Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited

ARTIST: Bob Dylan                            220px-Bob_Dylan_-_Highway_61_Revisited

TITLE:  Highway 61 Revisited

YEAR RELEASED: 1965

CHART ACTION: #3 US, #4 UK

SINGLES: Like a Rolling Stone (#2 US, #4 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Oh, jeez. All of ‘em?

LINEUP: Bob Dylan, Mike Bloomfield, Charlie McCoy, Paul Griffin, Al Kooper, Frank Owens, Harvey Brooks, Russ Savakys, Joe Macho, Bobby Gregg, Sam Lay

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Dylan’s classic melds folk sensibilities with rock. He painted his masterpiece.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Long songs take patience, except when they’re brilliant and move you so that you don’t notice the time. In the 60’s, there weren’t many non-jazz or classical tracks that approached five minutes. This record has six of the nine cuts over the five minute mark, with the shortest at 3:19 – still long for the time.

These nine songs, packaged as one album, are absolutely brilliant. From songs that are serious and dour like “Ballad of a Thin Man”, to ‘lighter’ numbers like “Tombstone Blues”, to the massive “Like a Rolling Stone”, these all show the range of Dylan. His gift of melody and lyric at this time were unparalleled.

The final cut, “Desolation Row”, is brilliant and confounding. Over it’s 11+ minutes, it doesn’t wear out it’s welcome. This album doesn’t either – it keeps giving.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: All but “Like a Rolling Stone” were cut over four days in late July and early August in 1965.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. There are a lot of outtakes about though on his other compilations. 

GRADE: A+: One of the best records, ever.

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