Bob Dylan – Best Albums! (With Clips from each)

August 10, 2017 — Leave a comment

 

Bob Dylan’s Best Albums

Compiled by Madeline Cramer
PAGE 8

 

“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… )
 

Love And Theft
(2001)

Through its repeated references to New Orleans (an example being “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum”) and its distinctive southern bent towards folk, blues, jazz, country, and Americana (to start), the “roots rock” album Love and Theft proves Dylan’s persistent loyalty towards his original influences which gave the album Highway 61 Revisited its title.

 

The lyrics of his song “Mississippi” speak well to his infatuation with the south and the general tone of the album:

Listen to a live recording of this song:




 

“Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape
We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape

 

City’s just a jungle, more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, trying to get away
I was raised in the country, I been workin’ in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down…

 

Well, the devil’s in the alley, mule’s in the stall
Say anything you want to, I have heard it all
I was thinkin’ about the things that Rosie said
I was dreaming I was sleeping in Rosie’s bed….”

 

Within the first five stanzas, he expresses disillusionment with political and social games and an affinity for the simplicity of country life, but he also hints at a yearning restlessness while wandering across the south with an aching, searching heart—especially defined by a potential vague allusion to Robert Johnson’s wandering soul being reclaimed by the devil in an alley. However, his song progresses into a tone of hope despite his aching weariness beginning with stanza 9:

 

“…Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinking fast
I’m drownin’ in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free
I’ve got nothin’ but affection for all those who’ve sailed with me…”

 

 

 

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IMAGE CREDIT: Flickr. Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.