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Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind (1997)

June 29, 2017

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Wonderful logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 542/1001]

I think I’ve finally figured out how Time Out of Mind won the Grammy for Album of the Year.

It’s a fine album, which doesn’t hurt its case.

But to somehow be considered superior to OK Computer?

Only mathematics could explain such a curious conclusion.

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Slide1

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I like to participate in 5K road races.

I’ve noticed (and it’s not an overwhelmingly astute observation) that as I get older, it becomes more challenging to complete the race in approximately 20 minutes.

Fortunately, the good people at Runners World acknowledge this, and have created the “Age Grade Calculator” to level the playing field, regardless of age.

Meaning, if I ran a 20:00 race as a 24-year old, theoretically in my prime, my race time would be recorded as 20:00.

However, if I ran a 20:00 race as a 33-year old, my race time would be adjusted to 19:46, acknowledging that it’s more difficult to maintain that pace at an older age.

And if I somehow ran a 20:00 race as a 56-year old, my race time would be adjusted to 16:48, as quite frankly, that’s awesome!

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Slide2

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I’ve noticed (and it’s not an overwhelmingly astute observation) that as musicians get older, it becomes more challenging to stay relevant, to create music that resonates like ‘their early stuff.’

Fortunately, the good people at The Grammys (seem to) have acknowledged this, and (I can only assume) they have created an “Age Grade Calculator” to level the playing field, regardless of age.

Meaning, if Bob Dylan recorded a 9/10 album as a 24-year old (such as Highway 61 Revisited), theoretically in his prime, his album quality score would be recorded as a 9.

However, if Bob Dylan recorded a 9/10 album as a 33-year old (such as Blood on the Tracks), his album score would be adjusted to a 9.11/10, acknowledging that it’s more difficult to “keep on keepin’ on” as we age.Bob_Dylan_-_Time_Out_of_Mind

And if he somehow recorded a 9/10 album as a 56-year old (such as this one), using similar ratios to the 5K Runners World Calculator, his album score would be adjusted to 10.71/10, as quite frankly, that’s awesome!

Considering the members of Radiohead would have been in their 20s at the time of OK Computer‘s release, their 10/10 score would not be adjusted for age.

Thus, Dylan’s 10.71/10 Age Adjusted Score > Radiohead’s 10/10 Non-Adjusted Score.

Mystery solved.

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Verbalize the Positive

The now 76-year old Mr. Dylan played in Kingston on Tuesday night.

The reviews I’ve heard have all been positive, no age adjustments required!

 

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From → 1990s

19 Comments
  1. I’m really looking forward to Radiohead’s 10.71/10 rated album in 2024 when Thom Yorke reaches the grand old age of 56.

  2. I also have a “consolation Grammy” theory. Hey Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder took all the Grammys when you were in your prime, so have one for your latest album. Eminem can have his in 2025.

    • I think that theory has plenty of merit!
      I believe the same thing happened to Martin Scorcese, we didn’t give you an Oscar for those other movies, so here’s a belated one!

  3. Or maybe it’s just better or more accessible.

    • Why that’s far too logical and reasonable an explanation Neil – where’s the math-y-ness in that? 🙂

  4. A wonderful conceit, Geoff. But awarding Time the same score as Highway and Blood is mathematically, culturally and musically indefensible, in any Newtonian universe.
    That observation did not, however, diminish my enjoyment of this post, which on an age-adjusted score, rates 11/10.

    • Much appreciated Bruce!
      There’s a chance I was guilty of, at best, aiming for mathematical accessibility, at worst, narrative convenience with the album ratings.
      Perhaps there should be a bending-the-laws-in-this-Newtonian-universe-forgiveness adjustment for blogger age at time of clicking publish?!

      • Ah, that bending-the-laws clause already exists, I believe. It’s called poetic license.
        As for narrative convenience, that’s what makes your blog essential reading Geoff. It has a name too: creativity.

      • Much appreciated Bruce 🙂
        I tell my accounting students that although creativity is encouraged in marketing, when you’re ‘creative’ in accounting, alas it’s called fraud!

  5. Haha! I love this. Certainly the only logical explanation! I mean, I love Time Out Of Mind, but it’s hard to look beyond OK Computer for my favourite album of ’97.

    • My thanks J!
      I had been baffled about the seeming oversight for the last 2 decades, I’m pleased to finally have an answer 😀

  6. This is one of my favourite Dylan albums! What is OK Computer? … I keed! It’s some Radiohead thing, right?

  7. Leave it to you, Geoff, to bring the math and the charts! I don’t know about comparing OKC and TOOM. I mean, it’s a bit of apples and oranges anyway. They make rank similarly on the surface (numerically), but given they’re musically world’s apart, the chart might also require stats for running the 5k backwards in your 20s, compared to forwards in your 50s…

    I thought for sure I had TOOM here. I know I did. I KNOW IT! But it isn’t here, only Love And Theft from that (relative) era. Hm. Need to get me another copy ‘cos I do enjoy that one a lot! Cool post, Geoff!

    • Cheers Aaron!
      And that’s a shame TOOM has vanished – my cousin once ran the 5K juggling (or ‘joggling’), I’d be keen to see someone run it backwards, regardless of age!

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