Friday, May 15, 2009

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Seven

Cover of "Desire"Cover of Desire

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Seven by Russell Shortt

Surely, reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Of course they were, he lay low for quite sometime, releasing Planet Waves in 1973 which was a good record by anybody's standards bar Dylan's.

The Second Coming or was it the Third? Or even Fourth? arrived in the form of the outstanding Blood on the Tracks in 1975. The album was mainly influenced by Dylan's break-up with his wife and the ending of his seemingly perfect home-life, poignantly he was troubled again and was once more producing his best work or at least work that the fans were going to gush over. It brought him back, all the way back, back to protest songs and Greenwich Village.

He recorded a song that championed the cause of the boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter who had been wrongfully imprisoned for murder and he brought a number of musicians from the resurgent Greenwich Village folk scene on his Rolling Thunder Revue US tour. The tour coincided with the release of Desire (1976) which saw Dylan opening up to the big issues once again, even going global.

Many people had viewed Blood on the Tracks and Desire has a return to form, though some die-hard fans still lamented the absence of the records of the mid-sixties, strangely forgetting that it was all a decade ago. His Street Legal (1978) played to neither sensibility, instead once again marking a radical departure, Dylan turning up with a large pop band complete with backing singers and brass section and the world audibly sighed.

His voice always somewhat dodgy began to be brazenly attacked, a tad unfairly but the press were claiming that he was being found out when singing the awful lines that permeate the record. Undoubtedly, the production value of the album is dire, so bad in fact that many commentators viewed the recording as quite obviously a joke, again perhaps getting carried away by the god-like status that they appropriated upon Dylan in their wide-eyed and naïve youth.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt:

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