Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” (1966)

Produced by Bob Johnstone

This week was Bob Dylan’s birthday (May 25th) so I decided to take a look at one of his most iconic albums. Dylan made a trilogy of albums that are albums that are considered among the best in music, from Bringing it back home to Blonde on Blonde, Dylan displayed a unique ability to take the audience anywhere with the songs both lyrically and musically.

The sixties were truly an iconic decade for music fans. Imagine you are back in 1966 and on may 16th The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds, then on June 20th Dylan released Blonde on Blonde, and then on August 5th, The Beatles released Revolver. Three albums that were inventive, heavily creative, and albums that stand the test of time, and I’m leaving out that a year later The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper. Nowadays that just does not happen.

Coming back to Dylan, this is a great album. Dylan was in another time and place with inspiration. This album has everything from love songs, to crazy stories about binoculars on a mule to everybody getting stoned. As much as I loved acoustic Dylan, he sounded so much better with a backing band, and his voice is perfect for his songs and sounds powerful as a rock voice. What I love about the album is the variety in styles and themes. It has everything and plenty since it was a double album.

The album starts with the fun tracks Rainy day women #12 & #35. As evident in the track, they were having fun with this one and the result is a cool rock song with lyrics for the stoners of the times. The next highlight is the song Visions of Johanna, I love the imagery and the way his lyrics paint the story. I think it was Bruce Springsteen who once said that Dylan just takes the audience to different places verse by verse and in this song that is so true. One of us must know is a great rock song about the realization that a relationship is over. Just Like a Woman, I want you, Stuck inside a mobile with the Memphis blues again, Most likely you go your way and I’ll go mine are just some of the other classics on this album. Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands is the definite highlight, a 11-minute song that never gets boring, it maintains interest due to the great lyrics and performance.

Happy Birthday Bob, thanks for this and all the great albums!

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