Saturday, October 18, 2008


Title: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Artist: Bob Dylan
Label: Columbia
Released: 1962
Songs: Blowin' In The Wind/Girl From The North Country/Masters Of War/Down The Highway/Bob Dylan's Blues/A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall/Don't Think Twice, It's All Right/Bob Dylan's Dream/Oxford Town/Talking World War III Blues/Corrina, Corrina [Traditional]/Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance [Bob Dylan & Henry Thomas]/I Shall Be Free
Written by: Bob Dylan, except where noted.
Produced by: John Hammond
Thoughts: Here's the big one. Just look at the track list and count how many of these have become masterpieces, songs we find it hard not to have heard at least once in our lives. My favorite song on here are not the protest songs, though. I love "Girl From The North Country" and particularly "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right". I love the idea of a love song that has no traditional boy-girl-'let's get together now' topic, which "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" has. The singer is telling his girl that even though all these things are happening to just relax and everything will be fine. To me, the most lovely verse on the album is the second in this song:

It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin' anyway
So don't think twice, it's all right

Look at the imagery in that verse. It's the sort of imagery that drifts throughout the entire album, particularly "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", which is filled with mesmerizing paintings that everyone needs to pause and try to see as you listen.
If there is any song that feels out of place, it is the beautiful "Corrina, Corrina", the only cover on the album. Bob is accompanied by bass and drum players, who are prefect. It is just oddly placed here because all of the other songs on the album are seminal Bob Dylan compositions, but here, Bob gives us one last cover, as if he is still not confident in his originals. Another thing that has sort of annoyed me whenever I listen to this, is "I Shall Be Free". I don't get most of the cultural references, although I love Mr. Kennedy calling him up for advice. Still, I think it is weird that he chose to close the album with jokes about popular culture, instead of another thought-provoking protest song. Maybe this is just Bob trying to throw us a left curve, something he would constantly do for the rest of his career.
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan has rightfully been recognized as an important album, but that might just be an understatement about its' world wide influence...and, most importantly, appeal.

No comments: