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sleepy jack 12-11-2007 04:42 PM

Talkin' Bob Dylan
 
Talkin' Bob Dylan

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a.../bobdylann.jpg

Bob Dylan is arguably (or inarguably) the best songwriter of all time and if he's not the best he's easily one of the greatest. His career has spanned several decades and he's covered a variety of genres throughout it and recorded some of the greatest albums ever. This going to be my attempt to review his discography, from his debut to Modern Times. I'm only doing the official studio releases, though I may do all the bootlegs afterwards. Wish me luck, first review is going to be up in probably an hour =x

Urban Hat€monger ? 12-11-2007 04:45 PM

Funnily enough Desire is on my to-do list for the Urban 1000.

Good luck.

sleepy jack 12-11-2007 04:55 PM

I can't wait to get to Desire, it's my friend Chloe's favorite album by him. I heard it once and liked it but for some reason I only ever listened to Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde as well as a few random songs and that was all.

jackhammer 12-11-2007 04:59 PM

This should be an interesting thread. I am not a huge Dylan fan but who knows whether I will be swayed? I have three of his albums although I won't be adding THE TRAVELLING WILBURYS to my collection anytime soon!

TheBig3 12-11-2007 05:08 PM

because its bad music of because it costs an arm and a leg to get the CD?

jackhammer 12-11-2007 05:11 PM

It's just uninspiring music.

sleepy jack 12-11-2007 05:20 PM

"Bob Dylan (1962)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...n/bobdylan.jpg

The albums kicks off with a fast paced, lo-fi rambling folk song and part of you can't help but wonder "What? Is this the same guy that recorded Highway 61 Revisited?" Not to say it's bad just that it's kind of shocking the guy who would years later stand up on stage and play Like a Rolling Stone 'fucking loud' to the shock of hundreds of folk fans to be so amateur, it's a charming album but if it wasn't for Dylan's trademark nasally vocals you wouldn't think this was the same guy who even sung the line "How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?"

The album consists of a variety of old folk covers and a few originals that while are good, are nothing special, though Song To Woody is a great song and the obvious highpoint in the album. This debut isn't the cancer on his career fanatics insist it is, but you have to wonder what would've happened if his recording contract had come later, would his debut have been stronger and less rough? Probably. This avid Guthrie fan shows to be a good folk artist, a bit obsessed with death, but there's no real hints here at the genius to come. It just seems like another 60s folk album, a good and enjoyable one, but just another one.

Favorite Lyric: "Here's to Cisco an' Sonny an' Leadbelly too / An' to all the good people that traveled with you / Here's to the hearts and the hands of the men / That come with the dust and are gone with the wind."
Favorite Songs: Song To Woody, Talkin' New York, Pretty Peggy-O

Laces Out Dan! 12-11-2007 05:39 PM

Im stoked to see your Discog review.

sleepy jack 12-11-2007 05:41 PM

"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...reewheelin.jpg

How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man? One of the most famous lines in music history opens this album and it sets the mood immediately. This album is kind of scary in the sense nearly every song is a classic and if you'd re-titled it "The Essential Bob Dylan" or "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" you probably wouldn't get much argument. From the sad romantic songs Girl From the North Country and Don't Think Twice, It's Al; Right to the political Masters of War, Oxford Town to the comic Talking World War III Blues and all the way to the poetic Blowin' in the Wind. This albums shows Dylan as the brilliant lyricist he was that wasn't as easy to see on his debut.

This album is probably one of the greatest folk albums ever recorded, it's topical as it is romantic and always poetic and real. Bob Dylan shows himself a much more comfortable folk artists here and a much much more powerful musician.

Favorite Lyric: "So if you're travelin' in the north country fair / Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline / Remember me to one who lives there / She once was a true love of mine."
Favorite Songs: Girl From the North County, Don't Think Twice It's All Right, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Blowin' in the Wind, Talkin' World War III Blues

Urban Hat€monger ? 12-11-2007 06:49 PM

Here's an idea for you

As he's got such an extensive discography & been around 6 decades why not (say every 5 albums or so) do a brief round up commenting on the way his career was going at the time, patterns you've noticed emerging in the album's you've heard. Look at them as a body of work rather than individual albums.. that sort of thing.

sleepy jack 12-11-2007 06:53 PM

I don't know, I may do that but I kind of want to review each album (nothing really extensive) though I imagine that will get tiring and I'll probably decide to no longer do that after the first 10 albums. I think I'll start doing that though after every phase (when he quit being just folk, etc) then eventually drop the individual albums when I get tired of it and just do that.

swim 12-11-2007 07:07 PM

S/T is my favorite because it's just a kid and a guitar (and a harmonica of course) who's trying way too hard. It's beautiful.

