Thursday, June 29, 2006

50. Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

Track Listing

1. Subterranean Homesick Blues
2. She Belongs To Me
3. Maggie's Farm
4. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
5. Outlaw Blues
6. On The Road Again
7. Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
8. Mr. Tambourine Man
9. Gates Of Eden
10. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
11. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue


I wasn't a big Dylan fan a couple of years ago. I found his voice annoying, his lyrics pretentious so on and so forth. Yet, the more I've listened to him the more I have to recognise his absolute brilliance, as a lyricist and composer as well as just a performer. There is very little of Dylan I don't like now. If anyone out there still doesn't get why Dylan is so loved just listen to him. The more you do the more you'll get it.

So, you must have guessed that I also loved this album. You guessed right. If I had to rate the songs here individually there would be none under 8/10 and plenty over it. If you apply this to a whole album it is pretty damn impressive. No skipabble tracks at all, they are all beautiful in their own right.

This is one of those albums which makes much more sense in vinyl (note to self: replace vinyl player, as it sounds like some one is frying chips in the background, thats what you get from buying a "vintage" 1973 player on eBay...humph.). And why does it make more sense in vinyl you ask? Because the first half is completely different from the second. So, Side A and B make sense, something completely lost in the CD format. Side A is much rockier than B which is folkier. Which side is better? They're equally fantastic! I need to give him top marks because there is a quality to Dylan that edges him just ahead of his contemporaries, it's like he is on a different plane, and maybe for that reason his songs don't sound nearly as dated as most other albums I've reviewed here.

Do yourself a favour and get this. From Subterranean Homesick Blues to It's All Over Now Baby Blue, passing through Maggie's Farm and Mr. Tambourine Man there are no tracks far from perfect here. Stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
2. Maggie's Farm
3. Subterranean Homesick Blues
4. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

(it was really hard to decide favourites here... Sophie's Choice hard)

Final Grade



His voice is still annoying.

From Wiki:

One of Dylan's most celebrated and ambitious compositions, "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" is arguably one of Dylan's finest songs. At fifteen verses long, it is also one of his most verbose. Clinton Heylin wrote that it "opened up a whole new genre of finger-pointing song, not just for Dylan but for the entire panoply of pop," and one critic said it is to capitalism what Darkness at Noon is to communism. A fair number of Dylan's most famous lyrics can be found in this song: "He not busy being born is busy dying"; "It's easy to see without looking too far / That not much is really sacred"; "Even the president of the United States / Sometimes must have to stand naked"; "Money doesn't talk, it swears"; "If my thought-dreams could be seen / They'd probably put my head in a guillotine."

"Snagged by a sour, pinched guitar riff, the song has an acerbic tinge...and Dylan sings the title rejoinders in mock self-pity," writes NPR's Tim Riley. "It's less an indictment of the system than a coil of imagery that spells out how the system hangs itself with the rope it's so proud of."

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