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A Journey with Dylan

I’ve been in & out of love with Bob Dylan for many years. I started listening in my early 20’s, bought a compilation album, but I have to say that I just didn’t get it. Now, 16 years later, I’m listening to every album he’s produced so far.

I guess I might be a glutton for punishment, some of the albums aren’t that easy to listen to. But I want to just chart this journey because Dylan is someone who demands constant reassessment. Every time you think you’ve got the guy sussed, he does something you don’t expect.

My favourite albums up to this point are:

  1. Time Out of Mind
  2. The Freewheelin’
  3. Love and Theft
  4. Blood on the Tracks
  5. Desire

Time out of Mind is because that’s the album that got me into Dylan initially; when I heard it I was in a very sultry space and every track suited that atmosphere like it was made for me.

The Freewheelin’ is full of uniqueness and perspective that you just don’t expect from someone that young, especially being his second album.

Love and Theft was the third album I bought and I really didn’t expect it’s timelessness, antiquity and dry humour. I also love the F Scott Fitzgerald quotes peppered throughout the album.

Blood on the Tracks. Such raw loss gets my attention every time. This is a very personal album from Dylan, and it’s isolation and pain comes through loud and clear. And then there’s “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” which is a blindside.

The duets with Emmylou Harris on Desire work so well, but for me this album is more about atmosphere. I love the Southern American feel to what Dylan is doing here. “One More Cup of Coffee” is a great track, even though I’m not a fan of the Spaghetti Western, I can’t help being drawn into that atmosphere listening to this track.

OK so that’s it for this one. Bit of an oddball post, but I really want to see what I think … my next album is “Self Portrait”, which might not change my opinions at all … although, like I said, constant reassessment is what Dylan, I think, wants from his audience.

“Wisest are they who know they do not know.” —Jostein Gaarder