What are the best Bob Dylan albums?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Randolph, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. John Randolph

    John Randolph Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    What are the best 4-5 Bob Dylan albums? Not including compilations though...only the originals...I don't like "Greatest Hits" type stuff...so which are the best ones?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Well, travel with me back in time when I first bought these LPs (I'm a child of the Sixties). The early stuff is the best, for Dylan was a true revolutionary—he outraged the folky crowd by turning electric in 1965, and he, as a result, created a new music that would be called "folk rock." You must own ...

    Bob Dylan (the first album)

    The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

    Highway 61 Revisited (one of rock's ten best albums ever)

    Blonde on Blonde (Dylan was never better than here)

    John Wesley Harding (Dylan's first effort after the near-fatal motorcycle crash)
     
  3. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I had to pick five, I'd go with:

    - Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
    - Bringing It All Back Home
    - Highway 61 Revisited
    - Blonde On Blonde
    - Blood On The Tracks

    Ryan
     
  4. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 1999
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd start with Highway 61 Revisited and work from there. Basically you can't go wrong with any album released in the '60s.
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    My five, in no particular order:

    1. Brining It All Back Home
    Mr. Tambourine Man, Subtarranean Home Sick Blues- how can you not live this one? His stongest set of songs up 'till that point.

    2. Highway 61 Revisited
    My favorite, and therefore his best. This is just a freakin' masterpiece.

    3. Blonde on Blonde
    A pop/rock double album with no gimmicks- and it's actually this good.
    This one's also on SACD.

    4. Blood on the Tracks
    I dunno- I just really dig this.

    5. Love and Theft
    Take all of Dylan's styles and influences, mush them together, and make it makes sense- that's what this one is. It's a fantastic album if you are forgiving of his deteriorated voice.

    NP: Pat Metheny, Imaginary Day, DVD-A
     
  6. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    1
    Bob is an aquired taste. I usually rate Dylan material in two ways, "for Bob lovers" and "for the casual music fan". By "Best" I assume you are asking as a casual music fan. So, my reply would be:

    1. Highway 61 Revisited - often considered to be "the" Dylan album. Although the performances are very rough and unrehearsed sounding, nearly every song is a masterpiece. It's starts off with "Like A Rolling Stone" and gets better from there.

    2. Blood on the Tracks - Bob's breakup album. Recently divorced from his wife, Bob filled an album with deeply personal and heartfelt songs. Very emotional performances.

    3. Desire - Probably the most assessable to the non Dylan-heads because of its tighter sound. The songs are more experimental in their structure (my favorite was Dylan rhyming outrageous with contagious). It's the album with "Hurricane" on it.

    4. The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob's third album. Still in his folk music stage, this album proved to the world that "Blowin In The Wind" was not a fluke. Bob gives a tremendous performance (I think the best of his career) on fabulous songs that still sound relevant today. Instead of singing protest songs on specific events (that makes other folk music of the time so dated) Bob sings of more general topics.

    5. The Bootleg Series Vol 1-3 - I know you said no compilations, but this doesn't count because none of these songs were ever actually released. This is a collection of songs from 1961 to 1991 that, although bootlegged, were never on any official albums. Listening to this collection is amazing. It is hard to believe that these songs weren't released up until that point, because many of them are fantastic. It's hard to believe what ends up on the cutting room floor.
     
  7. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard all but just a handful of Dylan's albums. Here's my list, in order:

    1- Blonde on Blonde
    2- Time Out of Mind
    3- Blood on the Tracks
    4- Highway 61 Revisited
    5- Love and Theft

    Honorable mentions: Planet Waves, Bringing It All Back Home, Desire, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.

    Jon
     
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was going to post here, but everyone here has it right. The only two I would add to what has been listed are

    The Basement Tapes: Recorded by Dylan and The Band in the basement of a rented house in New York and excellent.

    Biograph: An amazingly good 3 CD overview of his career, where you can trace different phases from early folk into his days of Christianity.
     
  9. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike, that was *almost* my list as well. I wavered back and forth between "Freewheelin'" and "Love And Theft." I finally decided that there had to be a "folk" album on the list, but could just as easily have gone your way.
    Well, it looks like "Highway 61" is a must buy, at least. [​IMG]
    Ryan
     
  10. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's my top five, in no particular order...

    Highway 61 Revisited
    Blood on the Tracks
    Oh Mercy
    Blonde on Blonde
    The Concert for Bangladesh (I'd say the best live Dylan performance ever recorded - it's one 'side' of this multidisk set)
     
  11. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also really enjoy Desire.

    With Bob his greatest hits comps have always tided me over.

    But I should pick up Blonde On Blonde on SACD.
     
  12. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Ryan,

    It will go on the MUST get SACD list.
     
  14. Bill cc

    Bill cc Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eveyone's pretty much right on.. definitely either Highway 61 Revisited or Blonde on Blonde.
    The one album I don't see here, that I think derserves it is Live 1966 (Bootleg Series Vol. 4)
    This was truly a revolutionary album. It's probably the only live album you'll find by as famous performer getting booed. Not because the performance sucks, but because he is breaking new ground and moving beyond his fan base. This showcases Bob's leap from folk to rock. And the folk fans are pissed. CD one is the acoustic part of the show, then CD2 is the electric part. The folkie fans feel feel betrayed and boo, stomp, and even call him a traitor (Judas). It's great.
     
  15. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    1


    Good catch Bill. His voice and phrasing is possibly better on this CD than any other live recording of Dylan. Also, I love the way Dylan responds to the jeers and boos. Dylan is ultra-cool under fire.
     
  16. StephenT

    StephenT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    So hard to choose when I have damn near all of them, but:

    1. Blonde on Blonde
    2. Blood on the Tracks
    3. Bringing It All Back Home
    4. Highway 61 Revisited
    5. Love and Theft

    But then there's Desire, Freewheelin', John Wesley Harding, New Morning, Street Legal (I really like this one. Critics be damned!), Time Out of Mind...I better stop or I'll list them all.

    Oh, and the Bootleg Series Vols. 1-4 are a must have! Vol. 5 comes out next month!!

    See the problem is once you go beyond greatest hits you can't stop. Buy four or five CDs if you want, but just be warned that it won't end there.
     

Share This Page