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    Bob Dylan


    Posts : 323
    Age : 99
    Location : Friar Park
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    Joined : 18/08/2007

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    Message  bd le Ven 29 Oct - 0:01:09

    Artist: Bob Dylan
    Album: The Times They Are A-Changin'

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    Most of the songs on The Times They Are A-Changin' were recorded in one session - just after Dylan's first appearance at the Newport festival - and the rest including the outtakes was done later in six or seven sessions. The songs reeked of the New York's folk scene the album became his most famous political album. Although Dylan wrote the songs just before Kennedy's assassination the ambiance is very stern. Gone was Walt Disney's America. The bats were out of hell.

    Dylan signed the totality of the songs and the thing that may strike you is that compared to the two albums preceding this one his voice had matured it was more sure of itself and that makes sense seeing he was giving lots of concerts. It was a few months before the release of this album that he gave his famous concert at the Carnegie Hall and the set-list included all of his best released and unreleased acoustic songs to date.

    The Times they are A-changin' was the first Dylan's real hit and is one of my personal favorites of the acoustic period. Ballad of Hollis Brown was officially published at last. It's a terrible story and only Dylan could have written such a song about it. This song is haunting. Sort of hypnotic.With God on our side was a brilliant tune but many will argue that the lyrics are now old fashion and somewhat irrelevant. One Too Many Mornings another political tune. The album could have survived without it. I like North country blues. A meaningful story song based on tragic events. Good choice to end side A of the vinyl.

    Side 2 opens on Only A Pawn In Their Game another political tune. Followed by Boots Of Spanish Leather that's in my opinion one of the most lovely love song he ever wrote. When The Ship Comes In one feels that something happens in that song another beautiful melody. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll another one of my favorite Dylan's tunes. In the first chorus he says: "but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears take the rag away from your face now ain't the time for your tears" but he changed it to :"but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears bury the rag deep in your face for now's the time for your tears". in the last chorus. Brilliant twist that adds one dramatic touch. He wrote the song right after he read the news in the paper. It's a tale of injustice racism and prejudice. One Dylan's classic.

    Some argued that this song should have been the last of the album and Restless Farewell somewhat spoils the end. Well I disagree. As much as Hattie Carroll is a beautiful song Restless Farewell has it's place as the final track of the album. Dylan replies to those who judged him in the press and he does it particularly well here: "so I'll make my stand and remain as I am and bid farewell and not give a damn". The song is about him for a change.

    During the few sessions of The Times They Are A-Changin' some outstanding outtakes were recorded. These outtakes are on par with the quality of the songs released. Those who didn't own the bootlegs had to wait for the release of the Bootleg Series vol 1 - 3 and the Biograph box-set to hear them. I'm thinking about songs like: Lay Down Your Weary Tune, (that is indeed a beautiful tune that he was often doing live and the fact that it was not included in the album's set-list is incredible). There was also Seven Curses, Only a Hobo, Eternal Circle, Moonshiner, Paths Of Victory, and of course the fantastic Percy's Song.

    To conclude: The Times They Are A-Changin' is not an hymn to joy and happiness it's quite gloomy. It's only the second album in which Dylan wrote the songs and he had already overtaken the other folksingers of those days... some of whom were his idols. It's his most realistic album it's very terre-à-terre it doesn't contain sarcasm. It was almost the end of his protest-songs period. When the album hits the stores Dylan was already on something different as we will see in my next review: Another side of Bob Dylan virtually his last folk album before the legendary electric trilogy.

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