NEW YORK — Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his rock poetry, but he is returning to classics with his new album which marks his latest collection of Frank Sinatra standards. “Triplicate,” which will come out on March 31, will be Dylan’s first three-disc album and his third successive album consisting of covers of tunes performed by Sinatra. Dylan released a first track from “Triplicate” — a take on “I Could Have Told You,” originally released by Sinatra in 1954, with the rock legend’s grainy voice over a melancholy slide guitar. Other songs Dylan covers on “Triplicate” include “The Best Is Yet To Come,” one of Sinatra’s most famous songs whose title is inscribed on his tombstone; “As Time Goes By,” best known for the piano scene in classic film “Casablanca;” and “Stardust,” a perennial American favorite since Hoagy Carmichael’s 1927 original. While Sinatra is the common thread on “Triplicate,” Dylan’s 38th studio album, the 30 songs come from a range of songwriters. Dylan picked the selection and recorded them with his touring band at Capitol studios in Hollywood, his label said.
At 75, Dylan has shown no sign of slowing down. He plans a tour of Europe in April and May and was recently announced as a headliner of the Firefly festival to take place in June in the eastern U.S. state of Delaware. But Dylan was characteristically reticent in October when he was the surprise winner of literature’s most celebrated prize, with the Nobel Committee hailing his unique rock voice. He did not show up to the prize ceremony in Stockholm in December, although he sent a speech read by the U.S. ambassador in which he said he was “honored” to receive the award. It was unclear when Dylan recorded “Triplicate,” although he cited pre-existing commitments for his failure to attend the Nobel ceremony. Dylan released a first album of Sinatra covers in 2015, “Shadows in the Night,” and a second one last year, “Fallen Angels.” His last album with newly written songs, “Tempest,” came out in 2012 and was tinged with dark lyricism and Irish roots music. The critically acclaimed work had initially triggered speculation it would be Dylan’s last owing to the title, as Shakespeare’s final play was “The Tempest.”