Bob Dylan has released three albums in the last three years, and they’ve all been covers albums, mostly made up of standards and songs popularized by Frank Sinatra. (His most recent, Triplicate, spanned three whole discs.) Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd co-founder, seemingly has an issue with this. He’s about to release his first solo album in 25 years, Is This The Life We Really Want?, and in a new interview with Billboard, he takes umbrage at Dylan’s perceived artistic complacency. Here’s the relevant portion:
Especially in the last 40 years, so many of your albums have been conceptual ones. Why? Do you ever think of doing an album that’s just a collection of songs without a storyline?
I might be interested, if I didn’t have things I wanted to do. But the things I want to do are always about a coherent idea of something. I’m interested in theater, I like the idea of putting something together that has a coherent theme, and also I care about the issues I write about. And I care about love.
And war is a consistent theme on these albums.
I haven’t got time to do an album of Frank Sinatra covers.
Some people do three of them.
Bob Dylan, for instance, which is weird. You go, “Fuck me Bob, what is wrong with you? Why would you do that?” I guess it’s because he can’t bear the thought of not being on the road and he couldn’t think of anything else to do. I can’t believe he really has an affinity for all that schlock. But maybe he does.
“Shlock”! Waters is coming for one of the world’s most beloved — he did just begrudgingly win a Nobel Prize — but it’s not like he’s wrong…