Bob Dylan - Not Dark Yet

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Music video by Bob Dylan performing Not Dark Yet.

(C) 1997 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

"Not Dark Yet" is a song by Bob Dylan, recorded in January 1997 and released in September that year on his album Time Out of Mind. It was the first single from the album.

Time Out of Mind is the thirtieth studio album by the American musician Bob Dylan, released on September 30, 1997, by Columbia Records. It was his first double studio album (on vinyl) since Self Portrait in 1970. It was also released as a single CD.

For some fans and critics, the album marked Dylan's artistic comeback after he appeared to struggle with his musical identity throughout the 1980s; he had not released any original material for seven years, since Under the Red Sky in 1990. Time Out of Mind is hailed as one of Dylan's best albums, and it went on to win three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year in 1998. It was also ranked number 408 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.

The album has an atmospheric sound, the work of producer (and past Dylan collaborator) Daniel Lanois, whose innovative work with carefully placed microphones and strategic mixing was detailed by Dylan in his memoir, Chronicles: Volume One. Although Dylan has spoken positively of Lanois' production style (especially for his 1989 album Oh Mercy), he expressed dissatisfaction with the sound of Time Out of Mind. Dylan has self-produced his subsequent albums.

"Not Dark Yet", the first of two singles from the album, was described by Time magazine as 'the moody album's center' and was included in its Ten Best Bob Dylan Songs article of 2011. "Not Dark Yet" was recorded at the early recording sessions and featured "a radically different feel", according to Lanois. "[The demo of 'Not Dark Yet'] was quicker and more stripped-down and [later during the formal studio sessions], he changed it into a civil war ballad."

The song has been subject to a literary analysis by Professor Christopher Ricks which he claims demonstrates the clearest example of John Keats' influence on Dylan's writing. In his book Dylan's Visions of Sin, Ricks, a Boston University professor of humanities, draws parallels between "Not Dark Yet" and the Keats' poem Ode to a Nightingale. Broken down line for line, "similar turns of phrase, figures of speech, [and] felicities of rhyming" can be found throughout "Not Dark Yet" and the Ode. Ricks also argues that "there is a strong affinity with Keats in the way that in the song night colours, darkens, the whole atmosphere while never being spoken of," just as Keats used winter to color and darken the atmosphere in another poem he wrote, To Autumn. "Dylan's refrain or burden is 'It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.' He bears it and bares it beautifully, with exquisite precision of voice, dry humour, and resilience, all these in the cause of fortitude at life's going to be brought to an end by death."

A promotional video of this song was released. 

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Artist: Bob Dylan
Video title: Not Dark Yet

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Category: Rock & Alternative
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