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Blonde On Blonde - Bob Dylan

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Genre: Rock - Folk Rock / Artist: Bob Dylan / Audio CD released 2004-03-29 at Sony

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      20.03.2011 14:21
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      bohemian music reaches a peak

      Whereas the key Brit Invasion bands, in tandem with the Beach Boys, re-set the definitions of a great album via sugar-coated pop, Dylan careered his own path towards the same goal. His twin landmark releases in 1965 catapulted Folk towards uncomfortable terrain, causing puritans to question his commitment to the genre. Accusations were levied that his 'conversion' to rock constituted the ultimate betrayal, reaching a symbolic peak when a disgruntled fan, during a performance at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in May 1966, yelled 'Judas!'. It was a moment of instantaneous folklore but did little to dissuade Dylan from channelling his Woody Guthrie/Beatnik vision for Folk music, by taking it towards a commercial domain. His panoramic scope prompted a prolific creative output, culminating in the double LP, Blonde On Blonde.

      Released during the same month as Pet Sounds, Dylan's tour de force adventure could not have been further removed from the Beach Boys and their sunset harmonies. It was lauded as a major milestone in rock development, touted as the first great double LP, but you wouldn't have thought so on being greeted by the introductory Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. Here was a song that sounded as though the backing band were still warming-up, a whimsical send-up, with Dylan's vocals almost mocking serious belief, but make no mistake about it - a nomadic, bohemian journey was about to begin.

      Pledging My Time marks the true starting point for what, there onwards, was a faultless set of immense proportions. In comparison with his earlier releases, Blonde On Blonde was a reservoir bursting with material suitable for radio-friendly airplay, with no fewer than five tracks (across US/UK charts) culled for 45 status. It was, however, away from the spotlight of commercial considerations that his best compositions lay. For every upbeat Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again and Absolutely Sweet Marie, equilibrium was emphatically maintained via restrained drama, typically on the highpoint Visions Of Johanna and Temporary Like Achilles. The former alluded to the presence of 'someone' but, despite the apparent clue offered in the name, the lyrics were teasingly ambiguous, providing the inquisitive with a raft of possible candidates. Dylan's spaced-out, somewhat lethargic, deliverance of his words hinted to some at a drugs connection, heightened by characters within the song cryptically referring to various substances. In essence, regardless of who or what the subject matter, it was simply his second best track ever.

      The double vinyl space allowed him to expand on previous ideas tested on earlier albums, reaching an epic scale on the mammoth Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands spanning the entire length of Side 4 (admittedly, at 11:23 minutes, a further track to bolster the final vinyl slice would not have gone amiss). Even so, this isolated song finds Dylan's story-telling cruising into overdrive, structured around five stanzas using a female character, reportedly his wife, Sara, as the focal point.

      You have to look at this LP in context. 1966 was still a time of relative innocence, when 45s were invariably comprised of contrived romantic verses, confined within a three-minutes time frame. Long-players remained a haphazard mechanism for bolting songs together, rather than a serious medium through which to express a wider opinion. Within the Folk music world the boundaries were even more rigid, with a pre-set hostility to exploration of its parameters. With this in mind, Blonde On Blonde was light years ahead of the field, second only to Revolver in the pre-Summer Of Love releases.

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      09.04.2010 21:47
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      A needlessly-flawed classic

      Blonde on Blonde is a frustrating album for me. I know it is a Dylan classic, contains many classic Dylan songs, has literally no filler tracks, and is majesterial from start to finish - but one thing lets it down, and that's the quality of the recording. It's tinny. And I don't know why, either, because here Dylan used the same producer as he did with Highway 61 Revisited (which is recorded brilliantly, full and clear and distinct), and a lot of the same backing musicians - but the sound quality just isn't up to par, and this lets the album down. And I've heard the remastered versions, too, and these still have the same problem. Plus Dylan's singing on a lot of these songs lacks the range he usually has, and sometimes even sounds flat and thick. There are rumours that he was experimenting with cocaine around the time of the recording, and that this gave his voice the tone he does have, but whatever caused it, it's not the best vocal performance Dylan has ever given, to put it mildly.

