Sunday, August 30, 2009

bob dylan's "highway 61 revisited" released 44 years ago today

on august 30, 1965, bob dylan released "highway 61 revisited," probably his greatest album and, arguably, one of the greatest rock albums of all time. dylan himself, had this to say about it: "i'm not gonna be able to make a record better than that one... highway 61 is just too good. there's a lot of stuff on there that i would listen to."

it's my favorite dylan album, although my favorite dylan song is still (and will probably always be) "joey" - one of his more infrequently performed tunes. i just finished reading greil marcus' "like a rolling stone: bob dylan at the crossroads" - a stream of consciousness tour of the song, and it's incredible impact on dylan and the world (i'll post a review of that book soon). the recording of "like a rolling stone" took place in mid-june 1965 - the remainder of "highway 61 revisited" was recorded in late july and early august.

between "like a rolling stone" and the remaining sessions for the album, dylan appeared at the newport fold festival. that appearance, when he played electric guitar for his second set and encountered a seemingly less than enthusiastic crowd - and plenty of "boos" as well - became known as the infamous "electric dylan controversy," and may have colored the mood of the subsequent recording sessions.

regardless of the electric controversy or maybe, urged on by it, the album's additional songs were tremendous. aside from the already released (as a single) "like a rolling stone" the album included (just to pick two), "queen jane approximately" and "desolation row" - now also dylan (and rock) classics.

so take some time to "revisit" highway 61 today :D

No comments: