Bob DylanThe Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Posted 26 September 2010 - 07:36 AM
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Released: May 27, 1963
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is the second album by Bob Dylan although for some reasons many people still believe it's his first album. Released on May 27 1963 the album was not an instant commercial success but with time it sure will become legendary. Dylan is here with his harp and acoustic (plays some keyboards too) backed by studio musicians on guitar bass piano and drums and John Hammond produces. The result is a mix of legendary tracks and some other lesser tracks. The major tracks on Freewheelin' are "Blowin' in the Wind" "Masters of War" "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice It's All Right". I like the traditional track "Corrina, Corrina" but I really prefer the outtakes version without the album arrangements. And "Oxford Town" a song that was very relevant back then although a little bit short. I always liked the "Bob Dylan's Dream" lyrics but with "Bob Dylan's Blues" on side one of the vinyl that made two tracks with his name on the title. I don't know if some people thought it was strange or even if other artists did that before him.
Once again one wonders why Dylan didn't choose some of the gems that we can hear in the outtakes. Indeed this will be a recurring oddity that will happen throughout Dylan's career: for most of his album he was bad at deciding the final track-list. I guess it's part of his "I do what the hell I want" personality. One can argue why tracks like "Down The Highway" or "Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance" were retained for the final track-list but songs like "Worried Blues" "Rocks and Gravel" and the beautiful "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" were rejected. Seems unbelievable.
On Freewheelin' you can hear some of Dylan's most beautiful protest songs like "Hard Rain" and "Masters of War" if you like that style. "Hard Rain" is so beautiful after all these years it hurts. Dylan said he wanted each lines to sound like the beginning of a song. And the bitter "Masters of War" is in my opinion still as relevant today as it was in 1963. About "Blowin' in the Wind" which had become the anthem of a generation the strange thing is it's not the tune that will make him famous (he'll have to wait for "The Times They're A Changin" for that) since Peter Paul and Mary made an instant hit of it so most people didn't know it was actually Dylan who penned the song. Later he will be accused of plagiarism for borrowing the melody to the traditional song."No More Auction Block". Also "Girl from the North Country" was a remake from an old English traditional: "Scarborough Fair". And that was the reason why he wrote "Restless Farewell" on his next album (that was based on the Irish folk song "The Parting Glass") that will be made solely of Dylan's originals: "so I'll make my stand and remain as I am and bid farewell and not give a damn..." But we'll see that when I'll review "The Times They're A Changin".
Freewheelin' is the album of a songwriter that just found his style and the first album seems miles away from it. Just a word about the art cover: it could be his best. Legendary.
1.Blowin' in the Wind
2.Girl from the North Country
3.Masters of War
4.Down the Highway
5.Bob Dylan's Blues
6.A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall
7.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
8.Bob Dylan's Dream
10.Talkin' World War III Blues
12.Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
13.I Shall Be Free
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