All Time Top 1100 Albums - Bob Dylan (Highway 61 Revisited) P239

chedlee

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Joined
8 Jul 2009
Messages
376
At one point in time I had every album Dylan officially released on vinyl. The last one I bought was Oh Mercy but I had stoped really engaging with any of the material before then. I know of a number of people that have come to Dylans music in the past 10 - 20 years and I really enjoyed the last one (Rough and Rowdy Ways) but this album typified everything I had come to dislike about his work. There just isn't enough to get excited about. I played it earlier and it was ok but only that and, for me, Dylan has always meant more than ok - he has helped define and shape whole periods of my life.
He is doing what he was doing at this time well so I will give it a 6/10
 

arfurclue

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15 Dec 2008
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1,133
Location
Mexico
Musically, this feels like a nice enough stroll through a pleasant enough yet unremarkable park. Just that there‘s this guy trying to provide a running commentary along the way. Seems like he might have a few snippets of worth to share, however he’s had a few too many swigs of hooch beforehand and thus isn’t such enjoyable company 4/10
 

RobMCFC

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Joined
15 Jul 2020
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1,559
Location
Manchester
Team supported
Manchester City
Musically, this feels like a nice enough stroll through a pleasant enough yet unremarkable park. Just that there‘s this guy trying to provide a running commentary along the way. Seems like he might have a few snippets of worth to share, however he’s had a few too many swigs of hooch beforehand and thus isn’t such enjoyable company 4/10
A nice, succinct review with a dash of humour.
 

Onholiday(somemightsay)

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 Aug 2018
Messages
9,750
Location
MIA
Talking Heads
Remain in Light
2/10

Beth Orton
Central Reservation
4/10

David Crosby
If Only I Could Remember My Name
7/10

Def Leppard
Euphoria
2/10

Beck
Mellow Gold
2/10

Bad Company
Bad Company
6/10

Bob Dylan
Bringing it all back home
6/10

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Now
6/10

Carly Simon
No secrets
3/10

The Beatles
Help!
6/10

Rush
Permanent Waves
5/10

Leonard Cohen
Songs of love and hate
3/10

Crosby Stills & Nash
Crosby Stills & Nash
7/10

Frank Sinatra
Sings for Only the Lonely
5/10

Talk Talk
Spirit of Eden
5/10

Roxy Music
Country Life
3/10

Joe Jackson
Body and Soul
2/10

Madonna
Erotica
2/10

Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes
2/10

Metallica
Metallica (Black?)
6/10

New Score

Bob Dylan ( Father to love-child @BlueHammer85 )
Love and Theft
How do you rank an ageing great?

Album starts, couple of tracks in - I'm not really enjoying this. It's raining, and I'm commuting to work and I've got Bob's strained growls guiding me in to the office.

Why does everyone have him up high on a pedestal (especially once his vocals have decayed further)?*

What is this?

Finally a song that fits his voice - Lonesome Day Blues - it's decent.

Let's carry on - couple more OK and now we have found High Water. I'm feeling him a little more.

Not too much longer to wait until we discover Cry a while - best song on the album for me. Beautifully disguised change of pace that runs throughout (shouldn't really have worked on this song in my head but it does). He is showing me something I've not seen from him - he really does have it in the bag! Dare I say, it was actually quite upbeat.

Outside of the above three there isn't much for me to get excited about but I am quite happy that I have discovered these which gives me hope their is much more for me to discover and enjoy about his extensive back catalogue.

I think we are landing on about a 4 here but I am more open to be venturing more of his back catalogue than I was listening to the first couple of tracks.

* The sheer volume of music that he has created is unbelievable, but I often wonder how much of a filter/ or critique he applies to his writing. As he has gotten older, is he more critical (as his tastes have developed and matured or does he allow stuff to be released because it is still 'better' than a lot of the shite people get paid for producing nowadays?). I think this of other long standing artists as well.

