Sunday, October 28, 2012

#99: Bob Dylan - Bringing it All Back Home (1965)

It's always interesting to see overlapping story lines while writing these reviews. Dylan's cuff links on the album cover were a gift from Baez. Dylan wrote a portion of this album in Woodstock, New York and Baez stayed with him for a month. She described him as drinking red wine, smoking, and typing away on a typewriter in the corner. Even in the middle of the night he would grunt, roll over, and get back to typing. One of the most fascinating things about Dylan at this time was the controversy surrounding 'Dylan Goes Electric'.

Maggie's Farm
This song symbolizes the album (for me). It's about Dylan announcing his independence from the folk/protest scene. Although, in a sense - it's kind of his protest song about not writing protest songs any more... The song incorporates blues, a little rock and roll, and a whole lot of innuendo. I don't claim to fully understand the song on the first few listens, but that's part of the joy of Dylan's work. I also really enjoyed 'Rage Against the Machine's cover version.

Outlaw Blues
Half of this album experiments with Dylan's folk style mixed in with electric guitar, while the other half remains acoustic (but strays away from his protest type style such as "Blowin' in the Wind"). This song is gritty, quick, and of course dripping with the blues. Dylan's voice really works incredibly well in this setting.

Mr. Tambourine Man
I knew this song because of the cover version the Byrds put out that rocketed to #1. However, I prefer Dylan's version a billion times over. It has nothing to do with the "piety" of Dylan being the composer, it has everything to do with emotion. Dylan sells the song - it means something. I never cared for the Byrd's version, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this track.

All in all, I really enjoyed it. It didn't blow my mind quite like 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' did, but this is a completely different album and it spawned a lot of change in the music industry. Dylan has proven to me over two albums that he's one of the all time greats and while I'm not rushing out to buy a few more Dylan albums, I can assure you I will own them all sometime in the future.

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