|Highway 61 Revisited|
|Studio album by|
|Released||August 30, 1965|
|Recorded||June – August 1965|
|Studio||Columbia Studio A, New York City|
|Producer||Bob Johnston, Tom Wilson|
|Bob Dylan chronology|
|Singles from Highway 61 Revisited|
Highway 61 Revisited is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on August 30, 1965 by Columbia Records. Having until then recorded mostly acoustic music, Dylan used rock musicians as his backing band on every track of the album, except for the closing track, the 11-minute ballad "Desolation Row". Critics have focused on the innovative way Dylan combined driving, blues-based music with the subtlety of poetry to create songs that captured the political and cultural chaos of contemporary America. Author Michael Gray has argued that, in an important sense, the 1960s "started" with this album.
Leading with the hit song "Like a Rolling Stone", the album features songs that Dylan has continued to perform live over his long career, including "Ballad of a Thin Man" and the title track. He named the album after the major American highway which connected his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota, to southern cities famed for their musical heritage, including St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, and the Delta blues area of Mississippi.
Highway 61 Revisited peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 and No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart. Positively received on release, the album has since been described as one of Dylan's best works and among the greatest albums of all time, ranking No. 18 on Rolling Stone 's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". It was voted No. 26 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000) and was featured in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2010). "Like a Rolling Stone" was a top-10 hit in several countries, and was listed at No. 1 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Two other songs, "Desolation Row" and "Highway 61 Revisited", were listed at No. 187 and No. 373 respectively.
In his memoir Chronicles: Volume One , Dylan described the kinship he felt with the route that supplied the title of his sixth album: "Highway 61, the main thoroughfare of the country blues, begins about where I began. I always felt like I'd started on it, always had been on it and could go anywhere, even down in to the deep Delta country. It was the same road, full of the same contradictions, the same one-horse towns, the same spiritual ancestors ... It was my place in the universe, always felt like it was in my blood."
When he was growing up in the 1950s, Highway 61 stretched from the Canada–US border in far northeast Minnesota (redesignated in 1991 as MN-61), through Duluth, near where Dylan was born in Hibbing, along the Mississippi River down to New Orleans. Along the way, the route passed near the birthplaces and homes of influential musicians such as Muddy Waters, Son House, Elvis Presley and Charley Patton. The "empress of the blues", Bessie Smith, died after sustaining serious injuries in an automobile accident on Highway 61. Critic Mark Polizzotti points out that blues legend Robert Johnson is alleged to have sold his soul to the devil at the highway's crossroads with Route 49.The highway had also been the subject of several blues recordings, notably Roosevelt Sykes' "Highway 61 Blues" (1932) and Mississippi Fred McDowell's "61 Highway" (1964).
Dylan has stated that he had to overcome considerable resistance at Columbia Records to give the album its title. He told biographer Robert Shelton: "I wanted to call that album Highway 61 Revisited. Nobody understood it. I had to go up the fucking ladder until finally the word came down and said: 'Let him call it what he wants to call it'."Michael Gray has suggested that the very title of the album represents Dylan's insistence that his songs are rooted in the traditions of the blues: "Indeed the album title Highway 61 Revisited announces that we are in for a long revisit, since it is such a long, blues-travelled highway. Many bluesmen had been there before [Dylan], all recording versions of a blues called 'Highway 61'."
In May 1965, Dylan returned from his tour of England feeling exhausted and dissatisfied with his material. He told journalist Nat Hentoff: "I was going to quit singing. I was very drained." The singer added, "It's very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don't dig you."
As a consequence of his dissatisfaction, Dylan wrote 20 pages of verse he later described as a "long piece of vomit". ... You don't know what it means except the ghost picked me to write the song."He reduced this to a song with four verses and a chorus—"Like a Rolling Stone". He told Hentoff that writing and recording the song washed away his dissatisfaction, and restored his enthusiasm for creating music. Describing the experience to Robert Hilburn in 2004, nearly 40 years later, Dylan said: "It's like a ghost is writing a song like that
Highway 61 Revisited was recorded in two blocks of recording sessions that took place in Studio A of Columbia Records, located in Midtown Manhattan.The first block, June 15 and 16, was produced by Tom Wilson and resulted in the single "Like a Rolling Stone". On July 25, Dylan performed his controversial electric set at the Newport Folk Festival, where some of the crowd booed his performance. Four days after Newport, Dylan returned to the recording studio. From July 29 to August 4, he and his band completed recording Highway 61 Revisited, but under the supervision of a new producer, Bob Johnston.