      Despite this, the album IS a classic - the hallucinatory, drugged-up, semi-non-sensical lyrics are real mindbenders, and the actual music is topnotch. Every song is dense, almost allegorical, laden with surreal symbolism, and there's no doubt Dylan's writing is as good as it's ever been. "Stuck Inside of Mobile," "Temporary Like Achilles," "Visions of Johanna," "Just Like A Woman," and the diamond-sharp "I Want You" - no one before or since has written songs as deep, concise, and affecting as these. But every time I put it on I end up turning it off before its finished - something I rarely do and feel the need to do with a Dylan album - and that's because of the sound quality. And, like I say, it's frustrating, because the quality of the songs are at least equal to Dylan's greatest albums.

      But maybe it's just my ears. It's worth getting, anyway, because it's a stone-cold classic. But it's always been a slight let-down to me.

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      14.06.2009 00:06

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      Dylan keeps on keeping on..

      I still recall the day I bought this record, Dylan staring back at me from the sleeve, in slightly out of focus assurance, something about the title compelled me buy it when I knew little of his other work, the quality of the songs makes me reach for the CD still over 15 years later.

      A vast, searing labyrinth of an album, it blends the folk & rock tones of earlier releases, & throws new ingredients into the already complex melting pot. Offering hints of blues & country, this is an album even more expansive than it's predecessor, the groundbreaking 'Highway 61 Revisited'.

      Lyrically progressing toward the absurd & the darkly humorous, Dylan's palette becomes even richer, if it were possible, winding endless lyrical yarns backed up by the inventiveness of the backing.

      'Rainy Day Women' is the opener, not my favourite Dylan track, but it's a fun number in some respects - albeit a very light hearted opener for an album of this breadth. 'Visions of Johanna' s arguably the high water mark of Dylan's entire career, weaving a 7 minute opus which just glides the whole way.

      'I Want You' is another of the better known tracks present here, likewise 'Just Like a Woman', a track written for factory girl Edie Sedgwick, finds Dylan at his most gentle.

      'Temporary Like Achilles' & '4th Time Around' have always been among my favourite Dylan tracks - both find him on the edge of reality, veering into the unknown. Sandwiched between them is 'Absolutely Sweet Marie', another gem which perfectly showcases Dylan's recently acquired electric sound. Proving definitively he would never again be the simple protest singer he began as in 1962.

      The 4th & final side of the original vinyl release is taken up exclusively by 'Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands', an 11 minute voyage of surreal imagery. Another true highlight.

      Arguably his strongest collection of songs, spanning an epic double album, the sheer scope & spectacular realisation, should be enough to keep you coming back.

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      17.02.2009 02:39
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      An Incredible Album, If You Like Dylan And Do Not Own This, You Should Be Shot

      Following on from the stellar Bringing It All Back home and Highway 61 Revisited comes this double LP, now squashed into one CD, which is probably Dylan's masterpiece of the sixties. The album builds on the blues themes of the previous album and moves into more experimental and unknown territory. This for me is one of the greatest albums ever made and many agree with me, the album itself placed 9th on the 500 best albums of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.

      The recording of the album though was thwart with delays and an inability to tie tracks down, with Dylan initially recording with the Band in New York before taking on session musicians in Nashville for the final recording, which yielded the bulk of the album. The main context and inspiration from the album seems to be that of relationships, likely to be that of his with Sara Lownds after their marriage previously. But relationships and the hardships prevalent within them have always been big themes in Dylan's work so no surprises there then. The main theme though if I must blanket all of the tracks is the human condition and our emotions, the way we live our lives, he deals with the stuff of life, nothing escapes the all encompassing eye of Dylan. This will not be for everyone, but if you like Dylan, then you should like this, although many hardcore fans can't get on with it, I am not one of those, as I love this album, as you will see.

      1. Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35 ****

      This is probably the weakest track on the album, as it is a random party atmosphere track about being stoned. But despite the huge drug influences in the song, this is a fun track that opens the album on a high. In the background, you can hear a number of other people shouting and talking, an idea that would be taken on by Hendrix on a few of his recordings to give them a bar atmosphere, whereas here it is more of a party atmosphere.

