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Old 10-30-2008, 10:46 AM   #37 (permalink)
Brad Stengel
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boston, MA
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#21

Bob Dylan
"Highway 61 Revisited"(1965)


I can honestly name only one artist consistently played on classic rock radio that hasn't been ruined in any way for me. Bob Dylan. Most likely because all the stoner kids ignore him, his originality, while overrated among the world of 'Rolling Stone', I've always found underrated in the world of independent music. Lot's of things the Velvet Underground supposovely pinoneered, speak-singing, edgy dystopic lyrics, were done by Dylan years before.

That said, this is undoubtedly his masterpeice. The leadoff track, "Like A Rolling Stone" clocks in at six minutes, and at the time destroyed the notion of the three minute single being the only commercially viabl format for a song to become popular. While "Bringing It All Back Home" is Dylan's first move from folk to rock, "Highway 61" is where he fully embraces it. The guitar is electric, theres touches of piano, faster rythyms, and all around an improvement over his previous albums.

I'm just dissapointed this album doesn't include his single from this time, "Positively 4th Street", my favorite Dylan song. With the most bitter, "Fuck You" lyrics ever written, and a memorable organ line, the song doesn't need a chorus because the verses are so well done. If "Positively 4th Street" was on this album, it would probably be in my top 10 of all time favorites. In any case, the rest of the album is mesmerizing enough to have me mention it here.

The best song is by far, "Queen Jane Approximately". An absolutely sublime piano track rollicks through the song, with organ and guitar meshing perfectly. While it's Dylan's lyrics that seem to garner the most praise, it's melodies like this one that earn his albums a special place in my collection. Of course I have no idea what the lyrics are about-it usually takes me ten minutes of deep thought to breach any cryptic meaning to his songs. But it doesn't matter-"Highway 61 Revisited" is good enough musically that the listener doesn't have to know what half of it means. To me, Dylan's albums are written in a foreign advanced language that takes time and effort to translate, and regardless of that, his albums are absolute classics, "Highway 61 Revisited" being the cream of the crop.
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Last edited by Brad Stengel; 10-31-2008 at 08:28 AM.
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