Bob Dylan has surprised fans with new music, a 17-minute track about the assassination of John F Kennedy.
The revered singer-songwriter, 78, announced the release of Murder Most Foul on Friday and shared a brief message saying he recorded it “a while back”.
Fans speculated from the tone of his voice it was a relatively recent recording.
“Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years,” Dylan said.
Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years.— Bob Dylan (@bobdylan) March 27, 2020
This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.
Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.
“This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you. Bob Dylan.”
It is Dylan’s first new music since 2012’s Tempest. Murder Most Foul explores JFK’s 1963 assassination in Dallas while also touching on other themes of the decade.
The Beatles get a mention, as do the Woodstock and Altamont concerts, both key events in the 1960s counterculture.
“The day they killed him, someone said to me, son, the age of the antichrist has just only begun,” Dylan sings on the track.
“The soul of a nation’s been torn away, and it’s beginning to go into a slow decay… It’s 36 hours past judgment day.”
While Tempest is Dylan’s most recent collection of new music, he has also released his own versions of classic American songs.
Rumours have swirled Dylan has been preparing to release a new album, although his social media post announcing Murder Most Foul offered no clues.
Dylan has been a towering figure in popular culture for almost 60 years. His music – including songs Blowin’ In The Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin’ – became synonymous with the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s.
His achievements include Grammys, an Oscar, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Nobel Prize in Literature.