I admire someone like Bob Dylan who can combine producing fantastic music with producing outlandish, sometimes random statements. Vying for the dumbest music quote of the year, Bob gives us this gem:

“New records … have sound all over them.”

And goes on to say:

“CDs are small. There’s no stature to it.”

(CDs actually prefer “portability enabled.” And what’s this obsession with size?)

Now, let’s see. At this point, I could talk about how I’m no fan of over-compressed and over-produced music, while criticizing the fact that Bob has ignored the bulk of music production in favor of the big-selling labels from which he himself has made colossal wads of cash and untold fame and glory, or … come on, who am I kidding? Why are we arguing with a guy who says “I don’t know anybody who’s made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really”? Not a single album? (See further discussion on Music thing and, before that, on the CDM forums if you do want to discuss.)

No, I think there’s only one proper response to this quote:

Make a t-shirt.

Bob, you’ve just become our Ted Stevens / “the internet is a series of tubes.”

So, CDMers, I encourage you to take Bob’s quote as a call to action, and design us some graphics / t-shirts / undawears / frisbees fully embracing these records with “sound all over them” and the fact that CDs are small and lack stature.

To the winner, we’ll give not wads of cash, but definitely untold fame and glory. And we’ll link to your cafepress store. Maybe that will give you wads of cash.

  • As someone who rarely buys or wears T-Shirts, CDM Readers HEAR ME NOW: I will buy this T-Shirt! I spent the better part of the day discussing this with some co-workers earlier this week! Who knew Bob was also a comedian!?

  • I second that. I will buy the shirt.

    And people, Bob speaks in the abstract and to try to interpret line for line his remarks is idiotic. From what I can gather, his statements are more than true. When you think about the way that radio and commercial music has influenced the way that music is recorded and produced, Bob has the most valid point. The vast majority of music doesn't have a message, and has no dynamics. This is killing music, and Bob is pointing this out to the youth who need to understand the roots of the music they're listening to.

    As for the CD comment, he's right on that point too. Take a look at your CD collection. Chances are that you have a hundred duplicated cd's. Mixes, downloaded files, varying degrees of compression and quality. If you stepped on a CD it's no big deal, it has no value. If you buy a record (a real record pressed on vinyl) that record is not only a great analog representation of the actual waves the artist created, but it's also a work of art. Gatefold, 4 sided, oversized areas for the art, inserts, etc. People don't put the work into making the record a piece of art in respect to music, fine art, literature.

    Trying to interpret Bob literally is like trying to interpret the Bible literally.

    my .02

  • Who knows what he means here, and hell I never had much respect for him anyway, but modern pop recordings are comically overcompressed. Maybe that's what he means.

  • I can't wait for this… if I like the design I will jump on this shirt. 🙂

    Of course now I'm thinking "A record is not a big truck. A record is a series of grooves."

  • His statements become less interesting if you know what he means.

    Maybe set to music this would be even better:

    New records have sound all over them

    CDs are small,

    there's no stature to it.

    No vocal, no nothing, just like … static.

    Fighting a losing world war III

    against music technology.

    I wouldn't worry 'bout it none, though,

    They were my own dreams and they're only in my head.

  • aaaaaaand HARMONICA SOLO!

  • SJB

    when he says records is he referring to vinyl records? or is the sound all over them comment in reference to CDs where the sound is squashed to death for loudness?

    i guess what i'm trying to figure out is if it is a positive comment about vinyl followed by a negative about CDs, or is it two negatives about CDs? this will affect my design approach 🙂

  • No, it's definitely 1) criticism of mastering technique (unfairly applied to all music produced in the last 20 years) followed by 2) criticism of CDs for … being small. But that's the great thing about this quote. The more you rip it out of its context, paradoxically, the more meaningful it becomes.

  • Joe Momma

    when will someone make a tshirt out of this james brown quote?

    "After death, the spirit leaves. A puff of smoke. Right out of your rectum."

    for real. google it.

    smokin! popcorn!

  • I'm no CDMer, however, a creator of digital music most certainly! Here's what, as far as I can see, the first entry in the T-shirt challenge: two fancy logos. If it's appreciated someone else will have the pleasure of setting up the shop and reap the rewards 😀

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