Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
Columbia, 1963 (Re-issue)
Acquired: insound.com, New, 2008
At first I wondered why in the hell I bought a re-issue of this record and then I realized that I bought it last August when I got my student loans, which used to be the time of the yeah in which I’d splurge and spend about $100 on records. Stupid, stupid me. Especially for buying this because, well, it’s beautiful and it sounds great but there are just certain records I want to have original copies of. Ok, not originals really, if I can, sure, but like, I want a copy of this record that I found at a garage sale. It doesn’t really matter, it’s still a great record that I’ve heard way too many times and listening to it now is kind of a drag. I think it’s because it’s before he really perfected the art of the “long song” and there are a handful on here. Actually, there are only two over six minutes and both of those are perfect (“Talkin’ World War III Blues” and “A Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall”) but other tunes like “I Shall Be Free” and “Masters of War” kind of drone on too long. “Bob Dylan’s Dream” comes kind of close, but that one really works for me. Maybe it’s just listening to it right now that’s causing me to go after Freewheelin’. It’s Dylan’s first record of original material and it’s heralded as one of the better records ever released, but like his self-titled debut, I think I just don’t care that much about this record because I know what comes next is even better. That is, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, and Blood on the Tracks. And for some reason I don’t own a copy of Blonde on Blonde, which is a shame. Anyway, the record just ended. I will say, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and “Girl From the North Country” are pretty much destructively good. The classics, “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall,” are jams, of course (although I have heard “Blowin’ in the Wind” so many times I hate it). However, I never noticed that there are about six songs on this record that I would just assume skip.