In the first recording session on June 15 Dylan was backed by Bobby Gregg on drums, Joe Macho, Jr. on bass, Paul Griffin on piano, and Frank Owens on guitar.For lead guitar, the singer recruited Michael Bloomfield of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The musicians began the session by recording a fast version of "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" and the song "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence", which was omitted from the album. Dylan and his band next attempted to record "Like a Rolling Stone"; at this early stage, Dylan's piano dominated the backing, which was in 3/4 time. "Barbed Wire Fence", the fast version of "It Takes a Lot to Laugh", and an early take of "Like a Rolling Stone" were eventually released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 .
The musicians returned to Studio A the following day, when they devoted almost the entire session to recording "Like a Rolling Stone". Present on this occasion was Al Kooper, a young musician invited by Wilson to observe, but who wanted to play on the session.Kooper managed to sit in on the session; despite never having played electric organ before, Kooper improvised an organ riff that, critics such as Greil Marcus and Mark Polizzotti have argued, is a crucial element of the recording. The fourth take was ultimately selected as the master, but Dylan and the band recorded eleven more takes.
To create the material for Highway 61 Revisited, Dylan spent a month writing in his new home in the Byrdcliffe artists' colony of Woodstock in upstate New York.When he returned to Studio A on July 29, he was backed by the same musicians with Harvey Brooks on bass replacing Joe Macho and his producer had changed from Tom Wilson to Bob Johnston.
Their first session together was devoted to three songs. After recording several takes each of "Tombstone Blues", "It Takes a Lot to Laugh" and "Positively 4th Street", masters were successfully recorded."Tombstone Blues" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh" were included in the final album, but "Positively 4th Street" was issued as a single-only release. At the close of the July 29 session, Dylan attempted to record "Desolation Row", accompanied by Al Kooper on electric guitar and Harvey Brooks on bass. There was no drummer, as the drummer had gone home. This electric version was eventually released in 2005, on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7 .
On July 30, Dylan and his band returned to Studio A and recorded three songs. A master take of "From a Buick 6" was recorded and later included on the final album, but most of the session was devoted to "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" Dylan was unsatisfied with the results and set the song aside for a later date; it was eventually re-recorded with the Hawks in October.
After Dylan and Kooper spent the weekend in Woodstock writing chord charts for the songs,sessions resumed at Studio A on August 2. "Highway 61 Revisited", "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", "Queen Jane Approximately", and "Ballad of a Thin Man" were recorded successfully and masters were selected for the album.
One final session was held on August 4, again at Studio A. Most of the session was devoted to completing "Desolation Row". Johnston has related that Nashville musician Charlie McCoy was visiting New York, and he invited McCoy to play guitar at the session.According to some sources, seven takes of "Desolation Row" were recorded, and takes six and seven were spliced together for the master recording.
The resulting album, Highway 61 Revisited, has been described as "Dylan's first purely 'rock' album",a realization of his wish to leave his old music format behind and move on from his all-acoustic first four albums and half-acoustic, half-electric fifth album, Bringing It All Back Home . Documentary director D. A. Pennebaker, who filmed Dylan on his acoustic UK tour in May 1965, has said: "I didn't know that he was going to leave acoustic. I did know that he was getting a little dragged by it."
