S. and the UK, as well as in five other countries, on its way to surpassing sales of one million copies.  Tempest received unanimous worldwide critical acclaim upon release and reached the Top 5 in 14 countries, while the artist’s globe-spanning concert tours of the past few years have heavily emphasized that album’s singular repertoire.

These five releases fell within a 15-year creative span that also included the recording of an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning composition, “Things Have Changed,” from the film Wonder Boys, in 2001; a worldwide best-selling memoir, Chronicles Vol. 1, which spent 19 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List, in 2004, and a Martin Scorsese-directed documentary, No Direction Home, in 2005. Bob Dylan also released his first collection of holiday standards, Christmas In The Heart, in 2009, with all of the artist’s royalties from that album being donated to hunger charities around the world.

In recent years, Bob Dylan was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor. He was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” He was also the recipient of the Officier de la Legion d’honneur in 2013, Sweden’s Polar Music Award in 2000, Doctorates from the University of St. Andrews and Princeton University, as well as numerous other honors.

Bob Dylan has sold more than 125 million records around the world.

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Shadows In The Night

The Critics Have Listened

        • (out of 5)
          “Quietly provocative and compelling….suggests the chapel-like quiet of a last-chance saloon. The great shock here is Dylan’s singing.  Dylan’s focus and his diction evoke his late-Sixties poise and clarity with an eccentric rhythmic patience in the way he holds words and notes across the faint suggestions of tempo.  It is not crooning.  It is suspense.”Rolling Stone – David Fricke
        • (out of 4)
          “For those who care about interpretive singing, Shadows In the Night is cause for celebration — and as vital an album as you’re likely to hear this year….[The album] will be a revelation to anyone whose judgment has been shaped by young pop stars and TV talent-show contestants who try to substitute vocal gymnastics and bombast for feeling.” USA Today – Elysa Gardner
          • (out of 5)
            “While countless other contemporaries have recorded Great American Songbook collections, Shadows In The Night — Dylan’s flat-out brilliant contribution to the concept – is not, by any definition, a recreation of the past. His singing on Shadows is his best vocalizing in years – in-studio or out.  He glides with the melodies and relaxes into them, enjoying the ride that these gems provide….Much will be made of the autumnal theme: from the age of the material to songs that address mortality. But this extraordinary record is more refreshing burst than last gasp and its timelessness speaks more to life than death.” Mojo – Michael Simmons

“Ten songs, 34 minutes, a soaring lifetime’s worth of emotion conveyed with the fearlessness of a cliff diver spinning flips and risking belly flops in the open air — that’s Dylan and his band on the graceful, often breathtaking Shadows….Profound, thematically devastating and so well curated as to feel essential…..Shadows in the Night is an album that’s best appreciated when heard with intention, while sitting still, with volume and focus. It’s Dylan upending expectations once again, another left turn in a career filled with them, sharing his wisdom and defining himself through the lines of others.” Los Angeles Times – Randall Roberts

          • (out of 5)
            “It may be the most straightforwardly enjoyable album Dylan’s made since Time Out of Mind. He’s an unlikely candidate to join the serried ranks of rock stars tackling standards: appropriately enough, given that Frank Sinatra sang all these songs before him, he does it his way, and to dazzling effect.” Alex Petridis – The Guardian
          • (out of 5)
            “Shadows In The Night is quite gorgeous, the sound of an old man picking over memories, lost loves, regrets, triumphs and fading hopes amid an ambient tumble of haunting electric instrumentation. It is spooky, bittersweet, mesmerisingly moving and showcases the best singing from Dylan in 25 years….[An] extraordinary record. The Telegraph – Neil McCormick

“The sound of Shadows In The Night is clear as water.  Not only can you hear every word, every note, that Dylan sings, but you can hear him draw breath before beginning to sing, and sighing out the end of a line.  The instrumentals – even the infrequent horns, and soft, subtle drums – don’t ever drown him out.  You’re as close as the microphone, making this record feel as intensely personal as, perhaps, it is to its maker.  Dylan sings these songs intimately, sometimes conversationally, with emotion and humor….Shadows In The Night is an early valentine to us all.  It’s music to dance to in someone’s arms, slowly, with half-forgotten steps in the formal patterns of long ago.  It’s a record to remember to, to dream to, and — most of all — to feel to.” No Depression – Anne Margaret Daniel

“A tour-de-force of restrained genius….This is indisputably the singer’s most memorable vocal performance in years: irreducibly “Dylan”, yet freighted with an unexpected beauty that powerfully reinforces these tales of love, loss and sorrow – and refracted through some of the most tantalising melodies ever committed to manuscript.”GQ.com UK – Bill Prince

“[A] stunning new album….Dylan turns the tired standards into introspective, wise musical poems, just as Sinatra did.”Boston Herald – Jed Gottlieb

“A gem…., once you get past the initial shock of hearing Dylan crooning classics, the biggest surprise is how successfully he pulls it off. How deftly he avoids what could easily have been a ridiculous train wreck. And how he manages to pay respect to timeless songs and an immortal artist — while still doing things his way.” Toronto Sun – Darryl Sterdan

“The performances are almost painfully heartfelt and direct…. Dylan exposes a raw emotional vulnerability that jumps out at the listener…. The music is actually enhanced by Dylan’s willingness to move outside his comfort zone. Isn’t that what we want from our boldest creative spirits?” Daily Beast – Ted Gioia