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Clinton Heylin

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Clinton Heylin

Clinton Heylin (born 8 April 1960 in Manchester) is an English author who has written extensively about popular music and the work of Bob Dylan.


Heylin attended Manchester Grammar School. He read History at Bedford College, University of London, where he was a contemporary of magician's assistant Debbie McGee, followed by getting an M.A. in History at the University of Sussex.


Heylin has written extensively on the life and work of Bob Dylan, combining interviews with discographical research. He has published a full-length biography Dylan: Behind the Shades (1991) which was republished in a revised second edition: Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades - Take Two (UK edition, 2000), Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades Revisited (US edition, 2001).

Heylin published a detailed analysis of every song by Dylan in two volumes: Revolution In The Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 1: 1957-73 (2009), and Still On The Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 2: 1974-2008 (2010). These books analyse 610 songs written by Dylan, devoting a numbered section to each song.

In 2011, to mark Dylan's 70th birthday, Heylin published Behind the Shades: The 20th Anniversary Edition, which contained 60,000 words of new material to cover Dylan's work since 2000.

He has also written detailed biographies on Van Morrison and Sandy Denny.

Heylin has also published favorably reviewed studies of Orson Welles, Despite The System: Orson Welles versus The Hollywood Studios,[1] and Shakespeare's sonnets, So Long As Men Can Breathe.[2][3]

In 2012, Heylin published a book about the theme of mental illness in British rock music in the 1960s and 1970s, All The Madmen. The book featured chapters on the Dialectics of Liberation conference of 1967, Syd Barrett, the Pink Floyd's album Dark Side Of The Moon, David Bowie's theme of schizophrenia in his songs, The Who's Quadrophenia album, and Nick Drake.

In 2012, Heylin also published E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, a biography of Bruce Springsteen and an analysis of his achievements in the recording studio.[4]

Selected works

  • E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Constable. 2012. ISBN 978-1780335797
  • All the Madmen: Barrett, Bowie, Drake, the Floyd, The Kinks, The Who and the Journey to the Dark Side of English Rock. Constable. 2012. ISBN 1-84901-880-4
  • Behind the Shades: The 20th Anniversary Edition. Faber and Faber. 2011. ISBN 978-0-571-27240-2
  • Still On The Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 2: 1974-2008. Constable, UK. 2010. ISBN 978-1-84901-598-1
  • So Long As Men Can Breathe: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Perseus, US, 2009. ISBN 978-0-306-81805-9
  • Revolution In The Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 1: 1957-73. Constable-Robinson, UK; Acappella, US, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84901-296-6
  • The Act You’ve Known For All These Years: A Year In The Life of Sgt Pepper & Friends. Canongate-Grove, US/UK, 2007. ISBN 978-1-84195-955-9
  • Babylon’s Burning: From Punk to Grunge. Penguin/ Canongate-Grove, US/UK, 2007. ISBN 978-0-670-91606-1
  • From The Velvets To The Voidoids: The Birth of American Punk. Helter Skelter, UK; Chicago Review Press, US, 2005. ISBN 978-1-55652-575-9
  • All Yesterdays’ Parties: The Velvet Underground in Print 1966-71. Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-306-81477-8
  • Despite The System: Orson Welles versus The Hollywood Studios. Canongate, UK; Chicago Press Review, US, 2005. ISBN 1-84195-685-6
  • Can You Feel The Silence? - Van Morrison: A New Biography. Viking-Penguin, UK; Chicago Review Press, US, 2004. ISBN 978-1-55652-542-1
  • Bootleg - The Rise & Fall of the Secret Recording Industry. Omnibus Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1-84449-151-3
  • No More Sad Refrains: The Life & Times of Sandy Denny. Helter Skelter, 2001. ISBN 1-900924-11-0
  • Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades Revisited. Harper-Collins, US, 2001. ISBN 0-06-052569-X
  • Bob Dylan: Behind The Shades - Take Two. Penguin-Viking, UK, 2000. ISBN 0-14-028146-0
  • Dylan’s Daemon Lover: The Story of a 450-Year Old Pop Ballad. Helter Skelter, 1998. ISBN 978-1-900924-15-3
  • Dylan Day By Day: A Life In Stolen Moments. Music Sales/Schirmer, 1996. ISBN 978-0-7119-5669-8
  • Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions 1960-94. Penguin. UK; St Martin’s Press, US, 1995. ISBN 0-312-13439-8
  • Dylan Behind the Shades. Penguin, UK; Simon & Schuster, US, 1991. ISBN 0-14-015413-2
  • Saved! The Gospel Speeches of Bob Dylan. Hanuman Books, NY & Madras, 1990. ISBN 978-0-937815-38-0


  1. ^ Schulberg, Budd (2005-05-01). "The Kane Mutiny". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  2. ^ Shaw, Kevin (July 21, 2009). "So Long as Men Can Breathe by Clinton Heylin". Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ Peters, Susan (2009-06-01). "Literature, So Long as Men Can Breathe". The Library Journal. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  4. ^ Mark, Amanda (January 3, 2013). "E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band". New York Journal of Books. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 

External Links

Clinton Heylin - official website

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