Friday, July 07, 2006

58. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

Track Listing

1. Like A Rolling Stone
2. Tombstone Blues
3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
4. From A Buick 6
5. Ballad Of A Thin Man
6. Queen Jane Approximately
7. Highway 61 Revisited
8. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
9. Desolation Row


I've been becoming a right Dylan-head, I have. This is another great album by the Dylanster, bookended by two of his best tracks with plenty of good stuff in the middle. Like the perfect sandwich. Even though some called him Judas, (that famous concert was right here in Manchester, if you ever go by Affleck's Palace in City Centre look for the mosaic on the wall with some twit shouting Judas), Dylan is as good as he's ever been.

Some of Dylan's folksy purity has been exchanged by harder, rockier sounds. This is not a change for the worse, or for the better. It is just a change and part of Dylan's natural evolution. Other bands like The Byrds were even covering his songs for a rockier feel, having number ones with them which led Dylan to the natural conclusion that he could do the same and keep the cash.

And this is what he did, and for a new mean in music he seems to have mastered it right off the bat. His lyics are as good as ever, maybe even better because he is no longer as naive as some previous stuff like Blowing in the Wind were. He's more decadent and more cynical and this is always to be appreciated. (Just look at my user picture). Dylan even shows up dressed as a biker on the album cover, to show his "cooler" leanings.

This is not however a necessarily better album, some tracks here aren't as exciting as others. It Takes a Lot To Laugh does nothing for me, for example, or From a Buick 6. Everything else here is a masterpiece however, lyrically and musically. And you owe it to yourself to listen to it. You can stream it from Napster or order it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Like a rolling Stone
2. Desolation Row
3. Ballad of a Thin Man
4. Tombstone Blues

Final Grade



Be a Dylan-head, ask me how!

From Wiki:

Years after its release, Dave Marsh wrote that Highway 61 Revisited was one of Dylan's "best albums, and [one] of the greatest in the history of rock & roll." Subsequent polls in recent years prove that it remains a fixture in the rock pantheon. In 1995 Highway 61 Revisited was named the fifth greatest album of all time in a poll conducted by Mojo Magazine. In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Highway 61 Revisited the 57th greatest album of all time; in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 22. Then in 2003, Rolling Stone magazine placed it fourth on its list of the greatest albums of all time and named "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Highway 61 Revisited" the first and 364th greatest songs respectively.

Clinton Heylin wrote it was "an album that consolidated everything 'Like A Rolling Stone' (and Bringing It All Back Home) proffered ... an amalgamation of every strand in American popular music from 'Gypsy Davey' to the Philly Sound." Tim Riley said it was "the first Dylan record to posit protest as a way of life, a state of mind, something as psychologically bound as it is socially incumbent."

A massive influence on Dylan's contemporaries, it also coincided with greater commercial success as singles like "Like A Rolling Stone" and "Positively 4th Street" brought him to a wider audience. The controversy that ignited with Newport would continue to follow Dylan throughout 1965, but he had no intention in turning back.

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