Bob Dylan's Modern Times Debuts At #1 On Billboard Chart

Album Marks Artist's Return To Top Spot After 30 Years



Sep 06, 2006, 01:00 ET from Columbia Records

    NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bob Dylan's new album, Modern Times,
 has debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, making this the
 artist's first album to hit the top of that chart in 30 years. This 30-year
 span between #1 albums - Desire hit the top spot in 1976 -- is the longest
 of any living recording artist. Modern Times has sold more than 192,000
 copies in the United States since its release, marking the biggest such
 sales period for a Bob Dylan album in the 15 year history of SoundScan.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060906/NYW144 )
     Fan response was equally as impressive internationally, with Modern
 Times debuting at #1 on the album charts of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New
 Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. The album entered the UK chart at
 #3 with 55,000 units sold, marking a one-week sales record in that country
 for any Bob Dylan album. Additionally, Modern Times debuted at #2 in
 Germany, Austria and Sweden, and #3 in The Netherlands.
     Modern Times is already one of the most critically lauded albums of Bob
 Dylan's career. Rolling Stone awarded the album 5 stars (out of 5) and
 proclaimed it, "His third straight masterwork." Ann Powers of the Los
 Angeles Times wrote that Dylan is, "our living Rosetta Stone, his songs
 carrying forth the essence of a thousand blues and folk classics,
 connecting the canonical and the folkloric to the present day." In the UK,
 Mojo magazine exclaimed, Epic...Heartbreaking...Dynamic ... Apocalyptic!"
 while Uncut gave Modern Times its highest ranking of 5 stars. (See attached
 page of press quotes).
     According to Columbia Records Chairman Steve Barnett, "Modern Times is
 an absolutely staggering record, and we couldn't be more thrilled that fans
 have responded to it so enthusiastically by putting Bob at #1, which is
 where he belongs. This extraordinary artist has been integral to our
 company for nearly 45 years, and he remains at the peak of his artistry,
 vitality and cultural impact. We are incredibly proud of Bob's great
 achievement."
     Bob Dylan is currently featured in an iPod commercial, seen performing
 "Someday Baby" from Modern Times. A short film starring Scarlett Johansson
 and set to Bob Dylan's new song "When The Deal Goes Down" premiered on AOL
 and was released online and to video channels last Thursday. Directed by
 Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (Capote), the silent film was shot on
 8mm and takes place in the early 1960s. Clues connecting the film's scenes
 to Bob Dylan's early career are creatively placed throughout the piece.
     Bob Dylan is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed songwriters,
 musicians and performers, having sold nearly 100 million albums and
 performed literally thousands of shows around the world in a career
 spanning five decades. He is currently in the midst of his third annual
 summer U.S. tour of minor league baseball stadiums, and will begin a
 24-city tour October 11 in Vancouver, B.C.
     The Times They Are A-Changin', the new Broadway musical told through
 the songs of Bob Dylan and conceived, directed and choreographed by Tony
 Award winner Twyla Tharp, will open October 26 at New York's Brooks
 Atkinson Theatre.
     Bob Dylan's most recent studio albums, Time Out Of Mind and "Love And
 Theft" have been among his most commercially successful and critically
 lauded, each having been certified Platinum in the U.S. and earning Grammy
 nominations for Album Of The Year (Time Out Of Mind won that award in
 1998).
     He wrote and recorded "Things Have Changed" for the 2000 film Wonder
 Boys, for which he received both the Academy Award and Golden Globe. The
 first volume of his memoirs, Chronicles, was one of the most acclaimed and
 best-selling non-fiction works of 2004, and last year's No Direction Home
 film, directed by Martin Scorsese, captivated audiences worldwide as it
 documented Dylan's early career and rise to fame. The film won a Peabody
 Award in 2006.
     Bob Dylan's weekly XM Satellite Radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour,
 debuted in May and has quickly become one of that network's most popular
 programs, with more than 1.7 weekly listeners.
     Bob Dylan -- Modern Times
 
