Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited


5.0
classic

Review

by Humor99 USER (14 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 95 replies


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist


Considered one of Dylan's best works, Highway 61 Revisited is a masterpiece of folk and rock. Dylan is a creative genius, and this album took him literally days to write and record. Containing the well-known "Like a Rolling Stone" and the epic "Desolation Row," Dylan spans many musicial genres and breaks new ground.

The CD kicks off with "Like a Rolling Stone," the 6:13 epic that virtually every rock fan has heard atleast once. It's about being out there alone and not having anything in life to depend on. The tambourine and jingle-sort of beat gives it an upbeat tempo. Mix in some guitar and blues harmonica, and you got a smash.

Following is "Tombstone Blues," combining blues and folk guitar with a drum beat that sounds like its rushing to the end, but still keeping time. The lyrics, while not strictly make sense, are all about random mishaps. Together I guess that's what's forming Dylan's tombstone blues.

"It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" is a blues-guitar driven track with piano mixed in there for good measure. Dylan's lyrics express worry about not being able to cut it in life, but how if he doesn't make it, "his baby will." Dylan's vocals may not be the best in the world, but he shows his brilliance at phrasing and the fluctuation of his voice.

"From A Buick 6" used a 50s rock 'n roll style beat to get into it. A swingin' beat with lots of drums and keyboards is what this song's mainly about. Not much here lyrically, but still a decent track (shortest one too).

"Ballad of a Thin Man" has that sort of Phantom-of-the-Opera-esqe quality to it. Dylan even manages to crack up in the first verse as he sings. It's about confusion of what's going on, with a strong piano presence. "Something is happening, but you don't know what it is. Do you Mr Jones?" Good stuff.

"Queen Jane Approximately" returns to the original folk sound of this album with light pianos and folk guitar keeping the track moving. Dylan's asking this person to come see him once she has nothing left, basically, remember the little people in your life. The more you listen to Dylan's voice, it's not so bad for his genre. It's almost the perfect folk voice, as demonstrated on this track. And of course, it's not a Dylan folk song without the harmonica solo.

The title track, "Highway 61 Revisited," has a really upbeat tempo to it with the tambourines coming back in. Lyrically deep again, or just confusing, you never really can tell with Dylan. Some clever metaphors mixed in here, with an almost tongue-in-cheek type commentry.

"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is another blues/folk song, with a pretty piano lick. Being lost and not being able to find your way through, it gives hope to these kind of people. Folksy and bluesy all mixed together.

Finally, the epic "Desolation Row" is almost singularly a guitar beat that is completely folk. It's a sort of empty feeling type track, with no real emotion. If anything, it's kind of depressing. Of course, a harmonica solo at the end. Even still, there's a little feeling of hope in it.

Overall: 5/5
An extremely brilliant album with clever lyrics, even if they don't all make sense. Most of the songs on this album are longer than 5 minutes, showing Dylan's ability to write very complete songs. He brilliantly mixes blues and folk, and even a bit of 50s/60s rock. The man's talents can never be underestimated, especially since this album was put together in less than a week.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
keep on phishin'
July 18th 2004


71 Comments


great review for a great album :thumb: . my third favorite dylan album
like a rolling stone is a classic

ScorpSath
July 19th 2004


23 Comments


Great review, Amazing album.

AfroMan
July 19th 2004


101 Comments


Nice review:thumb:

Creedence Clearwater
August 16th 2004


11 Comments


Another good Dylan review, congrats and keep it up

Med57
Moderator
December 18th 2004


1001 Comments


I finally got this CD today (I've been meaning to get something by Dylan for ages), and it really is brilliant. Obviously I'd heard some songs before, but I'd never sat down and really listened to an album of his from start to finish, and I'm really pleased I got this first. Obviously Like A Rolling Stone is incredible, but the whole album is a great series of songs, and anyone who doesn't have this should give it a try. I never knew it was put together that quickly though...nice review as well.

Humor99
December 18th 2004


16 Comments


I'm glad you all liked the album so much. It definitely is a treat from start to finish.

You definitely should check out Dylan's mid 60s and mid 70s work if you like that album, it'll probably appeal to your tastes. Albums like Blonde on Blonde, Desire, and Blood on the Tracks.

sadisticmonkey
December 18th 2004


107 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

definately one of his best

Kingofdudes
February 10th 2005


294 Comments


I really want this album :-/

Great Review, but it seems someone is going through all your reviews and giving them "No" ratings.

-Gilmour

woofwoofwoof
July 15th 2005


156 Comments


i first heard like a rolling stone a few months ago

analrightstart
July 15th 2005


96 Comments


Good review, 'ballad of a thin man' wins best track for me.

sennabutton
January 25th 2006


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Highway 61 revisited is such a guitar and lyrical masterpiece, every single beat of the guitar falls in line with the lyrics, though there are only 3 cords, it's a hard to play song! Like a rolling stone, classic of course, i recommend this to anyone!

FeralCats
January 27th 2006


9 Comments


Great review!This Message Edited On 01.27.06

cowboy angel blues
February 13th 2006


9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pretty good review. Long songs don't necessarily make complete songs; in fact they tend to be confused and boring. Dylan is an exception, fortunately.
For me, this album is a little overrated--but not much. Some of the songs lose their edge after enough listens, especially the title track.
However, four or five of these songs (I can't decide about "Desolation Row") are among my favorite Dylan songs ever.

DownPaymentBlues78
February 19th 2006


278 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Desolation Row is amazing. A song with like 10 verses and it still sounds amazing every time.

MidnightRider
March 19th 2006


18 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I remember being completely blown away the first time I heard Desolation Row. 5/5

Krabsworth
March 19th 2006


31 Comments


Awesome album. I love Queen Jane Approximately.

Killtacular
March 19th 2006


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I actually like this.

Fade.To.Black
April 18th 2006


85 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice reveiw man for one hell of an album. Highway 61 revisited is a classic even if it doesent make sense.

Blackbird
June 4th 2006


39 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

In my top 5 albums of all time.
Absolutely incredible.
- Like A Rolling Stone
- Tombstone Blues
- Highway 61 Revisited
- The Ballad Of A Thin Man
- Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
- Desolation Row
are my personal favourites.

BobJoHankins
June 14th 2006


14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Blackbird just listed the album.

I love the whole thing



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