Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited


5.0
classic

Review

by pronounced "rye-us" USER (21 Reviews)
February 14th, 2014 | 25 replies | 1,005 views


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How does it feel?

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

How does music manage to sweep us off our feet time and time again? Each time we uncover the genius of an album, our ears devour it till there is no more left. We move on, and consume the next one, ravenous as we are. People are constantly exploring the vast ocean that is music, attempting to find the next band that will affect us deeply, whether it's emotionally or in the way we act or think. What else is there in the world that has as much power as music does?

Everyone once in a while, if we look hard enough, we find an album that completely knocks us out. It's all we think of for weeks or even months, having a permanent spot in our CD players. Our friends are exasperated by our fruitless yet incessant attempts to foist our very strong opinions about the album unto them, to force them to enjoy the album at least half as much as we do. Usually, however, they don't share the same opinion as you. This is the beauty of music: its extremely subjectivity allows us to encounter the genius in an album others might not see, therefore giving you and the music a very personal relationship. The most personal and affecting album for me is Highway 61 Revisited. It's the album that has stuck with me for my whole life, and will, as long as I am alive. It exposed itself to me when I was about ten years old, when my infatuation with music was not yet ablaze, and my delicate ears would not bear to be disturbed by anything that didn't top the charts.

While listening to Highway 61 Revisited was a cathartic experience for me, it still would have been nearly as, or just as special as it is to me. Each song, no matter the length, holds the weight of the world inside it, due to Dylan's transcendent lyricism and inexplicable, uncanny ability to weave such a deceptively simple tune with an immeasurable amount of hidden depth.

The opener, and perhaps the most famous song in rock history, "Like A Rolling Stone," is a stellar example of the Dylan formula. It has numerous brilliant verses (and apparently he wrote a hundred others just as good), confrontational and full of sneers, along with a sing along, brilliant chorus. It builds on its own momentum while never leaving its comfort zone, safely nestled between repetitive and refreshing. Complete with a memorable organ line, "Like A Rolling Stone" revels in its modesty, putting Bob Dylan's lyrics at the forefront of the track.

One of the most original tracks is placed right in the middle, "Ballad Of A Thin Man," starkly contrasted with the driving rock tone of the previous track, "From a Buick 6." Bob Dylan's baritone voice sounds less raspy then ever, instead coming off as dirge-like and sorrowful. Amongst these great songs is the anti-climactic, gorgeously plain and lengthy "Desolation Row." It revels in its simplicity, allowing the lyrics to shine. Dylan utilizes convoluted allusions and references to various characters and weaves somewhat of a story revolving around Desolation Row. Despite its sheer length, everything about "Desolation Row" feels necessarily. It's slowly paced to allow the lyrics to get the spotlight.

Bob Dylan only needed an economical nine tracks to create a definitive work of art, the quintessence of rock music of the century. It's unequalled lyric brilliance, straightforward rock background, and the incomprarably unique voice of Bob Dylan make for one of the most rewarding, fulfilling listens an album can give.



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user ratings (1195)
Chart.
4.5
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ryus
February 13th 2014



2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so this is kind of cool

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2014



1602 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haven't listened to this in AGES. But my dad's favorite album.

Ending
February 13th 2014



1893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your dad sounds like a good dude.

Friday13th
February 13th 2014



2345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great songs on here, but it's my humble opinion that tracks 2-4 are painfully average. I'm sure most will say they're all masterpieces, but not me. It's still probably the best entry point into Dylan.

Digging: East of Eden - Mercator Projected

Ending
February 13th 2014



1893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Desolation Row is one of the best songs ever written.

Chrisjon89
February 13th 2014



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

classic. as far as the long form album closers go, I prefer Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands to Desolation Row. but this is all great stuff

Midjicka
February 14th 2014



230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fantastic album. However it is the one Dylan album that I seem to go back to the least though.

manosg
February 14th 2014



5927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Desolation Row is one of the best songs ever written. [2]

Amazing album. Recently, it got into my top 3 Dylan albums.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

FourthReich
February 14th 2014



17426 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

OHHH GOD SAID TO ABRAHAM

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2014



20385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album.

Dylan's done better though.

zakalwe
February 14th 2014



7408 Comments


True and true

Digging: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

manosg
February 14th 2014



5927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The t/t has been covered by the legendary Johnny Winter among others. It's highly recommended for
anyone who's interested.

BigHans
February 14th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review. My dad is Dylan fan #1 and was jamming this for me when I was 4. I distinctly remember singing along to Ballad of a Thin Man and Tombstone Blues at like 6 years old having absolutley no idea what the words meant (I still dont actually).

Anyway, Just Like Tom THumbs Blues is the most underrated cut on this. Its a Dylan classic that nobody ever talks about.

And yeah, Desolation Row is obv best song ever. This one dude once made a painting that had a description of every character in the song. It was bad-fucking-ass.

VermTheImpaler
February 14th 2014



1360 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You're lucky hans, my dad and my mom are fans of phil collins ( the bad stuff )and julio iglesias,
lol. Album is pure gold, desolation row is a hard jam, this and blood on the tracks are like the best
things ever

BigHans
February 14th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my Dad jammed Dylan, Beatles, Stones, and Lennon solo stuff hard.

rockandmetaljunkie
February 14th 2014



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Desolation Row" is such a classic. The lyrics are so powerful.

rockandmetaljunkie
February 14th 2014



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They're selling postcards of the hanging
They're painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town

osmark86
February 14th 2014



3926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great to see Dylan on the main page. great review mate have a pos!

Digging: Schammasch - Contradiction

osmark86
February 14th 2014



3926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Verm: I know what you mean, my dad also enjoys the bad Phil Collins and late Genesis.

BigHans
February 14th 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Dr Filth he keeps his world inside of a leather cup
and all his sexless patients they are trying to blow it up

And his nurse, some local loser
shes in charge of the cyinaide hole



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