My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Highway 61 Revisited was recorded in the middle of 1965 and released soon after. The album followed Dylan’s acoustic UK tour in which he was ready to give up music all together. He the wrote “Like a Rolling Stone” which changed his opinion. In between recording “Like a Rolling Stone” and the rest of the album, Dylan “plugged in” at the Newport Folk Festival in a symbolic send off to his acoustic folky sound. This album (apart from the final song) features a full electric band through out.
What I think: There is something magical about this album. The way Dylan’s voice works with the jaunty grove of the backing musicians is perfection. It’s the way his voice was meant to be accompanied. From beginning to end the blend of blues/rock/folk is wonderful and seamless. The one drawback of this sound, is that for the first time, I don’t concentrate fully on the vocals and try to figure a meaning, but maybe that was Dylan’s intention all along. Those lyrics are filled with Dylan’s typical old testament references, interspersed with veiled cultural references and pieces of American history (I had no idea about the 1920 lynchings in Duluth until reading up on the album.) I don’t even feel the need to highlight separate songs. We all know “Like a Rolling Stone” and if you enjoy that the rest of the album should be right up your alley.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? It’s magic and perfection caught on record, one of the best of the best.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (16/62)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 74%