My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: FreeWheelin’ is Dylan’s second album and was recorded throughout 1963 and April of 1964 (I believe this is the first album on this list that was released more than a year after recording started). The album went to number 22 on the US albums charts. A version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Peter, Paul and Mary would sell a million copies just months after the release of this album.
What I liked: This album has it all… protest songs, blues, folk (of course), humor, songs about girls, civil rights, political rants and lyrics that sometimes make you wonder what Dylan is going on about. Some of my favorites: “Masters of War” a harsh rant against politicians who prize money over the people. “Down the Highway” is a great bluesy number. “Corrina, Corrina” is really a quite pretty song. “Girl from the North Country” which is (possibly) about a lost love from Minnesota. The best on this album though is “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”. There is just something about the devastation and sadness in his voice that really gets me. This is surely my favorite album by Dylan (though I haven’t heard everything from him) and part of that has to be the breadth of the topics. What a tumultuous time these people were living in….
What I Didn’t Like: The improvisational nature of songs like “Bob Dylan’s Blues”, “Bob Dylan’s Dream” and “Talkin’ World War III Blues” are really hard to follow and I have to admit I have no clue what he’s singing about. Am I the only one?
My Overall Thoughts: To say that I think highly of this album is an understatement. It has to be one of my top 20 albums ever (lets see how many times I make that statement over 1001 albums). It is the perfect picture of our world that in a span of couple of years that changed the trajectory of the human race forever.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Is there any doubt?
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (8/39)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 79%