      2. Pledging My Time *****

      Many people don't like this track, but I do, as it is a nice blues piece that really gets the album going, and has some nice harmonica refrains, whilst also keeping the busy instrumental atmosphere of the previous track. The lyrics seem to be pleading towards a lover and perhaps her rejection of that and the vocals themselves seem to suggest something along these lines also.

      3. Visions of Johanna *****

      An incredible song that is winding and weaving with an almost dreamlike feel, and simply sublime lyrics. The song though is unclear of its exact meaning, but I see it as a battle in the singer's mind about how he deals with his love for Sara Lownds and also his feelings for Joan Baez, although obviously he would go on to marry Sara in November 1965, before the album was made. This is an epic song, although not quite as epic as the final track, but it doesn't feel long. There are other versions of this which should be listened to, although most of them are called Freeze Out, as this was the original title. The mystery of the track is perhaps its best element, but you almost understand what he is saying and feel what he means and wants you to feel.

      4. One of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) *****

      After the more morose previous song, comes this upbeat song about relationships again, but this time it seems to be more about how he deals with some of his lovers actions. It is a song about the struggles we face in communication with each other and the problems that some of us face, but the upbeat instrumentation hides some of that and makes it feel happier than perhaps it really is.

      5. I Want You *****

      A pleading song that seems to be about lust, and his desire for Sara, although I don't mean this that sexually, but the chorus is pleading and some of the lines suggest this. The instrumentation is very much bluesy and takes from the previous track and continues it in a similar manner. A lot of you may already know this song, as it is one of the more famous ones to come off this, so you will know what I mean.

      6. Stuck Inside a Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again *****

      A classic blues song that seems to deal with nothing and everything. The instrumentation, notably the organ is a joy and probably the highlight of the track, creating a sense of elation and yet holding back on us. I myself prefer the style of the version off of the Bootleg Series Volume 7, which was done in New York, but this obviously makes it harder for Dylan to fit in some of the lines due to the different time, and some of the missing lines show some of his difficulty in pulling this off. But this track is still good and a nice almost halfway song.

      7. Leopard-Skin Pill-box Hat *****

      Blues all the way, this is a classic song that deals with the insanity of the vanity in high society, taking the mick out of the clothing and fashion that seems to be so sought after within such circles. The song itself was played at most of the 1966 world tour concerts and was usually altered to a more powerful style that I think suits this song. Again check out the Bootleg Series Volume 7 for an even bluesier version of this song, which I love.

      8. Just Like a Woman *****

      This moves back to relationships and in this Dylan looks at the female and struggles to find out what makes them tick. This is a soft piece that is both emotional and yet detached, almost singing this and looking into space, he explores the female psyche and tries to work out what he is doing wrong. This is a nice fall down from some of the heavier songs and as such is a highlight of the album.

      9. Most Likely You'll o Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) *****

      This is a great song, and please do not base your opinion of it on the awful remix done by Mark Ronson, as it completely spoils the feel of this. This picks up from where One of Us Must Know picked off, as it sounds similar, and the lyrics and vocal style seem to be in the same vein. A good some that is more upbeat after the previous track.

      10. Temporarily Like Achilles ****

      This is a strange track that feels sparser than some of the other tracks, taking on a more refined form, but containing some strange lyrics, although it is still good and seems to amble along nicely. The song itself is again pleading and feels almost guilty towards a lover, whilst also looking to plead to their heart in order to get some response and attention.

      11. Absolutely Sweet Marie *****

      This is more upbeat and the organ is the main instrument, leading us along with the drums. The vocals almost remind me of Queen Jane Approximately, but in a more free form and dealing with the non specific, taking on a more surreal and Dy;an-esque style.

      12. 4th Time Around *****

      Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) was apparently Lennon's try at a Dylan style of some, and this is Dylan's interpretation of the events that the song described. This takes on a form not to musically dissimilar to that of Norwegian Wood, but the lyrics are so much better, dealing more in the ridiculous and surreal, which is a Dylan staple of this period and is a great reply to a great song.