Highway 61 Revisited opens with "Like a Rolling Stone", which has been described as revolutionary in its combination of electric guitar licks, organ chords, and Dylan's voice, "at once so young and so snarling ... and so cynical". Michael Gray characterized "Like a Rolling Stone" as "a chaotic amalgam of blues, impressionism, allegory, and an intense directness: 'How does it feel?'" Polizzotti writes that the composition is notable for eschewing traditional themes of popular music, such as romance, and instead expresses resentment and a yearning for revenge. It has been suggested that Miss Lonely, the song's central character, is based on Edie Sedgwick, a socialite and actress in the Factory scene of pop artist Andy Warhol. Critic Mike Marqusee has written that this composition is "surely a Dylan cameo", and that its full poignancy becomes apparent upon the realization that "it is sung, at least in part, to the singer himself: he's the one 'with no direction home'." "Like A Rolling Stone" reached number two in the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1965, and was a top-10 hit in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
The fast-paced, two-chord blues song "Tombstone Blues", driven by Michael Bloomfield's lead guitar, uses a parade of historical characters—outlaw Belle Starr, biblical temptress Delilah, Jack the Ripper (represented in this song as a successful businessman), John the Baptist (described here as a torturer), and blues singer Ma Rainey who Dylan humorously suggests shared a sleeping bag with composer Beethoven—to sketch an absurdist account of contemporary America.Although other interpretations could be put forth: Where once the creativity embodied in the accomplishments of Ma Rainey and Beethoven [it isn't Always about sex] flourished, now there is stultification of patriotic martial music. For critics Mark Polizzotti and Andy Gill, the reality behind the song is the then-escalating Vietnam War; both writers hear the "king of the Philistines" who sends his slaves "out to the jungle" as a reference to President Lyndon B. Johnson.
On July 29, 1965, Dylan and his band resumed recording "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry".Tony Glover, who observed the recording session, has recalled that Dylan re-worked the song at the piano while the other musicians took a lunch break. Critic Sean Egan writes that by slowing down the tempo, Dylan transformed the song from an "insufferably smart-alec number into a slow, tender, sensual anthem". Gill points out that the lyrics reveal the singer's talent for borrowing from old blues numbers, adapting the lines "Don't the clouds look lonesome shining across the sea/ Don't my gal look good when she's coming after me" from "Solid Road" by bluesmen Brownie McGhee and Leroy Carr.
AllMusic critic Bill Janovitz describes "From a Buick 6" as a "raucous, up-tempo blues", which is played "almost recklessly".The song opens with a snare shot similar to the beginning of "Like a Rolling Stone". Partially based on Sleepy John Estes' 1930 song "Milk Cow Blues", the guitar part is patterned after older blues riffs by Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton and Big Joe Williams. Robert Shelton hears the song as "an earthy tribute to another funky earth-mother", while for Heylin it is close to filler material; he argues that only through the musicians' performance is Dylan able to "convince us he is doing more than just listing the number of ways in which this 'graveyard woman' is both a lifesaver and a death-giver".
"Ballad of a Thin Man" is driven by Dylan's piano, which contrasts with "the spooky organ riffs" played by Al Kooper. ... elated by their discovery of others who shared their feelings", with its refrain "Something is happening here/ But you don't know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?" epitomizing the "hip exclusivity" of the burgeoning counterculture. Robert Shelton describes the song's central character, Mr Jones, as "one of Dylan's greatest archetypes", characterizing him as "a Philistine ... superficially educated and well bred but not very smart about the things that count".Marqusee describes the song as one of "the purest songs of protest ever sung", as it looks at the media and its inability to understand both the singer and his work. He writes that the song became the anthem of an in-group, "disgusted by the old, excited by the new
Polizzotti, in his study of Highway 61 Revisited, writes that the opening track of Side Two, "Queen Jane Approximately" is in a similar vein to "Like a Rolling Stone", but the song offers "a touch of sympathy and even comfort in place of relentless mockery".The song is structured as a series of ABAB quatrain verses, with each verse followed by a chorus that is simply a repeat of the last line of each verse: "Won't you come see me Queen Jane?". Gill calls this song "the least interesting track" on Highway 61, but praises the piano ascending the scale during the harmonica break as an evocation of "the stifling nature of an upper class existence". Others have speculated that the song is directed at Joan Baez and the folk movement, which Dylan had largely left behind. "Queen Jane Approximately" was released as the B-side of Dylan's "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" single in early 1966.
Dylan commences the title song of his album, "Highway 61 Revisited", with the words "Oh God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son'/Abe says, 'Man, you must be puttin' me on'".As Gill has pointed out, Abraham was the name of Dylan's father, which makes the singer the son whom God wants killed. Gill comments that it is befitting that this song, celebrating a highway central to the history of the blues, is a "raucous blues boogie". He notes that the scope of the song broadens to make the highway a road of endless possibilities, peopled by dubious characters and culminating in a promoter who "seriously considers staging World War III out on Highway 61". The song is punctuated by the sound of a siren whistle, credited as "Police Car" to Dylan in the album liner notes. "Highway 61 Revisited" was released as the B-side of his "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" single on November 30, 1965.
"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" has six verses and no chorus.The lyrics describe a nightmarish experience in Juarez, Mexico, where, in Shelton's words, "our anti-hero stumbles amid sickness, despair, whores and saints." He battles with corrupt authorities, alcohol and drugs before resolving to return to New York City. In this song, critics have heard literary references to Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano , Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels . The backing musicians, Bobby Gregg on drums, Mike Bloomfield on electric guitar, and two pianists, Paul Griffin on tack piano and Al Kooper on Hohner Pianet, produce a mood that, for Gill, perfectly complements the "enervated tone" of the lyrics. Heylin notes that Dylan took great care—sixteen takes—to get the effect he was after, with lyrics that subtly "[skirt] the edge of reason".
Dylan concludes Highway 61 Revisited with the sole acoustic exception to his rock album. Gill has characterized "Desolation Row" as "an 11-minute epic of entropy, which takes the form of a Fellini-esque parade of grotesques and oddities featuring a huge cast of iconic characters". These include historical celebrities such as Albert Einstein and Nero, the biblical characters Noah and Cain and Abel, the Shakespearean figures of Ophelia and Romeo, ending with literary titans T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.The song opens with a report that "they're selling postcards of the hanging", and adds "the circus is in town". Polizzotti connects this song with the lynching of three black circus workers in Duluth, Minnesota, which was Dylan's birthplace, and describes "Desolation Row" as a cowboy song, "the 'Home On The Range' of the frightening territory that was mid-sixties America". In the penultimate verse, the passengers on the Titanic are shouting "Which Side Are You On?" Shelton suggests Dylan is asking, "What difference which side you're on if you're sailing on the Titanic?" and is thus satirizing "simpleminded political commitment".
The first non-album outtake from the Highway 61 Revisited sessions to be released was the single "Positively 4th Street",although on an early pressing of the single Columbia used another Highway 61 outtake, "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?", by mistake. "Crawl Out Your Window" was subsequently re-recorded with the Hawks in October, and released as a single in November 1965. Columbia accidentally released an alternate take of "From a Buick 6" on an early pressing of Highway 61 Revisited, and this version continued to appear on the Japanese release for several years. Other outtakes officially released between 1991 and 2005 include alternate takes of "Like a Rolling Stone" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry", and a previously unreleased song, "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence", on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991, as well as alternate takes of "Desolation Row", "Highway 61 Revisited", "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", "Tombstone Blues", and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" on The Bootleg Series Volume 7. Excerpts from several different takes of "Like a Rolling Stone" appeared on the Highway 61 Interactive CD-ROM, released in February 1995.
In 2015, Dylan released Volume 12 of his Bootleg Series, The Cutting Edge , in three different formats. The 18-disc Collector's Edition was described as including "every note recorded during the 1965–1966 sessions, every alternate take and alternate lyric".The 18 CDs contain every take of every song recorded in the studio during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, from June 15 to August 4, 1965.
The Highway 61 Revisited out-takes from the first recording session in New York, June 15 and 16, 1965 comprise: ten takes of "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry", six takes of "Sitting On A Barbed-Wire Fence", and fifteen takes of "Like A Rolling Stone". Additionally, The Cutting Edge contains four instrumental "stem" tracks, lifted from Take Four which was the released "Master take" of "Like A Rolling Stone": Guitar (Mike Bloomfield); vocal, guitar (Bob Dylan), piano and bass; drums and organ.
The tracks from the second recording session in New York, July 29 to August 4, 1965, comprise seven takes of "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry", sixteen takes of "Tombstone Blues", twelve takes of "Positively Fourth Street", five takes of "From A Buick 6", seventeen takes of "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?", nine takes of "Highway 61 Revisited", sixteen takes of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", seven takes of Queen Jane Approximately", and eight takes of "Desolation Row".
Describing the process of listening to these many alternative versions, Chris Gerard wrote in PopMatters : "The fact that these versions do not approach the greatness of the final recordings is exactly the point. These are works in progress. It’s a guided tour through the creative process that led to these landmark albums."
The cover artwork was photographed by Daniel Kramer several weeks before the recording sessions. Kramer captured Dylan sitting on the stoop of the apartment of his manager, Albert Grossman, located in Gramercy Park, New York, placing Dylan's friend Bob Neuwirth behind Dylan "to give it extra color". '"Dylan wears a Triumph motorcycle T-shirt under a blue and purple silk shirt, holding his Ray-Ban sunglasses in his right hand. Photographer Kramer commented in 2010 on the singer's expression: "He's hostile, or it's a hostile moodiness. He's almost challenging me or you or whoever's looking at it: 'What are you gonna do about it, buster?
As he had on his previous three albums, Dylan contributed his own writing to the back cover of Highway 61 Revisited, in the shape of freeform, surrealist prose: "On the slow train time does not interfere & at the Arabian crossing waits White Heap, the man from the newspaper & behind him the hundred inevitables made of solid rock & stone."One critic has pointed out the close similarity of these notes to the stream of consciousness, experimental novel Tarantula , which Dylan was writing during 1965 and 1966.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|The Great Rock Discography||10/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
In the British music press, initial reviews of Highway 61 expressed both bafflement and admiration for the record. New Musical Express critic Allen Evans wrote: "Another set of message songs and story songs sung in that monotonous and tuneless way by Dylan which becomes quite arresting as you listen." ... and his guitar adapts itself to rock ('Highway 61') and ballad ('Queen Jane'). There is a marathon 'Desolation Row' which has an enchanting tune and mysterious, possibly half-baked words."The Melody Maker LP review section, by an anonymous critic, commented: "Bob Dylan's sixth LP, like all others, is fairly incomprehensible but nevertheless an absolute knock-out." The English poet Philip Larkin, reviewing the album for The Daily Telegraph , wrote that he found himself "well rewarded" by the record: "Dylan's cawing, derisive voice is probably well suited to his material
In September 1965, the US trade journal Billboard also praised the album, and predicted big sales for it: "Based upon his singles hit 'Like a Rolling Stone', Dylan has a top-of-the-chart-winner in this package of his off-beat, commercial material." three on the US Billboard 200 chart of top albums, and number four on the UK albums charts. In the US, Highway 61 was certificated as a gold record in August 1967, and platinum in August 1997. For Stereo Review in March 1969, Robert Christgau included Highway 61 Revisited in his piece "A Short and Happy History of Rock", comprising his recommended rock "library" of 25 albums. On its merits, he said Dylan showed good taste in accompanying musicians, but his style of rock "had a loose feel, almost tacked on, in contrast to the tight arrangements which had become typical." Despite observing flaws in the music and lyrics, he concluded that both are "great" and "healthy". Of the music's impact up to that point, Christgau added:The album peaked at number
When Dylan started writing "poetic" songs in the early Sixties, he inspired a lot of awful verbalizing, but he also inspired a songwriting revival that still flourishes. When he sang rock, he legitimized it in the folk community. The skilled guitarists and demanding fans of that community inevitably raised the quality—if also the pretensions—of the music.
