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Bob Dylan Talks About His New Oldies Album With AARP

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

If your new album includes songs originally recorded by a guy who would turn 100 this year if he was still alive, it makes total sense that you’d grant AARP an exclusive interview, right?

Bob Dylan‘s upcoming ‘Shadows in the Night’ LP features songs originally recorded by the late Frank Sinatra sometime during his 60-year career. And the 73-year-old singer-songwriter sat down for his first interview in three years with AARP (which prefers that you don’t call it the American Association of Retired Persons anymore, by the way) to talk about it.

And once you get past the writer’s unfamiliarity with the project — “I noticed that Frank Sinatra recorded every one of these songs. Was he on your mind?” he asks — it’s a pretty interesting chat with Dylan, who reveals he wanted to do a record like this ever since hearing Willie Nelson‘s 1978 classic ‘Stardust.’

“All through the years, I’ve heard these songs being recorded by other people and I’ve always wanted to do that,” he said. “And I wondered if anybody else saw it the way I did.”

And, yes, Dylan answered the question about the Sinatra influence (which has pretty much been the selling point of ‘Shadows in the Night,’ which comes out on Feb. 3, since it was announced late last year), saying that “When you start doing these songs, Frank’s got to be on your mind.”

Dylan discusses a number of subjects in the interview, including influences, his crush on gospel and R&B singer Mavis Staples and writing about aging. Perhaps in a nod to this last point, he finished a thought with “I can’t remember what the question was.”

He also acknowledges AARP’s readers, many of whom are Dylan’s age and older. “A lot of those readers are going to like this record,” he said. “If it was up to me, I’d give you the records for nothing and you give them to every [reader of your] magazine.” There’s one advantage to getting older.

See the Yearbook Photos of Bob Dylan and Other Rock Stars

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