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." esdmusic.com

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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there