Steve Dix...Comedian?

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04.11.2009 12:08 - The Christmas Album

As has been mentioned on these pages before, there are times when, as a comedian, you just can't rival real life.  I've often said that God is a comedian, and that we are all his punchlines, and the following fact is proof positive of this.

Bob Dylan has made a Christmas Album.

Bob Dylan has made a Christmas Album.

Bob Dylan has made a Christmas Album.

(I think it's worth repeating this three times with differing stress for you to appreciate the full horror of the concept)

Now, I've just been ill, and I've been having some fairly weird fever dreams, but imagine my surprise when I surfaced from my mildly hallucinogenic state to find that the one absolute corker of a nightmare has turned out to be fact.  Bob Dylan.  A man whose singing voice is used by those studying speech impediments as a catalogue.  A man whose singing voice is used to frighten kids not to smoke, not to mention scare away birds on freshly-planted fields.  A man whose voice was actually IMPROVED by a motorcycle accident where he broke his neck - although I've never really accepted that it's Dylan singing on "Lay Lady Lay" - which sounds more like a basso profundo Kermit the Frog impression to me.  (incidentally, did you know you can sing "Lay Lady Lay" and "The Rainbow Connection" to the same tune?  Time for a mashup, methinks)

When I was in a band, we used  to try and think of the worst possible cover songs.  For example, The B52's doing "Yesterday".  Bob Dylan doing "Frosty The Snowman" beats them all fair and square.  I mean, it even beats William Shatner doing "Mr. Tambourine Man", or even Leonard Nimoy doing "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins", which we had to ban, because no-once could top them.  Besides which, "Baggins" isn't a cover.  "Sunny" is, and hearing laughing Lennie croaking his way through this standard is enough to win the entire season of bad covers, but it's nothing in comparison to Dylan's "Frosty".

It makes you wonder, is Dylan deliberately burning his own Iconography? He's had several critically-applauded albums, he runs a radio show, and, all of a sudden, it's "Dylan is back!", and he thinks "hang on, I didn't like this the last time it happened in the 60's" and so he goes to the record company and they say "What's next, Bob?" and he says "The Christmas Album".  Either that or he's going senile, and he's decided if Phil Spector and the Beachboys can get away with it, so can he.  I'm going to stop now, before I turn into A.J. Weberman.

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