Crowe 12-11-2007 08:45 PM

I support this thread.

mr. goth glam 12-11-2007 09:34 PM

Personally, he's my favorite singer.

Heh.

sleepy jack 12-12-2007 12:25 AM

"The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...reachangin.jpg

"Come gather 'round people wherever you roam / And admit that the waters around you have grown / And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone / If your time to you is worth savin' / Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone / For the times they are a-changin'" It's amazing how the opening verse to this album is more relevant today than it was in the 60s. The era was full of protest songs and protest albums but only a handful have really stood the test of time. The Times They Are A-Changin' is one of those few.

This album was the first Dylan album I heard in its entirety so it holds a special place in my heart but when listening to it now after having heard albums like Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde I can't help but find it slightly repetitive. The odd thing is though it works for each song, but when listening to them back to back it can get slightly tiresome however it's still a very strong release. It's much more bleak than Freewheelin and in alot of ways much more powerful too.

Favorite Lyric: "Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night / And the diamonds from the deepest ocean / I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss."
Favorite Songs: Boots Of Spanish Leather, Only A Pawn In Their Game, With God On Our Side, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Brock_West 12-12-2007 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackhammer (Post 421368)
This should be an interesting thread. I am not a huge Dylan fan but who knows whether I will be swayed? I have three of his albums although I won't be adding THE TRAVELLING WILBURYS to my collection anytime soon!

The Wilburys are really good.

I think Dylan is the second best songwriter (McCartney), but can't really enjoy his voice in the least, so I prefer covers to the originals.

sleepy jack 12-12-2007 01:12 AM

"Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...notherside.jpg

I don't hear this album getting discussed much and I'm assuming it must be because it came out the same year and probably gets compared to The Times They Are A-Changing (and loses). That must be the reason I don't hear it get talked about much because there's nothing wrong with the material itself.

The album opens with a much happier Dylan (he laughs =O), much different from the one then we saw on his last album. It's interesting really the contrast between this and Times. While Times was bleak and very political this albums much more fun and lighthearteded, though not all the time it has it's more depressing notes, It Ain't Me Babe for instance. .This album is considered to be the last strictly acoustic Dylan album and it's definitely a good note to end on it. Dylan sounds energetic and appears to be having a lot of fun, there's even a honky tonk piano thrown in here.

Favorite Lyric: "My friends from the prison, they ask unto me / 'How good, how good does it feel to be free?' / And I answer them most mysteriously / 'Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?'"
Favorite Songs: Chimes of Freedom, My Back Pages, I Shall Be Free No. 10, It Ain't Me Babe, To Ramona

sleepy jack 12-12-2007 03:43 PM

The Times They Are A-Changin'
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...bobdylanii.jpg

Around this time Dylan was growing tired of being folk's posterboy and the voice of his generation. In the Dylan Chronicles he wrote about how he was experimenting with a variety of ways to get his fans off his back, whether it was stylistically or religiously Dylan was determined to shake his audience because it was getting so ridiculous that his house was being broken into at times and all he really wanted was some privacy.

Dylan would write many of his classic songs over the next few albums, some of which include: Mr. Tambourine Man, Maggie's Farm, Like a Rolling Stone, Ballad of a Thin Man, Desolation Row, Visions of Johanna and others. His live sets were riddled with controversy, while the first half was well accepted acoustic folk songs the second would be loud and electric and often not well received.

Dylan never left his folk roots over the next few albums even though he experimented upon it and expanded on it and when you look at the products of this experimenting (Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited) you can't help but be thankful for it.

sleepy jack 12-12-2007 07:23 PM

"Bringing It All Back Home (1965)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...n/backhome.jpg

The music on here goes from folk, to blues, to rock and to something that was just Dylan. The rambling beat influenced poetry seems to fly by in only a few minutes when at times it's actually several minutes long, your attention never strays. Giving your attention to Dylan on songs like Bob Dylan's 115th dream is more a pleasure than something tedious.

