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Bob Dylan's Modern Times: #1 On Billboard Chart

Bob Dylan's new album, Modern Times, has debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, making this the artist's first album to hit the top of that chart in 30 years. This 30-year span between #1 albums - Desire hit the top spot in 1976 -- is the longest of any living recording artist. Modern Times has sold more than 192, 000 copies in the United States since its release, marking the biggest such sales period for a Bob Dylan album in the 15 year history of SoundScan.

Fan response was equally as impressive internationally, with Modern Times debuting at #1 on the album charts of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. The album entered the UK chart at #3 with 55, 000 units sold, marking a one-week sales record in that country for any Bob Dylan album. Additionally, Modern Times debuted at #2 in Germany, Austria and Sweden, and #3 in The Netherlands.

Modern Times is already one of the most critically lauded albums of Bob Dylan's career. Rolling Stone awarded the album 5 stars (out of 5) and proclaimed it, "His third straight masterwork." Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Dylan is, "our living Rosetta Stone, his songs carrying forth the essence of a thousand blues and folk classics, connecting the canonical and the folkloric to the present day." In the UK, Mojo magazine exclaimed, Epic...Heartbreaking...Dynamic ... Apocalyptic!" while Uncut gave Modern Times its highest ranking of 5 stars.

According to Columbia Records Chairman Steve Barnett, "Modern Times is an absolutely staggering record, and we couldn't be more thrilled that fans have responded to it so enthusiastically by putting Bob at #1, which is where he belongs. This extraordinary artist has been integral to our company for nearly 45 years, and he remains at the peak of his artistry, vitality and cultural impact. We are incredibly proud of Bob's great achievement."

Bob Dylan is currently featured in an iPod commercial, seen performing "Someday Baby" from Modern Times. A short film starring Scarlett Johansson and set to Bob Dylan's new song "When The Deal Goes Down" premiered on AOL and was released online and to video channels last Thursday. Directed by Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (Capote), the silent film was shot on 8mm and takes place in the early 1960s. Clues connecting the film's scenes to Bob Dylan's early career are creatively placed throughout the piece.

Bob Dylan is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed songwriters, musicians and performers, having sold nearly 100 million albums and performed literally thousands of shows around the world in a career spanning five decades. He is currently in the midst of his third annual summer U.S. tour of minor league baseball stadiums, and will begin a 24-city tour October 11 in Vancouver, B.C.

The Times They Are A-Changin', the new Broadway musical told through the songs of Bob Dylan and conceived, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Twyla Tharp, will open October 26 at New York's Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Bob Dylan's most recent studio albums, Time Out Of Mind and "Love And Theft" have been among his most commercially successful and critically lauded, each having been certified Platinum in the U.S. and earning Grammy nominations for Album Of The Year (Time Out Of Mind won that award in 1998).

He wrote and recorded "Things Have Changed" for the 2000 film Wonder Boys, for which he received both the Academy Award and Golden Globe. The first volume of his memoirs, Chronicles, was one of the most acclaimed and best-selling non-fiction works of 2004, and last year's No Direction Home film, directed by Martin Scorsese, captivated audiences worldwide as it documented Dylan's early career and rise to fame. The film won a Peabody Award in 2006.

Bob Dylan's weekly XM Satellite Radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour, debuted in May and has quickly become one of that network's most popular programs, with more than 1.7 weekly listeners.



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