      13. Obviously 5 Believers *****

      This is a driving song that perhaps builds the listener up before the final epic song. The song itself is a blues and is again relationships based, but the instrumentation here is key and the drumming is again great, with the guitar moaning and strumming along in the background. Not the best song on the album but still a great song.

      14. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands *****

      This 11 minute epic is an ode to Sara Lownds, as proved by its mention in Sara, "Staying up for days in the Chelsea Hotel, writing Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands for you". And of course the title, lowlands, is very similar to Lownds, so the signs are there and the lyrics in the song suggest this themselves. The lyrics deal with a number of images and relate them to the person in question and slowly build over the course of the song to a crescendo near the end. The musicians in the song apparently were unaware of the length of the song, and you can hear them building really high at around the third chorus, but then having to dip again for the next verse, and this happens on a number of occasions, but this adds to the dynamic of the song and gives it a nice feel. I like this song and it is a good way to finish the album, taking in some of the elements that it has expressed and putting them into a more exploratory effort.

      Overall, this is one of the best album ever made, rounding off Dylan's sixties electric trilogy with an epic double LP, which takes in all that the other two expressed and taking it even further. This is a spectacular example of Dylan's lyrical prowess and his ability to form a song into a blues or love song, and the vocals are also good, and for those who despise his voice, you are missing out on a lot and obviously can only deal with dull pop star voices. This is a spectacular album that too many miss due to pet peeves that show a distinct lack of ability to understand more complex song forms and styles. I love this album and would have it as one of my desert island disks, so give it a go, you just might like it. And for those wanting even more, try the SACD, as the mix and sound quality on this is astounding if played through a good set of speakers.

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        19.03.2002 22:10
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        One of Dylan's best albums.

        For anyone under the age of 30 the name of Bob Dylan probably doesn't mean very much. Those who have heard of him think of him as just another ageing rock star who still makes critically acclaimed records that get five star reviews in Q magazine but that sound a bit dodgy all the same. This would be a very unfair appraisal of such an important figure in modern music.

        So let me take you back those halcyon days of 1966 when four lads from Liverpool had won the hearts and minds of teenagers everywhere but also a time when an angry young man named Bob Dylan represented all that was rebellious and intellectual about popular music.

        UNCLE BOB

        By the mid sixties Bob Dylan had become the darling of the folk music scene. He had started to attract an audience at the beginning of the decade by in playing his own brand of updated traditional folk songs in front of hip/beatnik audiences in New York's hotbed of alternative lifestyle, Greenwich Village. Dylan had brought the folk tradition right up to date and had re-introduced the reflective protest ballads of earlier singer songwriters like Woody Guthrie to a new younger audience. Dylan an English graduate had an ability to write clever insightful lyrics that criticised the America in which he lived. The traditional format of folk was thus updated to produce a very current form of protest song that became the soundtrack for the student activist of the time continuing a trend from the 50's in protesting against the H-bomb, war and environmental pollution.

        Bob Dylan could do no wrong, or so it seemed. In 1965 he committed the ultimate sin for a folk singer he dared to play his songs with an electric guitar! In the summer of 1966 he began a tour of part acoustic part electric concerts with his backing band 'The Hawks' (later to become the legendary 'The Band'). Many of his traditional fans were horrified and shouted at him to turn the volume down and the band where even booed off stage on some nights. Others fans saw this change for what it was the birth a brand new genre of music that would revolutionise the rock scene and elevate popular music in to a serious art form. Folk-Rock was born and Dylan never looked back.

        Early in 1966 Dylan and most of the Hawks Robbie Robertson, and Rick Danko entered the studio in New York to record some song s that Dylan had been working on while touring. Dylan was also joined by Paul Griffin on piano and Al Kooper playing organ and thus the recording of 'Blonde On Blonde' began.

        THE ALBUM

        A few weeks in to recording the sessions were moved to Nashville Tennessee. Robbie Robertson again helped out along with some top session men in Nashville, Joe South, Charlie McCoy and Wayne Moss. Dylan with his long hair and weird clothes did not fit in to the Nashville scene home then as now of Country music. Many including some of his fellow musicians viewed him with suspicion. Dylan and his collaborators soon began to overturn accepted conventions of the recording sessions. Their unorthodox approach of actually playing together at recording sessions rather than screening each instrument off seemed strange to the old hands at the studio. On one song Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 the musicians swapped instruments the drum kit was rearranged and symbols were attached to chairs. The recording began in the early ours of the morning and it only required three takes to produce a wonderfully ramshackle ad-lib kind of sound. As the songs took shape a new kind of vibrancy in the music was evident and soon Dylan was accepted more as an innovator rather than being simply regarded as weird.

