It may well be the greatest music video of all time. Bob Dylan in a London alleyway leafing through the lyrics of ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. It’s a simple premise, but it is now part of the iconography of counterculture and it no doubt has the elders in your family wondering whether this will finally be the time they watch it, and he fumbles one of the cards, but much to their mild chagrin, he aces it every time.
60 years on from John Hammond first signing him and earning the in-house nickname of Hammond’s folly because of how disastrous his initial recordings were deemed, Dylan is set to celebrate the milestone by looking back at his hero status in its juvenile phase.
As per the press release: “Developed by the independent creative agency Intro, and Sony Music’s Josh Cheuse, the new ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues 2022’ clip pays homage to the iconic opening sequence of D.A. Pennebaker Don’t Look Back ((the game-changing cinéma vérité documentary chronicling Dylan’s 1965 UK tour) with new lyric/cue card visuals created by contemporary artists, filmmakers, musicians and graphic designers.”
The classic technique has been given a contemporary facelift by familiar names like Julian House, Patti Smith, Zep, Cey Adams, Francis Cabrel, Wim Wenders, Anthony Burrill, Naoki Urasawa, Michael Joo, John Squire, Azazel Jacobs, Bruce Springsteen, Futura, Noel Fielding, Jim Jarmusch, Bobby Gillespie, Paris Redux, Wolfgang Niedecken, Jun Miura, Kate Gibb, Jonathan Barnbrook, Dave Shrigley, and Eric Haze.
It is a mark of Dylan’s legacy as a Columbia artist alone that a simple celebratory video has managed to attract such esteemed talent to get involved. Thankfully, all the charm, hidden jokes and incorrect spellings in the original remain.
You can check out the video below.