Now while this is considered Bob Dylan's first electric album there's still some acoustic songs and he still held a love for it, though not so much his protest songs. He talks about it in the Dylan chronicles quite a bit. Some of his best acoustic material is on this album, most noted is Mr. Tambourine Man. This album would mark the start of something beautiful, that something was the beginning of the sound you'd see on Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.

Dylan's lyrics prove to be getting better and better, though more and more off the wall. Part of that can probably be owed to LSD, which no doubt effected (and improved) his writing process. Songs like Gates of Eden are completely off the wall lyrically.

Favorite Lyric: "The wind howls like a hammer / The night blows cold and rainy / My love she's like some raven / At my window with a broken wing."
Favorite Songs: Gates of Eden, She Belongs To Me, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Outlaw Blues, Bob Dylan's 115th Dream, It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)



"Highway 61 Revisited (1965)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...1revisited.jpg

What to say about Highway 61 Revisited, he took what he did with the last album and kicked it up a notch. This is easily in my top 3 favorite Dylan albums of all time and it's plenty of peoples number 1. It's considered his best and it's easy to say why. Every track is strong and the opening snare hit to Like a Rolling Stone is infamous. This album is when Dylan mastered his own sound, not say he did it perfect here, but he came close.

The rambling poetry over loud and energetic music, ranging from slow and bluesy to fast and rocky. Highway 61 Revisited proves to be a trip, both fun and sad. The lyrics are as bizarre as they are powerful on this album. Sometimes they're downright they're awful but in a very comical manner and all the biblical references are amusing. I really don't have much to say on this other than it's an essential Dylan album to own and if you don't already have it then get it. There's a reason its held in such high regard.

Favorite Lyric: "Cinderella, she seems so easy / "It takes one to know one," she smiles / And puts her hands in her back pockets, better Davis style / And in comes Romeo, he's moaning "you Belong to Me I Believe" / And someone says," You're in the wrong place, my friend you better leave" / And the only sound that's left after the ambulances go / Is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row."
Favorite Songs: Tombstone Blues, Ballad of a Thin Man, Highway 61 Revisited, Desolation Row, Like a Rolling Stone



"Blonde on Blonde (1966)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...deonblonde.jpg

This was my favorite Bob Dylan album for a really long time but Monday when I was just listening to random tracks in his discography I realized my favorite had switched places with my second favorite. I will keep which album that is quiet for now. That being said, Blonde on Blonde was my favorite album for a really long time and I prefer it over Highway 61 Revisited.

Blonde on Blonde shows Dylan returning to his folk roots, not completely he kept a variety of backing instruments giving it a much more full sound and there's a definite blues influence going on there. He also still keeps the five minute plus songs of rambling poetry and I'm very glad he did. Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands is easily one of my favorite songs by him ever.

Favorite Lyric: "Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial / Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while / But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues / You can tell by the way she smiles / See the primitive wallflower freeze / When the jelly-faced women all sneeze / Hear the one with the mustache say, "Jeeze I can't find my knees" / Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule / But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel."
Favorite Songs: Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Visions of Johanna, I Want You, Just Like a Woman, Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

mr. goth glam 12-12-2007 11:18 PM

Pretty good.

sleepy jack 12-13-2007 04:52 PM

The Country I Come From
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...obdylaniii.jpg

After a motorcycle accident which would give Dylan a much needed break from the world he returned to music world and to his roots. Blonde on Blonde showed much more folkyness than the more upbeat and rockin' Highway 61 Revisited but it couldn't be called a full return. With John Wesley Harding and albums following Dylan showed a return to his roots and showed a more country side to his music, even re-recording Girl From the North County with Johnny Cash and spending time in Nashville.

sleepy jack 12-13-2007 09:20 PM

"John Wesley Harding (1967)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...leyharding.jpg

This album marked a return to his older albums except it showed a much more experienced songwriter. Using a variety of instruments to give it a much more full sound and doing more than just folk Dylan crafted a much more interesting and versatile album than he did in his earlier days. Yet none of the tracks seem as heavy hitting as songs like Masters of War and it wouldn't be right to call this album a folk album either. Songs like I'll Be Your Baby Tonight are without a doubt country songs. John Wesley Harding shows Dylan returning to his roots, only to stray from them again. Which isn't a bad thing, who would want to hear Freewheelin five more times?

