Well, it took only 48 years, but Bob Dylan and his camp have finally come up with an official music video for “Like A Rolling Stone.” His breakthrough was a 1965 hit that gave him his first Top 10 single while shattering the rules for what was acceptable on AM Top 40 radio at the time.
With its dazzling display of lyric wizardry and driving blues-rock backing — Dylan had recently and controversially “gone electric” — and clocking in at a full six minutes in an age when radio hits rarely ran more than three, “Like A Rolling Stone” played a key role in the evolution of pop music from sheer entertainment into a bona fide art form.
The new video, available at Dylan’s official website, also breaks new ground with an interactive design that allows viewers to switch among 16 varied cable channels as the song plays out, each stop on the screen offering a new batch of hosts and/or guests mouthing Dylan’s words.
There’s a game show channel with “Price Is Right” host Drew Carey spinning a big prize wheel, a CNN-like newscast, comic and Marc Maron hosting a televised version of his “WTF” podcast and a history channel, among others. For purists, there’s also a music channel featuring footage of Dylan singing the song live in 1966, backed by the group that would become the Band. Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker’s footage, shot at the Odeon Theatre in Newcastle, England, and previously shown in the “No Direction Home” documentary, is synced to Dylan’s studio recording.
Viewers control the display with up-down arrows on a keyboard and can switch channels at will, the result of technology developed by the Interactive Video company.
“We’re forever looking for compelling, creative ways to distinguish our artists and their music from the din. The Interlude treatment of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ provides us with a unique, playful, highly engaging platform from which we can reach — and ideally attract — Dylan fans from across the spectrum,” Adam Block, president of Sony Music/Legacy Recordings, said in a statement announcing the project.
Yoni Bloch, founder and chief executive of Interlude, said in the same statement, “As a musician myself, I can’t imagine a more thrilling project to be a part of than helping create the first video for ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ The song has repeatedly been voted the No. 1 greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone, and is generally regarded as revolutionary, influencing both artists and popular music around the world. Like the song, we hope Interlude will inspire creative professionals everywhere to develop new and unique ways to tell stories through video.”
How does it feel?
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2