Album: Bruce Springsteen, The Promise (Columbia)

Out of the 'Darkness' – why Bruce was born to run and run

Album: Tom Petty, Damn the Torpedoes (Deluxe Edition) (Geffen)

Petty's "breakthrough" album, his third, from 1979, the big-sounding, hi-gloss, monster-drumming Jimmy Iovine production which blasted the 'breakers out of their UK-only taste corner and propelled their leader towards American superstardom on the back of "Refugee".

Culture Club: Bob Dylan, Bootleg 9: The Witmark Demos

Apologies for the change of plan but this week’s Culture Club will now discuss Bob Dylan, Bootleg 9: The Witmark Demos. What do you think of the Witmark Demos? Leave your comments and the best will be published in the Independent on Thursday 28th October.

Album: Bryan Ferry, Olympia (Island)

Pop's pre-eminent lounge lizard returns to more familiar territory after his patchy album of Dylan covers: Olympia is full of Eurotrash dancefloor motorik like the single "You Can Dance" and romantic languor like "Alphaville", the latter an exercise in dissipated alienation.

Album: Bob Dylan, The Witmark Demos (Columbia)

Forty-seven solo recordings made between 1962 and 1964 for Dylan's first music publishers; little that Bob nuts haven't already devoured illicitly, but nice to have it all packaged up with customary Bootleg Series finesse.

Albums: Bob Dylan, Bootleg 9: The Witmark Demos, Columbia (5/5) / The Original Mono Recordings, Columbia (5/5)

The latest release in Dylan's Bootleg series is chronologically the earliest, collecting together the original demos which were recorded for his publishers Witmark & Sons, to help them sell the young folkie's songs to other singers.

Bob Dylan in America, By Sean Wilentz

A centrepiece of Professor Sean Wilentz's book is Bob Dylan's celebrated Halloween Concert of 1964, a time when, as Joan Baez (the evening's "surprise guest") put it in Martin Scorsese's documentary, Dylan "still had his baby fat". As it is, Bob Dylan in America is the first of a roster of books ahead of the singer-songwriter's 70th birthday next May. Dylan is no longer as beautiful as he was in mid-Sixties black-and-white, and his lyrics now rarely astonish: he has said he cannot imagine where those flashing chains of images came from. But he has endured. The renaissance over the past decade (three Grammy Awards, his first number one in 39 years) has proved that Dylan's creative flame still burns, if less brightly now.

Album: Dylan LeBlanc, Pauper's Field (Rough Trade)

Stop it, you're spoiling us. Hot on the heels of the magnificent Caitlin Rose album comes another young song-slinger, sauntering into town with a fistful of killer tunes.

Album: John Mellencamp, No Better Than This (Rounder)

The argument between analogue and digital recording methods is neatly summarised this week by comparing this simple, stripped-down offering from John Mellencamp with the second album by Klaxons, on which the songs are hidden away beneath layers of digital blah, track after track of guitar and keyboard and effect piled upon the material until its spine snaps, and all that remains is some amorphous noise begging for your attention.

Bob Dylan, Hop Farm, Kent

The Word On: Mojo, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

"'Mojo' is the strongest set of songs from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in over a decade and a half."

Album: Tom Petty, Mojo (Reprise)

If the feeling after all these years is that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sound like a leather-bound omnibus edition of American rock's best intentions, that doesn't mean they're no good.

Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol 2: 1974-2008, By Clinton Heylin

Clinton Heylin's latest overblown opus is a companion to Revolution in the Air, which examined Bob Dylan's oeuvre up to 1973, chronicling (via notebooks and studio logs) the evolution of each song and putting Dylan himself right on a number of matters. Dylan might have been there – but only Heylin knows what actually happened.

The Works, By Pam Ayres

Pam Ayres' stated aim has always been to write "something with which the audience would identify", which tells us two things. First, these poems were never meant to be written down, but to be performed – and they do work better when one imagines Ayres reading them out. Second, that Ayres doesn't want to challenge her audience, or make them think again. She doesn't want to defamiliarise existence, but to familiarise it.

Album: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Live Anthology (Universal)

Four discs, 48 songs, 27 years… If ever a rock band deserved the heritage treatment then this one does.

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