Favorite Lyric: "I dreamed I saw St. Augustine, alive with fiery breath / And I dreamed I was amongst the ones that put him out to death / Oh, I awoke in anger, so alone and terrified / I put my fingers against the glass and bowed my head and cried."
Favorite Songs: I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine, All Along The Watchtower, The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, I Am a Lonesome Hobo, John Wesley Harding



"Nashville Skyline (1969)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...lleskyline.jpg

This is where Dylan goes full on country. Trading in his usually nasally vocals for a country croon, he took what he did on John Wesley Harding and expanded and built upon it. Now Dylan does some great stuff here, the re-recording of Girl From the North Country with Johnny Cash is beautiful but at times this album is pretty mediocre country stuff.

The good obviously outweighs the bad on this release, but the bad drags it down. Songs like Country Pie are boring not only lyrically but musically it's pretty typical country stuff. However Dylan does do country beautifully here on tracks like Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, which thank god make up the majority of the album.

Favorite Lyric: "Whatever colors you have in your mind / I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine."
Favorite Songs: Girl From the North Country (with Johnny Cash), Lay Lady Lay, Tell Me That It Isn't True, I Threw It All Away, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You

Girl From the North Country with Johnny Cash


boo boo 12-13-2007 11:39 PM

Dylan is good. I mean he's a brilliant lyricist. But honestly I was never that into his actual music. Good reviews though.

dog 12-14-2007 01:56 AM

has anyone heard the basement tapes?, the album he did with 'the band'? is it any good?, i imagine it being great, but i cant find it anywhere

billyjerome 12-14-2007 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ledzeppelinrulz (Post 422119)
has anyone heard the basement tapes?, the album he did with 'the band'? is it any good?, i imagine it being great, but i cant find it anywhere

Excellent.

The Basement Tapes

And depending on how interested you are...

A Tree With Roots

sleepy jack 12-14-2007 08:45 PM

I am taking a well deserved break after the 60s. I think I'll take one when I finish each decade. I'll start on the 70s next week.

dog 12-15-2007 04:01 AM

i dont mean to sound mean, but whats the point of this?

billyjerome 12-15-2007 10:31 AM

By the way, this is a music forum. Just throwin' it out there.

dog 12-16-2007 06:12 AM

no i mean spending so much time reviewing albums, does this person get a lot of fun out of it or something? it just seems really tedious

Urban Hat€monger ? 12-16-2007 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ledzeppelinrulz (Post 422584)
no i mean spending so much time reviewing albums, does this person get a lot of fun out of it or something? it just seems really tedious

If someone has to explain this to you is does tend to ask the question what on earth are you doing on a music forum.

It's about sharing your enthusiasm about something with others. I happen to enjoy reading these sorts of lists a lot as it gives me a new perspective on something i've listen to or suggest to me to try something I wouldn't normally try , and generally to learn something.And I enjoy writing my own too & seeing other people do just that to my own stuff.

And that to me is much more of a rewarding way to spend my time online than , for example spend time blowing up people in some war game.

right-track 12-16-2007 09:48 AM

I find them far from tedious ledzep.
In fact, I wish there were more threads like this. *hint
It's well presented, informative and interesting.

It's threads like these that keep MB from being just another message board.

jackhammer 12-16-2007 01:09 PM

I'm thinking of doing a pink floyd one, but that sounds uninteresting as virtually everyone knows what the Floyd are about.Let me mull it over.

sleepy jack 12-16-2007 07:17 PM

To be honest it makes it much easier if everyone knows who it is. You can spend a sentence or two stating what they did on the album and then you can just talk about what you think of it. On my top 100 there were more obscure artists and I had to go on about what it sounded like, here I don't. Everyone knows who Bob Dylan is so I don't have to spend much time talking about his sound. I'm doing Nick Drake next.

sleepy jack 12-17-2007 09:30 PM

"Self Portrait (1970)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...lfportrait.jpg

An album that from the start Shows a different Dylan. Opening with female vocals harmonizing the same line over and over I actually had to skip All the Tired Horses because it was 2 minutes into it, the same thing the entire time that seemed to steadily build. The sad part is, this song tends to set the mood for the entire album. Boring, country and a step-down from Nashville Country. This is the first Dylan album I've heard that I haven't really loved. I mean, they're good country songs but I've come to expect much more from Dylan than this album delivered. Songs like Days of 49 are enjoyable but they're no Desolation Row. Some of the songs on here are almost shameful, particularly the laid back live version of Like a Rolling Stone. This album is a testament to what happens when an artist no longer sets certain standards for his music. It's a good album but when the majority of the music you've released up to that point has been so much more than good, good isn't something you want to strive for, greatness is.