He covers a few styles on this album, I really feel the people around him need to resign him in for the songs that do fit his voice imho............
 

dublinblue12

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Joined
17 Aug 2015
Messages
1,876
Its not one of my favourite Dylan LPS but its not his worst by any stretch. Po Boy and Misissipi the stand out tracks - I also liked floater and but its overall a suprisingly pleasent album, nothing id consider awful and from a period when his best stuff had already been written - 6/10
 

Marklr

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Joined
16 Feb 2020
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Location
Salford
Team supported
Man City
I'm really struggling with this one. Not even a smoke will make this one sound better. Heroin will probably make listening that bit easier, though. How did this get into the... never mind. haha. On a plus...the production and music is spot on. Some of the songs are awful, though...and I could never get my ears around Dylan's singing.
3/10
 

Bill Walker

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 Dec 2006
Messages
20,167
Location
Down under
Talking Heads
Remain in Light
2/10

Beth Orton
Central Reservation
4/10

David Crosby
If Only I Could Remember My Name
7/10

Def Leppard
Euphoria
2/10

Beck
Mellow Gold
2/10

Bad Company
Bad Company
6/10

Bob Dylan
Bringing it all back home
6/10

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Now
6/10

Carly Simon
No secrets
3/10

The Beatles
Help!
6/10

Rush
Permanent Waves
5/10

Leonard Cohen
Songs of love and hate
3/10

Crosby Stills & Nash
Crosby Stills & Nash
7/10

Frank Sinatra
Sings for Only the Lonely
5/10

Talk Talk
Spirit of Eden
5/10

Roxy Music
Country Life
3/10

Joe Jackson
Body and Soul
2/10

Madonna
Erotica
2/10

Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes
2/10

Metallica
Metallica (Black?)
6/10

New Score

Bob Dylan ( Father to love-child @BlueHammer85 )
Love and Theft
How do you rank an ageing great?

Album starts, couple of tracks in - I'm not really enjoying this. It's raining, and I'm commuting to work and I've got Bob's strained growls guiding me in to the office.

Why does everyone have him up high on a pedestal (especially once his vocals have decayed further)?*

What is this?

Finally a song that fits his voice - Lonesome Day Blues - it's decent.

Let's carry on - couple more OK and now we have found High Water. I'm feeling him a little more.

Not too much longer to wait until we discover Cry a while - best song on the album for me. Beautifully disguised change of pace that runs throughout (shouldn't really have worked on this song in my head but it does). He is showing me something I've not seen from him - he really does have it in the bag! Dare I say, it was actually quite upbeat.

Outside of the above three there isn't much for me to get excited about but I am quite happy that I have discovered these which gives me hope their is much more for me to discover and enjoy about his extensive back catalogue.

I think we are landing on about a 4 here but I am more open to be venturing more of his back catalogue than I was listening to the first couple of tracks.

* The sheer volume of music that he has created is unbelievable, but I often wonder how much of a filter/ or critique he applies to his writing. As he has gotten older, is he more critical (as his tastes have developed and matured or does he allow stuff to be released because it is still 'better' than a lot of the shite people get paid for producing nowadays?). I think this of other long standing artists as well.

He covers a few styles on this album, I really feel the people around him need to resign him in for the songs that do fit his voice imho............
I listened to Cry A While a few times to work it out.
At the beginning it sounds like a typical Delta Blues in style.
It uses the I IV V chords harmonically, like any Blues song, but it doesnt change chords in the usual places, when Bob starts singing we start verse 1 on the I chord with an unusual Staccato (Jerky) type of beat, then when we expect it to change to the IV chord (as in a normal 12 Bar Blues) but it doesnt. Just stays on the I chord, eventually changing later on.
This kind of thing has been done before. I just cant remember what or who by.

Wonder who Mr Goldsmith was ?

Well, I had to go down and see a guy named Mr. Goldsmith
A nasty, dirty, double-crossin’, backstabbin’ phony I didn’t wanna have to be dealin’ with
But I did it for you and all you gave me was a smile
Well, I cried for you—now it’s your turn to cry awhile


There are some references to old Blues songs in his lyrics here.
Dope Head Blues by Lonnie Johnson contains the lines

Feel like a fightin’ rooster
Feel better than I ever felt


Bob added them in verse 3
 
Last edited:

FogBlueInSanFran

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 Jul 2011
Messages
11,704
Location
In the hot tub with another Boddy's
Rolling Stone selected Love And Theft as the 11th best record of 2000-2020 in its Top 200 of the period. I am fairly confident had this record been performed by an artist named Bub Dillon it wouldn’t have been given consideration. But it’s not like the man hasn’t earned it, I guess, so let’s stipulate it’s definitionally overrated, and try to cut some critical distance and pretend this is a debut from a 22 year-old with an unusually gravelly voice.

