Reviews

Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg is undoubtedly the greatest American poet of the latter part of the Twentieth Century. Bob Dylan's innovative lyrics owed a huge debt to Ginsberg's stream-of-consciousness approach to composition, and when the two met in the late Sixties, Dylan encouraged Ginsberg's dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. The results are on display in this reissue, a two-album set Ginsberg cut with Dylan's support and originally released on producer John Hammond's short-lived John Hammond Records in 1982. If you've heard any of Ginsberg's live or recorded poetry readings, you know he's a powerful performer. These discs show off his singing voice, which isn't half bad. Now and again he tries for notes he can't quite hit, but the power of his lyrics and the obvious joy he takes in his singing transcend minor quibbles.

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J. Poet