Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Five

Cover of "Highway 61 Revisited"Cover of Highway 61 Revisited

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Five by Russell Shortt

The masterpiece that is Highway 61 Revisited (1965) was like a cannonade, Dylan had drove away from Minnesota in 1961 to re-invent himself, only four years later he was thinking it all up again, back on the Blues Highway where Robert Johnson had sold his soul to the devil.

Dylan was on another planet, the record came out of nowhere and would define the era, everybody else was playing catch-up, everybody else was in the Dark Ages by comparison, as Springsteen later recounted of the opening track, Like a Rolling Stone, 'it sounded like somebody had kicked open a doorway to your mind'.

It shattered all limitations that people had presumed existed in music, people wondered at the mind of Dylan, wondering how he could possibly have conceived of such a sound. Bob had being trying to escape his devoted folk followers and in many ways had succeeded but from the pan to the fire, now everybody else but the folkies were his dedicated worshippers.

It was too late to stop now, after a few false starts he recorded Blonde on Blonde (1966) in less than a week at Columbia's studios in Nashville. Again it struck like lighting, nobody even knew Dylan was in Nashville or who he was recording with making the resultant masterpiece all the more mind-boggling.

Not all the world was ready however, the following tour had fans booing and jeering, unable to understand that this new sound was the future, Dylan knew it, telling The Band to play it louder and harder whenever they met any resistance. Tragically, it may have ended thus, the cutting down of a prophet before his work was done.

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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