Bob Dylan has shared his first new original song in eight years, “Murder Most Foul”. The 17-minute folk epic is about the “dark day in Dallas” that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
“Murder Most Foul” is typical of late-period Dylan, in that his voice sounds fried, his range is down to about half-an-octave, and all of the song’s magic crackles within the phrasing of the lyrics. He hoots through “Houdini,” leans way back on “November sixty-three,” and hesitates halfway through the words “Murder most foul.” It’s a master class in doing more with less.
Dylan announced the ballad’s release on social media, along with a short message about the previously-unreleased track: “Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years. This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.”
Check out “Murder Most Foul” below.
Bob Dylan’s last album of original songs, Tempest, came out in 2012. Still, he’s been busy recording collections of standards since then, most recently releasing Triplicate in 2017. His Bootleg Series continues to unearth rarities and other unreleased delights, as well, and last fall he shared sessions with Johnny Cash on Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15.