These are strong, pleasant roots and jazz and jump blues songs professionally performed and crisply produced. There’s nothing new nor innovative in the music; it’s an oldies collection. In fact I wonder if that’s the point of the record title. Dylan robs all of history for his tunes, and unlike Joe Jackson’s attempt at Xeroxing historic styles, in this case Dylan’s obviously picked studio musicians who are nailing every note and beat.

And on top we layer the vocals, which, let’s face it, sound kinda hoarse and strained even for a man of Dylan’s advancing years and thin range. But I’ve never really minded that much — it’s a signature at worst, and evocative of something deeper maybe — a man with so much to say the words can’t help but escape regardless of the physical limitations of the throat.

Does he really have much to say this time around? This is far less social poetry and much more a man who has decided to focus his writing chops on how clever he can be. These are miniatures of American country life, each like a little painting, and I very much liked songs like “Floater” and “Mississippi” as each turn of phrase gets revealed. There’s a sad irony in all this — America would never be the same after this record, as it was released on September 11, 2001.

The triumph here I think is “Honest With Me” — a great song with its rolling slide guitar and freight train drums. That went right into my Spotify play list, and I promise no one could have been as surprised as me.

My objection to Dylan has so often been his music, never his talent as a poet nor his voice. Though roots rock/jazz swing isn’t necessarily top of my play list, here we have something I am confident I’ll listen to again because not only is the music crafted and executed so well, I know I’ll find a lot in the lyrics I’ll enjoy over repeated plays. Can you believe I’m going to give this an 8/10? Neither can I, so I’ll give it a 7/10 but I bet some day the future I’ll rethink this.

This is the best surprise we’ve had on the list so far.
 
Last edited:

BlueHammer85

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 Oct 2010
Messages
24,545
Rolling Stone selected Love And Theft as the 11th best record of 2000-2020 in its Top 200 of the period. I am fairly confident had this record been performed by an artist named Bub Dillon it wouldn’t have been given consideration. But it’s not like the man hasn’t earned it, I guess, so let’s stipulate it’s definitionally overrated, and try to cut some critical distance and pretend this is a debut from a 22 year-old with an unusually gravelly voice.

These are strong, pleasant roots and jazz and jump blues songs professionally performed and crisply produced. There’s nothing new nor innovative in the music; it’s an oldies collection. In fact I wonder if that’s the point of the record title. Dylan robs all of history for his tunes, and unlike Joe Jackson’s attempt at Xeroxing historic styles, in this case Dylan’s obviously picked studio musicians who are nailing every note and beat.

And on top we layer the vocals, which, let’s face it, sound kinda hoarse and strained even for a man of Dylan’s advancing years and thin range. But I’ve never really minded that much — it’s a signature at worst, and evocative of something deeper maybe — a man with so much to say the words can’t help but escape regardless of the physical limitations of the throat.

Does he really have much to say this time around? This is far less social poetry and much more a man who has decided to focus his writing chops on how clever he can be. These are miniatures of American country life, each like a little painting, and I very much liked songs like “Floater” and “Mississippi” as each turn of phrase gets revealed. There’s a sad irony in all this — America would never be the same after this record, as it was released on September 11, 2001.

The triumph here I think is “Honest With Me” — a great song with its rolling slide guitar and freight train drums. That went right into my Spotify play list, and I promise no one could have been as surprised as me.

My objection to Dylan has so often been his music. Though roots rock/jazz swing isn’t necessarily top of my play list, here we have something I am confident I’ll listen to again because not only is the music crafted and executed so well, I know I’ll find a lot in the lyrics I’ll enjoy over repeated plays. Can you believe I’m going to give this an 8/10? Neither can I, so I’ll give it a 7/10 but I bet some day the future I’ll rethink this.

This is the best surprise we’ve had on the list so far.

left it late but Fog never lets us down, lovely stuff, interestingly (for me) I find 'honest with me' musically similar to his classic 'highway 61' - check it out! Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited (Official Audio) - YouTube
 

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