Funny snippet from an interview I found while researching this:
Interviewer: "The sleeve is I suppose, interesting? But are you a painter Mr.Dylan?"
Bob Dylan: "Yeah I guess you could say that. I paint a lot"
Interviewer: "Do you exhibit too?"
Bob Dylan: "My paintings are always on exhibition"
Interviewer: "Really?"
Bob Dylan: "Yes over the year I painted the entire outside of my house"

sleepy jack 12-19-2007 12:21 AM

"New Morning (1970)"
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...newmorning.jpg

I'm actually surprised to find myself liking this CD. I knew he had some good 70s albums but I always thought they were during the mid/late seventies and I certainly didn't expect a really good one to follow Self Portrait but this album proved that wrong. After reading up so much on Dylan and listening to so much I can safely say this is somewhat of an unsung hero of a release. It's very different from any side of Dylan we've seen prior to this and when listening to this I think that's certainly a good thing.

It's slightly laid back, but not in the almost apathetic way you heard on Self Portrait. It's more laid back in the I'm changing kind of way. This CD is definitely a rootsy release, touching on blues, gospel, jazz and country it's mostly piano driven. Dylan does some things I've never heard before or even expected, particularly "If Dogs Run Free" which reminds me so much of Jack Kerouac, Dylan's beat influences definitely shine through. I know many people haven't heard this album and probably because it came during a rather awkward time during Dylan's career but I strongly suggest you to listen to it. It's not Like a Rolling Stone or even Blowin' in the Wind, it's a new Dylan and he's still got it.

Favorite Lyric: "Winterlude, let's go down to the chapel / Then come back and cook up a meal / Well, come out when the skating rink glistens / By the sun, near the old crossroads sign / The snow is so cold, but our love can be bold / Winterlude, don't be rude, please be mine."
Favorite Songs: Day Of The Locusts, Sign on the Window, Winterlude, If Not For You, Went To See The Gypsy

sleepy jack 12-20-2007 08:10 PM

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...patgarrett.jpg

This is a soundtrack composed almost entirely of instrumental tracks, with the exception of two songs Knockin' On Heavens Door and Billy 4. The former is a very strong track the latter is a good song but it pales in comparison to Knockin' On Heavens Door. There's not much to say about it really, Knockin On Heavens Door is a great great great song (try and forget the butchered Guns and Roses version when listening to this one) and the instrumental tracks show Dylan to be a good guitarist something that I never really paid attention to before. All in all it's a good soundtrack, doesn't work as an album for obvious reasons even if it is entirely done by Dylan.

Favorite Lyric: "Mama, put my guns in the ground / I can't shoot them anymore / That long black cloud is comin' down / I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door."
Favorite Songs: Knockin' On Heavens Door, Final Theme, Billy 4, Main Title Theme, Billy 7

jackhammer 12-20-2007 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crowquill (Post 424010)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/a...patgarrett.jpg
This is a soundtrack composed almost entirely of instrumental tracks, with the exception of two songs Knockin' On Heavens Door and Billy 4. The former is a very strong track the latter is a good song but doesn't even compare to Knockin' On Heavens Door. There's not much to say about it really, Knockin On Heavens Door is a great song and it shows Dylan to be a good guitarist something that I never really paid attention to before. It's a good soundtrack, doesn't work as an album for obvious reasons even if it is entirely done by Dylan.
Favorite Lyric: "Mama, put my guns in the ground / I can't shoot them anymore / That long black cloud is comin' down / I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door."
Favorite Songs: Knockin' On Heavens Door, Final Theme, Billy 4, Main Title Theme, Billy 7

I may have to revisit the album as it's a great movie. One of Peckinpah's lost classics.

sleepy jack 12-20-2007 08:20 PM

Dylan played Alias in it, I'm interested to see it.

EDIT: Bad news folks, I can't find his 1973 release "Dylan" anywhere so we're going to have to skip it. If someone could get that to me that would appreciated.

Ace 12-20-2007 09:37 PM

Dylan & - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That it?

sleepy jack 12-20-2007 10:36 PM

Yeah I just got it though so I'll review it in a second.


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