Stream ‘A Tribute to Bob Dylan in the ’80s’

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 03.19.14 in News

“’80s Dylan is by no means a celebrated period in his career,” explains Jesse Lauter, the co-producer of ATO’s tribute to the singer’s most (justifiably?) overlooked songs. “It was, in fact, the lowest point of his commercial success even though he released eight studio albums. Our goal was to showcase one of the greatest artists of our time during an off-rhythm period and bring a stronger sense of harmony to the material at hand. [Co-producer] Sean [O'Brien] and I did everything we could to make this album flow together sonically as if you were listening to a concept album.”

Among the artists helping make sense of it all are Built to Spill, Lucius, Reggie Watts and — perhaps most appropriately — the one-night-only duo of Slash and Aaron Freeman, a.k.a. Gene Ween.

“Given the benefit of decades more hindsight, our Dylan was a lot better than anyone knew,” author Jonathan Lethem explains in the record’s liner notes. “Were one to begin compiling instances of greatness in the type of songwriting that defines our esteem for the earlier Dylan – complex, suggestive, glinting, cascading constructions – you’d hit a dozen examples even before the ‘comeback’ of Oh Mercy.”

See for yourself a week early with the following album premiere, via the Wall Street Journal