Acclaimed Albums – I’m Done With Dylan (For Now)

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 71/250

Title: Blonde on Blonde
Artist: Bob Dylan
Year: 1966
Position: #9
Title: Blood on the Tracks
Artist: Bob Dylan
Year: 1975
Position: #20

I tried, no one can tell me that I have not tried. I have listened to seven different Bob Dylan albums over the last few years and, for now, this will be the last I will be listening to him. I would have thought that having listened to all of these albums that I would be able to have some definite opinion about him and his music, but to be honest I still listen and shrug wonder what will be coming next.

I guess I am just the type of person that finds it hard to deal with music that is discordant and where the vocal styling is so incredibly rife for parody. It is for reasons such as this that I could not get on with Blonde on Blonde. It just felt, at times, I was listening to someone doing an impression of a hippie. It did not help that on one of the songs there was the refrain telling everyone to get stoned.

Blonde on Blonde also contained ‘I Want You’, a song I have known a long time from Sophie B. Hawkins’ album Tongues and Tails. It is always interesting to hear the difference between the interpretations of  the same song, although I know which one I prefer…

So this leads me onto Blood On The Tracks, the final Bob Dylan album in the Top 250 (as of writing in April before the upcoming update in the early summer). After Blonde on Blonde I was rejoicing because I was thinking ‘good riddance’ after just one more album. I mean, this is why they are here in a double-bill. Here’s the thing though, Blood On The Tracks is easily the best Bob Dylan I have ever heard. In fact, after a few more listens I think I could grow to really like it. Something I should have expected when I noticed that ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ was the first track.

In the end, I’m just going to have to accept that Bob Dylan is one of those singers where I can not just lay down the blanket and say that I like or dislike him. He’s difficult and, yes, at times his albums can make me laugh at the sheer oddness of his delivery or cringe at the notes he can’t reach. However, about a third of the time he is able to strike a chord with me, so there is no way I can just write him off. This conclusion, as you can probably guess, frustrates me somewhat.

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