Highway 61 Revisited has remained among the most highly acclaimed of Dylan's works. Biographer Anthony Scaduto praises its rich imagery, and describes it as "one of the most brilliant pop records ever made. As rock, it cuts through to the core of the music—a hard driving beat without frills, without self-consciousness." ... with lyrics that were light years ahead of anyone else's; Dylan here unites the force of blues-based rock'n'roll with the power of poetry. The whole rock culture, the whole post-Beatle pop-rock world, and so in an important sense the 1960s started here." In the opinion of PopMatters critic Hank Kalet, the album was the most "electrifying" rock and roll record ever and "one of a handful of albums (including the Beatles' Rubber Soul and Revolver ) that gave literate rockers the green light to create a kind of intelligent, probing rock music that had not existed before". "This seminal folk-rock classic" showcased "Dylan's seething, not-quite-out-of-control vocal delivery and a rough-and-tumble instrumental attack", as well as his "transformation from a folk singer to a rock and roller", Sam Sutherland wrote in High Fidelity .Michael Gray calls Highway 61 "revolutionary and stunning, not just for its energy and panache but in its vision: fusing radical, electrical music
Among Dylan's contemporaries, Phil Ochs was impressed by Highway 61, explaining: "It's the kind of music that plants a seed in your mind and then you have to hear it several times. And as you go over it you start to hear more and more things. He's done something that's left the whole field ridiculously in the back of him." four in its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time." It maintained the rating in a 2012 revised list, and was re-ranked at number eighteen in 2020. The Rolling Stone list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" ranked "Highway 61 Revisited", "Desolation Row" and "Like a Rolling Stone" at number 373, number 187, and number one, respectively. In 2012, The Best 100 Albums of All Time book ranked Highway 61 Revisited as the greatest album of all time. The album was included in a "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings—published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981) —and in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die . It was voted No. 26 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). According to Acclaimed Music, it is the 11th most celebrated album in popular music history.In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine described Highway 61 as "one of those albums that changed everything", and placed it at number
Most of the songs on Highway 61 Revisited have remained important, in varying degrees, to Dylan's live performances since 1965. According to his website, he has played "Like a Rolling Stone" over 2,000 times, "Highway 61 Revisited" more than 1,700 times, "Ballad of a Thin Man" over 1,000 times, and most of the other songs between 150 and 500 times.
The influence of the songs on Highway 61 Revisited can be heard in many cover versions. "Like a Rolling Stone" has been recorded by artists including the Rolling Stones, on their live album Stripped ,David Bowie and Mick Ronson on Heaven and Hull , Johnny Winter on Raisin' Cain , and Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival. My Chemical Romance's version of "Desolation Row" was featured in the film Watchmen in 2009. The song has also been covered by the Grateful Dead on their album Postcards of the Hanging . "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" has been recorded by Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Nina Simone and Neil Young. The title track was covered by artists such as PJ Harvey, Karen O and Billy Joel.
All songs written by Bob Dylan. The timings are for the stereo mix – the mono mix totals nearly 3 minutes less, with most of the difference accounted for by A3, B1 and B3.
|1.||"Like a Rolling Stone"||June 16, 1965||6:13|
|2.||"Tombstone Blues"||July 29, 1965||5:56|
|3.||"It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"||July 29, 1965||4:09|
|4.||"From a Buick 6"||July 30, 1965||3:19|
|5.||"Ballad of a Thin Man"||August 2, 1965||5:58|
|1.||"Queen Jane Approximately"||August 2, 1965||5:31|
|2.||"Highway 61 Revisited"||August 2, 1965||3:30|
|3.||"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"||August 2, 1965||5:32|
|4.||"Desolation Row"||August 4, 1965||11:21|
Adapted from the liner notes.
|German Albums Chart||28|
|Greek Albums Chart||2|
|UK Albums Chart||4|
|US Billboard 200||3|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Blood on the Tracks is the fifteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 20, 1975 by Columbia Records. The album marked Dylan's return to Columbia Records after a two-album stint with Asylum Records. Dylan began recording the album in New York City in September 1974. In December, shortly before Columbia was due to release the album, Dylan abruptly re-recorded much of the material in a studio in Minneapolis. The final album contains five tracks recorded in New York and five from Minneapolis.
"Desolation Row" is a 1965 song by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. It was recorded on August 4, 1965, and released as the closing track of Dylan's sixth studio album, Highway 61 Revisited. It has been noted for its length (11:21) and surreal lyrics in which Dylan weaves characters into a series of vignettes that suggest entropy and urban chaos.
Blonde on Blonde is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released as a double album on June 20, 1966 by Columbia Records. Recording sessions began in New York in October 1965 with numerous backing musicians, including members of Dylan's live backing band, the Hawks. Though sessions continued until January 1966, they yielded only one track that made it onto the final album—"One of Us Must Know ". At producer Bob Johnston's suggestion, Dylan, keyboardist Al Kooper, and guitarist Robbie Robertson moved to the CBS studios in Nashville, Tennessee. These sessions, augmented by some of Nashville's top session musicians, were more fruitful, and in February and March all the remaining songs for the album were recorded.
