But whatever he did, it worked. "Time Out of Mind" was released in 1997, and it was another four years before word came out about another new Dylan release. There was part of me that wanted to snap it up immediately, but there was another part that was a bit scared, because I wondered whether he could even come close to achieving what he'd done with the previous album.
The album was released on September 11, 2001. Needless to say, few people were talking about the new Dylan album in the days and weeks that followed. I can't remember exactly when I bought it, but I know that it was at least a month. It was almost as if 9/11 became an excuse not to buy the record - which makes no sense whatsoever, but what exactly did make sense at that time?
When I finally took the plunge, I quickly realized that I needn't have worried. In fact, "Love and Theft" was the second in a glorious stretch of three consecutive Dylan masterpieces that would leave fans never doubting again.
Bob Dylan, "Summer Days," from the (late) summer of 2001.