Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Top Ten Bob Dylan Albums

10. Slow Train Coming

This was Dylan's first Christian album and was very influential in the CCM market. "Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Changed My Way of Thinking" were the biggest hits.

9. Another Side of Bob Dylan

"It Ain't Me Babe" became one of Bob's biggest hits and was covered many times, most notably by Johnny Cash. "My Back Pages" and "All I Really Wanna Do" are some of the other great ones from this underrated classic.

8. Nashville Skyline

Dylan goes full country! "Lay Lady Lay" might be the most played Dylan song ever besides "Like A Rolling Stone". The duet with Johnny Cash on "Girl From The North Country" is worth buying the album. This is also Dylan's shortest album.

7. Desire

Best known for the biographical hard-hitting "Hurricane" (about convicted boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter), but my favorite song is "Sara". Emmylou Harris, then unknown, was a backup vocalist.

6. Bob Dylan

It took some years for Dylan's debut album to get the appreciation it deserves. It showcases some early influences for Bob with tracks like "House of the Rising Sun", "In My Time of Dying", and "Man of Constant Sorrow". The best songs of all are "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" and "Song For Woody" written for his biggest influence Woody Guthrie.

5. Highway 61 Revisited

Home to the most famous Dylan of all "Like A Rolling Stone".

4. Blood on the Tracks

Lyrically one of Bob's strongest records with the masterpiece "Tangled Up In Blue" and other greats "Idiot Wind" and "Shelter from the Storm". This is Dylan's best from the 70s.

3. Blonde on Blonde

Considered by many to be Dylan's greatest work this double album is full of inspiration and new sounds. Lyrically it goes from the absurd "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" to the deep and mysterious "Visions of Johanna". The most famous tracks are definitely "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35", "I Want You", and "Just Like a Woman" one of the prettiest songs Dylan ever wrote. One of my personal favorites is "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" which actually rang true for me for about eight years. And pre-dating The Beatles "White album" by two years this is also the first significant double album in rock 'n roll history.

2. Bringing It All Back Home

Lyrically this is probably my favorite Dylan album. "It's Alright" and "Gates of Eden" are masterworks of poetry, while "Mr. Tambourine Man", with it's vivid imagery, inspired The Byrds to take it on to further popularity. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is also one of my favorites. The most popular track is the first one, "Subterranean Homesick Blues" which first brought the electric Dylan to the world.

1. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Dylan's follow-up to his debut finally got the attention of the critics and the masses. Unlike the first album which had only two original compositions this was loaded with Dylan's own brilliance. Kicking off the album was the song that would solidify him as the poet of the 60s "Blowin' in the Wind". Every track is memorable, some for their comedy("Talking World War III Blues" and "I Shall Be Free"), some for their beauty ("A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), and some for their "finger-pointin'" ("Oxford Town" and "Masters of War") My favorite Dylan song of all is here- "Girl from the North Country"- so it's no wonder this is my favorite album.