     * * * * * (out of five) -- "His third straight masterwork."
     Joe Levy, Rolling Stone
     "Its 10 songs make you think hard about the past and muse quietly about
 the future .... [Dylan is] our living Rosetta Stone, his songs carrying
 forth the essence of a thousand blues and folk classics, connecting the
 canonical and the folkloric to the present day.
     Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times
     * * * * (out of four) -- "It takes about 30 seconds to figure out
 you're in the presence of a giant .... [Modern Times] contains some of
 Dylan's most direct love lyrics, meditations on mortality, vindictive
 vendettas, pointed political commentary, dry wit, apocalyptic imagery and
 head-scratching flights of fancy -- sometimes seemingly in the same song.
 The music, too often overlooked in evaluating Dylan's work, offers varied
 delights."
     Ken Barnes, USA Today
     "Startling. Radiates the observant calm of old masters who have seen
 enough life to be ready for anything -- Yeats, Matisse, Sonny Rollins."
 Robert Christgau, Blender Magazine
     "Epic...Heartbreaking...Dynamic...Apocalyptic! .... [Modern Times] is
 in the passionate tradition of his last two superb albums, 1997's biting,
 bruising Time Out Of Mind and 2001's more jubilant and eclectic 'Love And
 Theft'. Dylan looks into the heart of the modern age and tells us what he
 sees in a vision still commanding and bold."
     Robert Hilburn, Mojo
     "Modern Times is powerful and more consistent than its recent
 predecessors. At times rollicking and at others reflective, it's the work
 of a master songwriter who knows how to use guile where flash might have
 worked in the past."
     David Bauder, Associated Press
     "The state of America, vibrant sexuality, depression-era jazz and
 blues, and some excellent jokes; another classic from the revitalised
 master" -- * * * * * (out of five)
     Uncut
     Grade A -- "Intriguing, immediate and quietly epic, Modern Times must
 rank among Dylan's finest albums."
     Pat Gilbert, Entertainment Weekly
 
     * * * * (out of four) - Critics Choice
     Steve Dougherty, People Magazine
     * * * * (out of four) -- "Modern Times delivers on all counts ... .Its
 10 tunes are so squarely built on the American songbook, your finger
 doesn't dare poke the CD player's skip button. It rambles and gambles on
 pre-rock styles laced with so many cryptic notions and personal references
 that interpretive lit classes will be busy for semesters. Dylan is a
 living, breathing genius who stoked his creative fires back in '97 for Time
 Out of Mind and kept them burning with the Grammy-winning 'Love and Theft'
 in 2001. He continues his run here, tying all three albums together with a
 vintage roots-music aesthetic.
     Dan Aquilante, New York Post
     "Modern Times is an album that snaps into place like a puzzle part
 alongside his latter-era masterpieces, 'Love and Theft' and its
 predecessor, Time Out of Mind -- albums that have restored his reputation
 and given him a new voice. At this point in his serpentine career, Dylan is
 the cagey veteran who can summon entire worlds in his songs. Long may he
 run."
     Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle
     "Wry, spry and rollicking .... Dylan extends his renaissance of the
 past decade with songs that at once feel culled from some arcane archive of
 American roots music and ripped steaming from one of his reliably
 rollicking live shows. It's an offhandedly exact blend of present and past,
 and being pulled through it by a master of such advanced years and powers
 brings to mind the late works of Yeats or Picasso ...."
     Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian
     "A vibrant album bursting with wit, charm, emotion, and deeply sampled
 musical history. Modern Times is what we have come to expect from Bob Dylan
 in autumn: another masterpiece that doesn't make too much of itself."
     Chris Morris, L.A. City Beat
     * * * * * (out of five) - "With Modern Times, in stores today, Dylan
 affirms that he has become precisely the character he aspired to be since
 his earliest acoustic folk albums ... .Guthrie and the old bluesmen
 borrowed old songs and commented on events in the same way, which makes
 Dylan's new music another link in a precious cultural chain -- just the way
 he first imagined."
     Jim Abbott, Orlando Sentinel
 
     * * * * (out of four)
     Detroit Free Press
     Grade A - [Modern Times] is a brilliantly oddball blend of country,
 blues and good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. Modern Times is glorious proof
 that, at 65, Dylan still has plenty to say, and with singular eloquence."
     Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
     Rating 5 out of 5 - "With today's release of Modern Times, Bob Dylan
 continues a late-career winning streak that is without parallel in rock 'n'
 roll .... Only Dylan still touches hearts in such a visceral, vital way ...
 .It would be tempting to call Modern Times the concluding part of a
 brilliant trilogy - if the end were in sight."
     Bernard Perusse, Montreal Gazette
     "It's a loose-limbed, wide-ranging (to say the least) table-setter that
 straightaway offers the assurance that His Bobness is still on the late-in-
 life hot streak that began with the elegiac Time Out of Mind in 1997 and
 continued with the sprightly 'Love and Theft'."
     Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer
     "There is something poetic about the fact that Bob Dylan is the lone
 second-generation rock luminary to make music that suits his age and
 status. In this, Dylan is as avant-garde as he was in his '60s heyday. The
 65-year-old grapples with pressing issues, memory and mortality prime among
 them. But by looking back, to the roots of his art, he has managed to forge
 ahead, crafting songs that are as vibrant and profound as ever .... [Dylan]
 is singing as beautifully as he ever has, his voice a marvel of sly
 shading."
     Bradley Bambarger, Newark Star Ledger
     * * * * (out of four) -- "Using the familiar musical forms of blues,
 rock and pop, the legendary singer-songwriter - in his many guises -
 traverses a landscape that's equal parts treacherous, beautiful and
 humorous. And in doing so has released his most intimate work in years."
     Rob Lowman, Los Angeles Daily News
     "Here in 2006, Dylan's stock as a cultural barometer, as a leader and a
 sage, is higher than it has been in decades. We still look to Dylan to tell
 us about our lives now, not our lives then: He's still here, his artistry
 fully present, and millions still respond to him as a contemporary artist,
 not a legendary figure from the dim and misty '60s. There's a simple reason
 for this, and here it is: He still delivers the goods. Like his last two
 highly acclaimed CDs, 1997's Time Out of Mind and 2001's 'Love and Theft',
 the 10-track Modern Times is a wonderful addition to his oeuvre, and quite
 possibly the best of the three."
     Dave Ferman, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
     "[Modern Times is] a masterful assimilation of forms into a sound that
 is close to wholly unique. This record could have been released 40 years
 ago or 10 years from now .... In terms of phrasing, manipulation of time
 and accent and ability to wring subtlety and nuance from his own peerless
 song-poems, Dylan is absolutely masterful here."
     Jeff Miers, Buffalo News
     "Modern Times could very well be called 'Love and Theft', Part II;
 Dylan draws from the same influences - old folk, '30s-styled ballads,
 '50s-era rave-ups - that made his 2001 album a breath of fresh air ....
 There's more introspection on this album than any since Blood on the
 Tracks."
     Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News
     "This enchanting album is rife with homespun reflections on philosophy,
 religion and the never-ending quest for true love."
     Wayne Robins, Billboard Magazine
 
     "Romantic and spectacular .... Dylan's finest since Blood on the Tracks."
     Jody Rosen, Slate
 
     www.bobdylan.com
     www.columbiarecords.com
 
 

SOURCE Columbia Records
    NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bob Dylan's new album, Modern Times,
 has debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, making this the
 artist's first album to hit the top of that chart in 30 years. This 30-year
 span between #1 albums - Desire hit the top spot in 1976 -- is the longest
 of any living recording artist. Modern Times has sold more than 192,000
 copies in the United States since its release, marking the biggest such
 sales period for a Bob Dylan album in the 15 year history of SoundScan.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060906/NYW144 )
     Fan response was equally as impressive internationally, with Modern
 Times debuting at #1 on the album charts of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New
 Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. The album entered the UK chart at
 #3 with 55,000 units sold, marking a one-week sales record in that country
 for any Bob Dylan album. Additionally, Modern Times debuted at #2 in
 Germany, Austria and Sweden, and #3 in The Netherlands.
     Modern Times is already one of the most critically lauded albums of Bob
 Dylan's career. Rolling Stone awarded the album 5 stars (out of 5) and
 proclaimed it, "His third straight masterwork." Ann Powers of the Los
 Angeles Times wrote that Dylan is, "our living Rosetta Stone, his songs
 carrying forth the essence of a thousand blues and folk classics,
 connecting the canonical and the folkloric to the present day." In the UK,
 Mojo magazine exclaimed, Epic...Heartbreaking...Dynamic ... Apocalyptic!"
 while Uncut gave Modern Times its highest ranking of 5 stars. (See attached
 page of press quotes).
     According to Columbia Records Chairman Steve Barnett, "Modern Times is
 an absolutely staggering record, and we couldn't be more thrilled that fans
 have responded to it so enthusiastically by putting Bob at #1, which is
 where he belongs. This extraordinary artist has been integral to our
 company for nearly 45 years, and he remains at the peak of his artistry,
 vitality and cultural impact. We are incredibly proud of Bob's great
 achievement."
     Bob Dylan is currently featured in an iPod commercial, seen performing
 "Someday Baby" from Modern Times. A short film starring Scarlett Johansson
 and set to Bob Dylan's new song "When The Deal Goes Down" premiered on AOL
 and was released online and to video channels last Thursday. Directed by
 Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (Capote), the silent film was shot on
 8mm and takes place in the early 1960s. Clues connecting the film's scenes
 to Bob Dylan's early career are creatively placed throughout the piece.
     Bob Dylan is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed songwriters,
 musicians and performers, having sold nearly 100 million albums and
 performed literally thousands of shows around the world in a career
 spanning five decades. He is currently in the midst of his third annual
 summer U.S. tour of minor league baseball stadiums, and will begin a
 24-city tour October 11 in Vancouver, B.C.
     The Times They Are A-Changin', the new Broadway musical told through
 the songs of Bob Dylan and conceived, directed and choreographed by Tony
 Award winner Twyla Tharp, will open October 26 at New York's Brooks
 Atkinson Theatre.
     Bob Dylan's most recent studio albums, Time Out Of Mind and "Love And
 Theft" have been among his most commercially successful and critically
 lauded, each having been certified Platinum in the U.S. and earning Grammy
 nominations for Album Of The Year (Time Out Of Mind won that award in
 1998).
     He wrote and recorded "Things Have Changed" for the 2000 film Wonder
 Boys, for which he received both the Academy Award and Golden Globe. The
 first volume of his memoirs, Chronicles, was one of the most acclaimed and
 best-selling non-fiction works of 2004, and last year's No Direction Home
 film, directed by Martin Scorsese, captivated audiences worldwide as it
 documented Dylan's early career and rise to fame. The film won a Peabody
 Award in 2006.
     Bob Dylan's weekly XM Satellite Radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour,
 debuted in May and has quickly become one of that network's most popular
 programs, with more than 1.7 weekly listeners.
     Bob Dylan -- Modern Times
 
     * * * * * (out of five) -- "His third straight masterwork."
     Joe Levy, Rolling Stone
     "Its 10 songs make you think hard about the past and muse quietly about
 the future .... [Dylan is] our living Rosetta Stone, his songs carrying
 forth the essence of a thousand blues and folk classics, connecting the
 canonical and the folkloric to the present day.
     Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times
     * * * * (out of four) -- "It takes about 30 seconds to figure out
 you're in the presence of a giant .... [Modern Times] contains some of
 Dylan's most direct love lyrics, meditations on mortality, vindictive
 vendettas, pointed political commentary, dry wit, apocalyptic imagery and
 head-scratching flights of fancy -- sometimes seemingly in the same song.
 The music, too often overlooked in evaluating Dylan's work, offers varied
 delights."
     Ken Barnes, USA Today
     "Startling. Radiates the observant calm of old masters who have seen
 enough life to be ready for anything -- Yeats, Matisse, Sonny Rollins."
 Robert Christgau, Blender Magazine
     "Epic...Heartbreaking...Dynamic...Apocalyptic! .... [Modern Times] is
 in the passionate tradition of his last two superb albums, 1997's biting,
 bruising Time Out Of Mind and 2001's more jubilant and eclectic 'Love And
 Theft'. Dylan looks into the heart of the modern age and tells us what he
 sees in a vision still commanding and bold."
     Robert Hilburn, Mojo
     "Modern Times is powerful and more consistent than its recent
 predecessors. At times rollicking and at others reflective, it's the work
 of a master songwriter who knows how to use guile where flash might have
 worked in the past."
     David Bauder, Associated Press
     "The state of America, vibrant sexuality, depression-era jazz and
 blues, and some excellent jokes; another classic from the revitalised
 master" -- * * * * * (out of five)
     Uncut
     Grade A -- "Intriguing, immediate and quietly epic, Modern Times must
 rank among Dylan's finest albums."
     Pat Gilbert, Entertainment Weekly
 
