Bob Dylan’s Best Albums
Compiled by Madeline Cramer
“I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me,” said Dylan Thomas (the poet who inspired Robert Allen Zimmerman to legally change his last name at 19), and perhaps Bob Dylan’s poetry and music has achieved its legendary, timeless status by encompassing those three parts of the human experience so well.
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(Albums arranged in the order they were released… )
Following the success of Blood on the Tracks, Dylan’s Desire became one of his best-selling studio albums, and it’s also one of his most collaborative. As exemplified in “One More Cup of Coffee” and “Oh Sister,” the backing vocals of Emmylou Harris and Ronee Blakely plus the repeated use of the natural minor scale and addition of Scarlet Rivera on the violin add a uniquely mesmerizing and almost middle-eastern feel to his album. The violin is especially prevalent in his famous protest ballad “Hurricane”—following the wrongful conviction of boxer Rubin Carter for triple murder in 1966. His songs “Isis,” “Sara” (written directly to his wife), and “Joey” also appear in the form of ballads.
Watch Bob Dylan and Scarlet Rivera perform “Hurricane” live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfiK17FhP4g