Tuesday, June 06, 2006

36. Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)

Track Listing

1. Blowin' In The Wind
2. Girl From The North Country
3. Masters Of War
4. Down The Highway
5. Bob Dylan's Blues
6. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
7. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
8. Bob Dylan's Dream
9. Oxford Town
10. Talkin' World War III Blues
11. Corrina, Corrina
12. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
13. I Shall Be Free


A truly amazing album, this seems not to have aged a day since its release. It is as fresh, beautiful, poignant and just plain good as when it was first released. Strangely it is an album which is more dated by its lyrics than by its music. The music is a simple affair, a guy, his guitar and an harmonica. The lyrics reveal its date but not in a bad way, just mentions of Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg and Sophia Loren as sex symbols. Which unless you are into older ladies like my friend Bryan don't really make much sense today. But of course this is the kind of dating you want for an album. It isn't the cheesyness of early Beatles.

This is also probably the first album reviewed here where all but two songs are written by the performer. It's the birth of the age of the singer-songwriter. And that can only be a good thing. Although early on I talked about the dating of the tracks that does not mean they are not relevant. Masters of War is a good example of a song which makes a huge amount of sense today and so do most of the other tracks in this album.

Frankly, as we all know, Dylan doesn't have the prettiest voice in the world. He is not the best guitar player and frankly his harmonica playing is flawed, I myself am an astounding harmonica player. Strangely though all of these things fit together perfectly and Dylan certainly chose the right type of music to be able to do this and still get away with one of the best albums of all time. Yes, you heard me right, he can't sing or play and he's still produced one of the best albums ever. Don't ask me how. Maybe the fact that he is an astounding lyricist helps.

So if you haven't heard this album, do. And listen to it carefully, it deserves it. Dylan might have become a parody of himself, but here he is a God. Stream it at Napster or just buy it from Amazon in the UK or in the US.

Track Highlights

1. Don't Think Twice It's Allright
2. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
3. Masters of War
4. I Shall Be Free

Final Grade



If any of my readers have ever had or given a blow job in Chicago or a wind tunnel, drop me a line telling me if the answer is blowing in the wind.

From Wikipedia

Susan Elizabeth Rotolo (born November 20, 1943), nicknamed Suze Rotolo, is an artist who specializes in artist's books and who teaches at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Suze Rotolo is the woman walking with Bob Dylan on the cover of the album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. She was Dylan's girlfriend in New York in the early 1960s.

She was born and raised in Queens, NY. Her parents were Joachim Rotolo and Mary Pezzati Rotolo. Her older sister is Carla Rotolo who also knew Dylan in the 1960s. Her uncle was the American portrait painter Pietro Pezzati.

Her political views are widely regarded as having triggered Dylan's topical songwriting. She worked for a time for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

The influence of Bertolt Brecht on Dylan's songwriting and performing has been acknowledged by Dylan as stemming from her participation in Brechtian theater during their relationship. Dylan's interest in painting can also be traced back to his relationship with Rotolo. According to Howard Sounces in his book Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan Suze became pregnant in 1963 by Dylan and decided to have an abortion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always wondered who was that lady on the cover with Dylan.
Great Blog, dude!