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Bob Dylan Releases Surprise New Song

The 'dizzying' 'Murder Most Foul' delves into JFK's assassination ... and more
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2020 8:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're looking for new music to listen to this weekend, as well as a walk down memory lane, Bob Dylan just hooked you up with an "absolutely mind-blowing" 17-minute song about JFK's assassination and ... much more. "This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting," reads a message on Dylan's Twitter account posted early Friday. "Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you." Rolling Stone calls the tune a "dizzying, utterly extraordinary" song that kicks off with a recounting of that day in 1963 when the president was gunned down but that soon "expands into an impressionistic, elegiac, increasingly apocalyptic journey through what feels like the entire Sixties ... and then perhaps all of 20th century America, especially its music."

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Some of the people, events, and other pop-culture references Dylan touches on in the song: the Beatles, The Who's Tommy, Woodstock, Wolfman Jack, Buster Keaton, the Altamont counterculture rock concert, Houdini, and Nightmare on Elm Street, among others. Per Variety, which notes Dylan has long been interested in the topic of Kennedy's assassination, the longest song he released before this was 1997's "Highlands," which ran 16 minutes and 31 seconds; "Murder Most Foul" clocks in at 16 minutes, 57 seconds. It's also not clear what "we recorded a while back" means, though some fans are speculating that, based on what Rolling Stone calls Dylan's "delicate vocal delivery," it may have been a more recent production. (Read more Bob Dylan stories.)

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