        The album was innovative in its own terms, apart from the style and nature of the music. It was the first rock double album and this format really allowed Dylan to present his talent in full. In a sense Dylan matured in the making of this album. His great skills as a lyricist is still very much in evidence on such tracks as "Stuck Inside Of Mobile" and "I Want You" but added to this there was a greater depth the song both musically and stylistically. This was a far more experimental album than anything Dylan had ever attempted before.

        When he entered the Nashville studio Dylan had not completed all the songs that he was to record, most of them were still half thought out scribbling on bits of paper he carried around with him. He used the recording sessions to find the missing elements to the songs. Often he would play the completed chords to a song on a piano and then allow the other musicians to improvise different musical accompaniments. Dylan was aiming at a particular sound, which strayed away from the simplistic folk sound he had developed in the past but that did not totally embrace the more production orientated pop music of the time. He wanted the songs to sound rough and ready; to have the sentiments of folk but the wild, up beat nature of rock n roll.

        The double album is crammed full of classic tracks from the opening stonehead anthem of Rainy Day Women -'everybody must get stoned!' to the epic ballad 'Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands', each successive track seems to get better. 'Just Like a Woman' is a great love ballad in the true Dylan style, the lyrics never quite straight forward always enigmatic. A much inferior version went on to be a hit for Manfred Mann. Another thoughtful ballad 'Visions of Joanna' is also included.'I Want You' is a jolly lighthearted song with a light melody provided by the Hammond organ. Dylan also manages to include some raucous classic blues/rock with the excellent 'Temporary Like Achilles', 'Obviously Five Believers' and 'Absolutely Sweet Marie'. It's not all existential angst either there are some great comic offerings, as well as Rainy Day Women, we have 'Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat', which includes Dylan playing lead electric guitar (a rare event). This is a raw track, full of energy and sounding like a precursor of the pre-grunge garage sound of the late 80's.

        To end Dylan gives us an 11minute masterpiece 'Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands' a very complex ballad that reaffirm the change in musical direction he had taken. It provides a fitting and poignant end to the album.

        With 'Blonde On Blonde' Dylan abandoned his folk-protest roots lost a lot of fans but gained a huge number of new ones. This album can be credited with creating Folk Rock, which directly paved the way for others like Neil Young, The Byrds and Crosby Still and Nash to follow. The longer format of this record made people believe that rock could produce something more substantial than the 3-minute pop song. The music combined the thoughtful lyrics characteristic of the protest era with the skilful melodies that had been the remit of more insubstantial pop acts to produce a new type of love ballad that was poetic in style.

        You could even say popular music grew up with this record. 'Blonde On Blonde' along with the Beatles 'Revolver' and The Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' are the seminal records of the 60's that announced to the world an increasing maturity in the pop/rock genre.



        THE TRACKS AND OTHER DETAILS

        1. Rainy day women #12 & 35
        2. Pledging my time
        3. Visions of Johanna
        4. One of us must know
        5. I want you
        6. Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again
        7. Leopard skin pillbox hat
        8. Just like a woman
        9. Most likely you'll go your way and I'll go mine
        10. Temporarily like Achilles
        11. Absolutely sweet Marie
        12. Fourth time around
        13. Obviously five believers
        14. Sad eyed lady of the Lowlands

        Recorded at Columbia Recording Studios, Nashville, Tennessee

        Bob Dylan-Harmonica & Lead Guitar (on "Leopard-skin Pill-box Hat")
        Charlie McCoy-Harmonica (on "Obviously 5 Believers")
        Musicians-Wayne Moss, Charlie McCoy, Kenneth Buttrey, Hargus Robbins, Jerry Kennedy, Joe South, Al Kooper, Bill Aikins, Henry Strzelecki, Jaime Robertson Produced by Bob Johnston


        Thank you for reading and rating this opinion.

        © Mauri 2002

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          03.09.2001 00:16
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          Very few popular artists are as bold and daring as Bob Dylan. For Bob was the king of the world of folk, his loyal subjects professing Him to be the true commentator of this World Gone Wrong. He was infallible. Anyone else would have carried on in the same vein, going from intimate venue to intimate armed with nothing more than a harmonica, an acoustic guitar and a bucket load of rhetorical questions. This was not the way Bob saw his future, he felt that folk had become stale and had self destructed. He needed a change. And change he certainly did. He got himself a band and started to write some of the loudest and most drug fuelled music ever to be heard. Bringing It All Back Home begun it, Highway 61 Revisited reinforced it, and Blonde on Blonde perfected it. Game, Set and Match it would seem, but no, he was hated on a grand scale for what he was doing. The more narrow minded of his folk fans were disgusted by the absence of the stone cold reality of old, no more were his characters buying seven shotgun shells, they were using the contents of their pants as collateral. Just to show far how far ahead Bob was from the rest of the music world, think of this, when the Beatles were arsing around singing Ticket to Ride and the like. It was still absolutely amazing and ahead of it’s time music, but it’s not in the same league as Like A Rolling Stone and It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). And to give us a hint as to what he uses to fuel his imagination, he kicks it all off with a marching tune with the lyrics, But I would not feel so all alone, Everybody must get stoned. Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35 is not his most ambiguous work. But that is not the mood of the album; Visions of Johanna is perhaps his most amazing song to date. Everything just blends together to make the most beautiful sound you’re ever likely to hear. The lead guitar does what most rock guitarists seem to have forgotten to do, fills the ga
          ps while enhancing the vocals. And what vocals they are, immaculately telling the storey of a late night of thinking and reliving moments on the walls of a room. Sooner or Later, I Want You, and the bittersweet ( but mostly bitter) Just Like A Woman make up the greatest hits, each of them being ridiculously perfect in their own right., but not as fun as Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat. It’s a funny attack on fashion, with lines like, You may think he loves you for your money, But I know what he loves you for, It’s your leopard skin pill box hat. Hooray. The parody of the Beatles song Norwegian Wood, Fourth Time Around, surpasses the original and Obviously 5 Believers never fails to uplift me, but the album peaks at the epic lovesong Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. It’s shows complete and utter adoration and reverence of his then love. It’s amazes me how he could write something so unashamedly beautiful about one person. And that is the end of Dylan’s electric period. After an eighteen month break from music because of a serious motorcycle crash, he came back and tried his hand at country-folk again, with results far less impressive than his earlier work. We would indeed have to wait until 1975 and Blood on the Tracks for the next truly great Dylan work.

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          08.01.2001 22:53
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          Bob Dylan is to my mind the single most influential figure in modern music. He revolutionised modern poetry, folk music, and popular music. His work bridges generations and the quality of his songwriting has never been rivaled. Even the most accomplished of todays contemporary artists can only imitate. "Blonde on Blonde" is a truly remarkable album that captures Dylan at what was perhaps his creative peak (although, some would argue that of the later "Blood on the Tracks"). Amazingly the entire album (originally released as a double LP) was recorded in two or three days. The direction of the album was hinted at in its predecessor "Highway 61 revisited", which I feel finally drove the nail into the coffin of the cliche-ridden topical songwriter. Dylan's work was developing a complexity to challenge a Picasso. The overall theme comes through the songs like an absraction rather than from any particular lines which spell-out a too-easily-understood message. There is a plasticity and kinetic brilliance to the verses that is difficult to express. Track 1 - The 14 track album begins with "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35", banned on most radio stations at the time because of its drug references. This is longer by two verses than the original Columbia 45 rpm version and shows Dylans warm sense of humour. This is a good-time, raucous tune with the universal message "Everybody Must Get Stoned". Track 2 - "Pledging My time" is straight blues, an act of faith by Dylan who sings "I'm pledging my time to you", but is it really an act of faith? The last two verses conjure up a violence and a - typically Dylan - ambiguity. Track 3 - "Visions of Johanna", an absolutely beautiful, master creation. Introspection, philosophy and beautifully crafted lyrics. I can't think of any lyric to rival lines such as "The ghost of electricity / Howls in the bones of her
          face" Track 4 - "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" shows the duality of love. One side serious, the other not Track 5 - "I Want You" is bright and happy. All logic says no, but "I want you". Very open for Dylan. Track 6 - "Just Like a Woman" is both tender but bitchy. A beautiful song but with an iron strength running through it. Track 7 - "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" is bizarre, satirical blues". Track 8 - "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" is an absolute masterpiece in which Dylan seems to be pondering TS Eliot's "Between the idea / And the Reality / Between the Motion / And the Act / Falls the shadow" - this song is for everyone who has dreamed of something better and yet at the same time realised the dark irony of the human condition. Track 9 - "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)", the title says it all! Track 10 - "Temporary Like Achilles" is slow, moody blues. Track 11 - "Fourth Time Around" is a parody of the Beatles "Norweigan Wood", mock platitudes, mock waltz music, full of delightful humour, but tinged with a gritty reality that echoes in the last three lines "And I, I never took much / I never asked for your crutch / Now don't ask for mine" Track 12 - "Absolutely Sweet Marie", a lovesick song, tinged with revenge "where are you tonight, sweet Marie?" Track 13 - "Obviously Five Believers" is hard rock blues, very sexual and unsentimental. Track 14 - "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" is in my opinion the greatest song of ALL TIME, an exquiste, almost religious portrait of a girl, told with such delicate and tender imagery. The song takes Dylan almost 15 minutes to perform, but its impact is so concentrated it seems like only four or five
          minutes have passed. Whether or not you like Dylans voice, or his guitar playing, just read the lyrics to this song, and enjoy it for the brilliant poetry it is. Pure genius.

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            15.10.2000 05:36
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            In 1966 Bob Dylan was at the peak of his creative powers, writing and recording songs like there was no tomorrow. This 14-track album, first released as a double LP and now a single CD, was recorded in a matter of days, and for a while it tied with the Beatles' 'Sergeant Pepper' and 'Revolver' in most 'best album of all time' polls. Dylan's different moods and musical styles on this record are astonishing. The first track, and in fact the only Top 10 single from it (notwithstanding restricted airplay both sides of the Atlantic because of the obvious drug references), 'Rainy Day Women #. 12 and 35', is almost a novelty with its party atmosphere and marching trombone. The only other Top 20 single 'I Want You' and 'Absolutely Sweet Marie' vie with it as the most instant songs of all, the latter with its 'Summertime Blues'-like guitar and rhythm. 'Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat' is a playful, lyrically hilarious, chunky piece of boogie and 'Obviously 5 Believers' with its bluesy riffs and 12-bar structure, inhabits similar territory. Notice also a pastiche of the Beatles' 'Norwegian Wood' in '4th Time Around'. The bittersweet love song 'Just Like a Woman' gave Manfred Mann a hit at around the same time (and still remains in the Manfreds' live set after all this time). Slower rolling blues rhythms can be heard in 'Pledging My Time', 'Temporary Like Achilles' and 'Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine' even sounds quite funky - and we're talking spring 1966, remember. But perhaps the best numbers here are the long ones which use what he called that 'wild mercury sound' with slurred stoned vocals, remarkable words and imagery, and sound pictures built up through restrained, incisive guitar, that ragged but oh-so-effective harmonica work and Al Kooper's chilling, atmospheric
            organ. The roller coaster ride of 'Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again', the incredible, surreal 'Visions of Johanna', are all capped by the grand finale, that breathtaking, 11-minute 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands'. This album really was a milestone. No wonder Dylan chose to cap it by taking a sabbatical afterwards, depending on how much credence can still be attached to the motorcycle accident story.

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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
            2 Pledging My Time
            3 Visions Of Johanna
            4 One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
            5 I Want You
            6 Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
            7 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
            8 Just Like A Woman
            9 Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
            10 Temporary Like Achilles
            11 Absolutely Sweet Marie
            12 Fourth Time Around
            13 Obviously Five Believers
            14 Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands