Monday, January 07, 2008

Is Uncut slowly morphing into a Dylan fanzine?

Is Uncut, the London-based music and movies monthly, slowly morphing into a Dylan fanzine? It certainly seems so - Elliott Landy’s striking portrait on the front of the new (“February”) issue is the fourth Dylan cover the magazine has run in the last two years.

Landy’s pic, from his famed Woodstock series - which also provided the Nashville Skyline cover - promotes the mag’s 11 page feature article, Bob Dylan: 1968, The Year He Came Back From the Dead, an extended analysis of John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline.

Drifter’s Escape, the cover-mounted CD, has lots of country classics, though the claim that they “inspired” the two Dylan albums is worthy of debate. I usually deal with cover mounts by salvaging the jewel cases and binning the CDs, but this one is well worth filing, with great tracks by Hank, Elvis, the Carters and Woody Guthrie, among others.

And, so that its readers don’t miss the point that Bob is now central to its worldview, Uncut has positioned yet another Dylan portrait as the centrepiece of a collage of leading poprockers making up a full page ad promoting its website.

Any more of this Uncut Dylan-mania and I might have to start looking at the mag more carefully. Dunno, though, they’d need to drop most of their heritage poprock content - even this collectable recommended issue has too much Dadrockpop for Ageing Nostalgics for my taste - REM, Tom Petty, Nick Cave, Led Zep reunion et al … no thanks …

Gerry Smith