Bob Dylan’s 17-minute opus, “Murder Most Foul,” deserves all the attention it has received. Dylan clinically and flawlessly combines his acerbic poetry with a grounding soundscape of strings, tympani, and piano.
“Murder Most Foul” is arguably as meaningful as “Blowin’ The Wind,” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” and an incredibly present and poignant recording.
The song also mentions Carl Wilson at the 11:45 mark, on the line “play it for Carl Wilson too, look far, far away down Gower Avenue,” which references Carl’s participation on backing vocals on “Desperados Under the Eaves,” the concluding track from Warren Zevon’s 1976 self-titled album, which ended with the line “look away down Gower Avenue.”
“Bob Dylan had a profound influence on the quality of lyrics and of poetry … just a real wonderful contribution … I loved his albums a lot. I was really impacted by ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’’ … the first I heard that really … I just thought, ‘This is just absolutely amazing!’ It was so brilliant; the idea of … in popular music … being able to get across an idea like that, that was so real and so applied to our lives. It was so perfect!”
— Carl Wilson 11-4-84
The song fittingly went to #1, and is Bob Dylan’s first-ever chart-topping recording.