"All Along the Watchtower" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album, John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan's subsequent greatest hits compilations. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. Different versions appear on four of Dylan's live albums.
"Like a Rolling Stone" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on July 20, 1965 by Columbia Records. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.
"Visions of Johanna" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. Several critics have acclaimed "Visions of Johanna" as one of Dylan's highest achievements in writing, praising the allusiveness and subtlety of the language. Rolling Stone included "Visions of Johanna" on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1999, Sir Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, listed it as the greatest song lyric ever written.
"Ballad of a Thin Man" is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan, and released in 1965 on his sixth album, Highway 61 Revisited.
"Positively 4th Street" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965, reaching No. 1 on Canada's RPM chart, No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as No. 206 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
"From a Buick 6" is a song by Bob Dylan from his album Highway 61 Revisited, which was also released as a single on the B-side of "Positively 4th Street". It was recorded on July 30, 1965.
"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan. It was originally recorded on August 2, 1965, and released on the album Highway 61 Revisited. The song was later released on the compilation album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II and as two separate live versions recorded at concerts in 1966: the first of which appeared on the B-side of Dylan's "I Want You" single, with the second being released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert. The song has been covered by many artists, including Gordon Lightfoot, Nina Simone, Barry McGuire, Judy Collins, Frankie Miller, Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Black Crowes, Townes Van Zandt, and Bryan Ferry. Lightfoot's version was recorded only weeks after Dylan's original had been released and reached #3 on the Canadian RPM singles chart.
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning nearly 60 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture.
"Just Like a Woman" is a song written by Bob Dylan and first released on his 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde. It was also released as a single in the U.S. during August 1966 and peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dylan's recording of "Just Like a Woman" was not issued as a single in the United Kingdom but the British beat group, Manfred Mann, did release a hit single version of the song in July 1966, which peaked at #10 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Dylan's version of the song at #232 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"Pledging My Time" is a blues song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan for his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. The song was recorded on March 8, 1966, in Nashville, Tennessee, with veteran Nashville musicians and Canadian guitarist Robbie Robertson. "Pledging My Time" was released the next month by Columbia Records as the B-side of the single "Rainy Day Women#12 & 35", a hit record in both the United States and Great Britain. The two songs also led off Blonde on Blonde, which was officially released on May 16, 1966, and today is considered among the best albums of all time.
By 1965, Bob Dylan was the leading songwriter of the American folk music revival. The response to his albums The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and The Times They Are a-Changin' led the media to label him the "spokesman of a generation".
"It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" is a song written by Bob Dylan, that was originally released on his album Highway 61 Revisited. It was recorded on July 29, 1965. The song was also included on an early, European Dylan compilation album entitled Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits 2.
"I'll Keep It with Mine" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1964, first officially released by folk singer Judy Collins as a single in 1965. Dylan attempted to record the song for his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde.
"Watching the River Flow" is a blues rock song by American singer Bob Dylan. Produced by Leon Russell, it was written and recorded during a session in March 1971 at the Blue Rock Studio in New York City. The collaboration with Russell formed in part through Dylan's desire for a new sound—after a period of immersion in country rock music—and for a change from his previous producer. The song was praised by critics for its energy and distinctive vocals, guitar, and piano. It has been interpreted as Dylan's account of his writer's block in the early 1970s, and his wish to deliver less politically engaged material and find a new balance between public and private life.
The Bob Dylan World Tour 1966 was a concert tour undertaken by American musician Bob Dylan, from February to May 1966. Dylan's 1966 World Tour was notable as the first tour where Dylan employed an electric band backing him, following him "going electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The musicians Dylan employed as his backing band were known as The Hawks, who later became famous as The Band.
Robert J. Gregg was an American musician who performed as a drummer and record producer. As a drum soloist and band leader he recorded one album and several singles, including one Top 40 single in the United States. But he is better known for his work as a drummer on several seminal 1960s songs, including Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". He was also temporarily a member of The Hawks, which later became known as The Band.
"Obviously 5 Believers" is a song by Bob Dylan. It was recorded at Columbia Music Row Studios, Nashville on 10 March 1966, and released as the last track of side three of his double album Blonde on Blonde on 20 June 1966.