     * * * * (out of four) - Critics Choice
     Steve Dougherty, People Magazine
     * * * * (out of four) -- "Modern Times delivers on all counts ... .Its
 10 tunes are so squarely built on the American songbook, your finger
 doesn't dare poke the CD player's skip button. It rambles and gambles on
 pre-rock styles laced with so many cryptic notions and personal references
 that interpretive lit classes will be busy for semesters. Dylan is a
 living, breathing genius who stoked his creative fires back in '97 for Time
 Out of Mind and kept them burning with the Grammy-winning 'Love and Theft'
 in 2001. He continues his run here, tying all three albums together with a
 vintage roots-music aesthetic.
     Dan Aquilante, New York Post
     "Modern Times is an album that snaps into place like a puzzle part
 alongside his latter-era masterpieces, 'Love and Theft' and its
 predecessor, Time Out of Mind -- albums that have restored his reputation
 and given him a new voice. At this point in his serpentine career, Dylan is
 the cagey veteran who can summon entire worlds in his songs. Long may he
 run."
     Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle
     "Wry, spry and rollicking .... Dylan extends his renaissance of the
 past decade with songs that at once feel culled from some arcane archive of
 American roots music and ripped steaming from one of his reliably
 rollicking live shows. It's an offhandedly exact blend of present and past,
 and being pulled through it by a master of such advanced years and powers
 brings to mind the late works of Yeats or Picasso ...."
     Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian
     "A vibrant album bursting with wit, charm, emotion, and deeply sampled
 musical history. Modern Times is what we have come to expect from Bob Dylan
 in autumn: another masterpiece that doesn't make too much of itself."
     Chris Morris, L.A. City Beat
     * * * * * (out of five) - "With Modern Times, in stores today, Dylan
 affirms that he has become precisely the character he aspired to be since
 his earliest acoustic folk albums ... .Guthrie and the old bluesmen
 borrowed old songs and commented on events in the same way, which makes
 Dylan's new music another link in a precious cultural chain -- just the way
 he first imagined."
     Jim Abbott, Orlando Sentinel
 
     * * * * (out of four)
     Detroit Free Press
     Grade A - [Modern Times] is a brilliantly oddball blend of country,
 blues and good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. Modern Times is glorious proof
 that, at 65, Dylan still has plenty to say, and with singular eloquence."
     Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
     Rating 5 out of 5 - "With today's release of Modern Times, Bob Dylan
 continues a late-career winning streak that is without parallel in rock 'n'
 roll .... Only Dylan still touches hearts in such a visceral, vital way ...
 .It would be tempting to call Modern Times the concluding part of a
 brilliant trilogy - if the end were in sight."
     Bernard Perusse, Montreal Gazette
     "It's a loose-limbed, wide-ranging (to say the least) table-setter that
 straightaway offers the assurance that His Bobness is still on the late-in-
 life hot streak that began with the elegiac Time Out of Mind in 1997 and
 continued with the sprightly 'Love and Theft'."
     Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer
     "There is something poetic about the fact that Bob Dylan is the lone
 second-generation rock luminary to make music that suits his age and
 status. In this, Dylan is as avant-garde as he was in his '60s heyday. The
 65-year-old grapples with pressing issues, memory and mortality prime among
 them. But by looking back, to the roots of his art, he has managed to forge
 ahead, crafting songs that are as vibrant and profound as ever .... [Dylan]
 is singing as beautifully as he ever has, his voice a marvel of sly
 shading."
     Bradley Bambarger, Newark Star Ledger
     * * * * (out of four) -- "Using the familiar musical forms of blues,
 rock and pop, the legendary singer-songwriter - in his many guises -
 traverses a landscape that's equal parts treacherous, beautiful and
 humorous. And in doing so has released his most intimate work in years."
     Rob Lowman, Los Angeles Daily News
     "Here in 2006, Dylan's stock as a cultural barometer, as a leader and a
 sage, is higher than it has been in decades. We still look to Dylan to tell
 us about our lives now, not our lives then: He's still here, his artistry
 fully present, and millions still respond to him as a contemporary artist,
 not a legendary figure from the dim and misty '60s. There's a simple reason
 for this, and here it is: He still delivers the goods. Like his last two
 highly acclaimed CDs, 1997's Time Out of Mind and 2001's 'Love and Theft',
 the 10-track Modern Times is a wonderful addition to his oeuvre, and quite
 possibly the best of the three."
     Dave Ferman, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
     "[Modern Times is] a masterful assimilation of forms into a sound that
 is close to wholly unique. This record could have been released 40 years
 ago or 10 years from now .... In terms of phrasing, manipulation of time
 and accent and ability to wring subtlety and nuance from his own peerless
 song-poems, Dylan is absolutely masterful here."
     Jeff Miers, Buffalo News
     "Modern Times could very well be called 'Love and Theft', Part II;
 Dylan draws from the same influences - old folk, '30s-styled ballads,
 '50s-era rave-ups - that made his 2001 album a breath of fresh air ....
 There's more introspection on this album than any since Blood on the
 Tracks."
     Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News
     "This enchanting album is rife with homespun reflections on philosophy,
 religion and the never-ending quest for true love."
     Wayne Robins, Billboard Magazine
 
     "Romantic and spectacular .... Dylan's finest since Blood on the Tracks."
     Jody Rosen, Slate
 
     www.bobdylan.com
     www.columbiarecords.com
 
 SOURCE Columbia Records