Monday, May 30, 2011

Blood on the Tracks

My journey to appreciating Bob Dylan was interesting. When I first began formulating my musical taste in the early '70s, I clung fast to singers with a real pop sensibility. I loved John Denver and Peter, Paul, and Mary. I always read who wrote the songs that I enjoyed, and I loved the Dylan songs that P, P, & M performed, but I simply could not get into Dylan's sound.

Plus there was the way that critics were declaring him a genius. I just thought a lot of his rhymes were nonsensical and that secretly Dylan must have been laughing at people for taking him so seriously.

Still, being my earnest self, I recall going to the library and reading up on Dylan--even taking notes on what were considered his major songs! Yep, a geek before the word had even been coined!

Anyway a complete change of heart came over with Dylan's Blood on the Tracks in 1974. Wow, did this album have distinctive songs, and his singing was intelligible and even arresting. The lyrics made sense--they told stories I could understand.

After this album, I was all set regarding Dylan. I've enjoyed his work ever since. Recently I watched a fantastic DVD on Blood on the Tracks. The critics (all British) provide a terrific context for understanding how this album fits in the Dylan canon. The stock footage of Dylan at this time is fantastic. Check it out!

And--oh yeah--Happy 70th, Bob!

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