UPDATED 5/20/20: Bob Dylan has been on a roll, getting us through lockdown with new singles that find him as clever and compelling as ever. On Thursday evening, May 7, the Bob Dylan Twitter account posted another cryptic tweet – complete with a pulp book-inspired illustration and a lyric quote – which had fans everywhere wondering if we might get another treat to tide us over.
Well, come midnight that evening, we got our answer as “False Prophet” was released on digital streaming services. The third surprise single in what’s become a triweekly tradition, “False Prophet” proved a departure from the more atmospheric “Murder Most Foul” and “I Contain Multitudes.” It’s a rollicking and bluesy, guitar-heavy track with intense and growling vocals from Dylan. (Meanwhile, some observant listeners have noted its similarities to Billy “The Kid” Emerson’s 1954 single, “If Lovin’ is Believing.”)
As if a new single weren’t enough, Dylan also announced his first album of new original material in eight years. Due out June 19 on Columbia Records, Rough and Rowdy Ways will be a ten-song, two-CD affair. The album opens with “I Contain Multitudes,” followed by “False Prophet,” then by seven as-yet-unknown tracks. The epic “Murder Most Foul” will be included on its own on CD 2. The two discs will be housed in a 4-panel, 2-pocket gatefold digipak.
A 2-LP edition will also be pressed up, boasting 180-gram vinyl, gatefold packaging, and printed inner sleeves. That configuration is set to arrive July 17. And for those readers who may have ventured into streaming during lockdown, the album will be released across digital platforms, too, on the same day as the CD.
In an email blast to customers, U.K. independent retailer Badlands (who were already offering an exclusive A5-sized print bundle with CD and LP pre-orders) announced that there will be an indie-exclusive olive green double-vinyl edition of Rough and Rowdy Ways due the same day as the standard 2-LP set. While we expect more indie retailers to carry it – and it’s always a good idea to check in with your local brick-and-mortar shop – Badlands is the only retailer offering it online as of this writing. Thankfully, Badlands is looking out for folks who already purchased the standard 2-LP/print bundle, by allowing an upgrade to the olive green variant for just £3 extra plus shipping. And, of course, it will still come with the Badlands-exclusive print while supplies last.
So mark your calendars for June 19 for this much-welcome gift from Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways. You can listen to “False Prophet” on streaming services everywhere now!
Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia, 2020)
2-CD: Bob Dylan Online Store / Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2-LP: Bob Dylan Online Store / Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada [Amazon US link will go live soon]
2-CD or 2-LP + print bundle: Badlands
Indie-exclusive green vinyl 2-LP : Badlands [standalone with print] / Badlands [upgrade for existing standard vinyl purchases] / other indie retailers TBA
Indie-exclusive 2-LP + Standard 2-LP + Print bundle: Badlands
- I Contain Multitudes
- False Prophet
- Murder Most Foul