Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

"Ballad of a Thin Man" Such a painfully obvious all-timer that it's easy to mistake having heard of it for having heard it. By far Bob Dylan's best pure explosion of words, the shards of meaning slash across one of his better (and, again, arguably his best) musical outing. Even "Desolation Row" is at least 75% joy, and that's nearly 10 minutes right there. Plus don't forget, from Freewheelin' to Love and Theft (and likely Modern Times), the one thing that always saves Dylan's ass -- above and beyond his murky commitment to Jesus the Christ -- is how comically funny he can be and how long he can sustain it. BTW, I remember a bitter rebuke from the journalist who was the target of "Ballad" that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine along about 1976. Oh don't go there.

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