Bob Dylan had already released a self-titled debut album prior to the release of this one. However, this is his first classic album, launching him as a leader of folk music, and was a big influence on the hippie scene. Let’s have a listen and find out if this release stands the test of time.
Blowin’ In The Wind kicks off and is a classic example of what Bob Dylan could do at this point. It’s a simple, beautiful, and memorable song. A great way to start this album, and is an anti-war song by the sounds of it. A nice harmonica solo is in it, too.
Girl From The North Country is a good tale of a said girl and has some fingerpicked acoustic guitar to match. A softer and more gentle song to listen to. Simple acoustic music does sound powerful, especially here. Bob Dylan is in a class of his own.
The next cut is Masters Of War which is an anti-war stance by Bob Dylan lyrically. This music is completely different to what is popular today. It is basic and sparse, with the focus on the lyrical content and the strummed acoustic playing here. Nonetheless, it is brilliant.
Following is Down The Highway which has Bob Dylan searching for a lost lover. It’s a brilliant topic to cover and refers to gambling losses as well. The guitar riffing here sounds beautiful, and it flows in and out of the song. A great song here, good to listen to with your eyes closed.
Bob Dylan’s Blues is a foot-stomping and crowd-pleasing number by Bob Dylan to hear which does have an uptempo feel about it. It is short and sweet, a good listen throughout.
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall is next, slower yet solid. It talks about Bob Dylan’s likely travels. The lyrics and mellow acoustic guitar playing are perfect for this sort of music. It is an excellent listen all the same. Sounds very much like impressionistic art set to music, a great feat. It’s lengthy at nearly seven minutes, but the emotion delivered by Bob Dylan is intense. Great nonetheless.
The next piece is Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright which is a faster piece about not worrying about the difficult things in life. There are some mint arpeggio guitar parts from Bob Dylan here, and there is some awesome harmonica here as well. Another memorable song, and often quoted to this day.
After that, we have Bob Dylan’s Dream which is a tale of travel, dreaming, and fading memories. It does have an air of melancholy about it. Regardless, it is another classic listen and it is wonderful to hear. It is five minutes long, but is not dull, although it is just Bob Dylan singing, playing guitar and harmonica. Good stuff all the same.
Oxford Town is a beautiful piece, likely the most beautiful from the album musically. It uses a capo on the acoustic guitar and talks about racial inequality. Sadly this was (and is) very much the case in the USA. Bob Dylan sang deeply about it on this track, and was right to do so.
Talkin’ World War III Blues is a tale warning against a future world war and frustration, with Bob Dylan being our leader, in this instance. It’s an upbeat number with some totally underrated acoustic guitar playing here. It’s a long and winding tale, being once again, over five minutes.
Next is Corrina, Corrina which has, surprisingly, some other instrumentation added to it, such as bass guitar and drums. It’s a groove-based tune with a shuffle feel to it. A good choice of musical instruments and backdrop here.
After that is Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance which is a fast and furiously paced number. It is very short and sounds rather humourous in retrospect. Still, it’s a good listen regardless.
I Shall Be Free is the last tune on the album. It is a slower and more relaxed number to finish the album. The music here is highly politicised, but a good song nonetheless. A good way to finish the album.
This album is definitely a classic, and worth hearing, even today. It shows that a man with a harmonica and an acoustic guitar can change the world, provided knowing he can make best of what he has. A definite good listen, particularly if you follow left-wing politics.
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