“I was so much older then,” sang Bob Dylan in 1964. “I’m younger than that now.” Dylan’s 51 years older now (at least by the calendar), and he’s embracing his senior demographic with the marketing strategy for Shadows in the Night, his forthcoming album of Frank Sinatra covers, which is set for release on Feb. 3.
Dylan just gave an interview—one of his longest in years—to AARP’s magazine, and now Wondering Sound reports that a publicist has confirmed 50,000 copies of Shadows in the Night will be mailed to randomly selected AARP members. Sorry, 50+ hipsters—the albums will be on CD, not vinyl.
AARP promises that a longer version of Dylan’s interview will be published next month, but the excerpt already available online includes the rock legend touching on some interesting topics. Among them:
• The genesis of his new album, which Dylan says he’s been thinking about since Willie Nelson released Stardust, his collection of covers of pop standards, in 1978.
• His wry perspective on artistic risk-taking. When interviewer Robert Love asks whether Dylan thought it was risky to make a covers album, you can almost hear the Dylan of Don’t Look Back firing his response off. “Risky?” asks Dylan rhetorically. “Like walking across a field laced with land mines? Or working in a poison gas factory? There’s nothing risky about making records.”
• His longtime crush on Mavis Staples. “I said to myself, ‘One day you’ll be standing there with your arm around that girl.’ I remember thinking that. Ten years later, there I was—with my arm around her.”
• How pleased he is to have a diverse audience—not just in terms of age, but in terms of interests and demographics.
• The best song he’s ever written about heartbreak and loss: it’s “Love Sick,” he says, from Time Out of Mind.
• The nature of happiness, which Dylan riffs on for a while, with spacey insights like “time is your soul mate.” In the course of that discussion, Dylan mentions that he doesn’t understand how billionaires can be happy if they’re hoarding all their cash instead of creating jobs in inner cities. Then, he thanks the interviewer for keeping the interview focused on music.