Alright, Bob Dylan will never be my favourite recording artist, neither will his genre be my favourite style, but I can still appreciate and even enjoy some of his work.
Not enough however to be keen on a double album by the man - over 70 minutes of Dylan is undoubtedly a bit much to get through, but I think I could've handled it better if. he. could. just. sing. For although his earlier albums certainly didn't show a pure and lovely voice, his moaning vocals here are excruciating ...
I suppose they work alright on the rollicking, knee-slapping, let's-have-a-riotous-good-time opener "Rainy Day Woman Nos 12 & 35" (getting stoned and all that), but the dreary "Visions of Johanna", which just goes on and on, is wearying to listen to.
And such tracks as "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)", and particularly "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again", the latter being potentially catchy, are virtually ruined by Dylan and his nasally talk-singing (more talk than singing).
There is some good music here though, such as the nice ballad "Just Like A Woman", with its engaging organ at the end of the chorus, and the somewhat inventive "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I Go Mine". But although "I Want You" is charming - again, the way Dylan sings it - has anyone covered that song? The Byrds? Elvis Presley? Slayer?!? I'd give another version a chance anytime.
I've never been keen on lengthy albums, but I still love some of them if they're good enough - The Beatles
, Physical Grafitti
and Songs in the Key of Life
are three classics that spring to mind. And although Blonde on Blonde
certainly works against this recording's length for me, it's not that in itself that kills it - it's Dylan's vocals.
Blonde on Blonde
is heralded as a classic, one of the greats in recording history. Each to his own I know, but how it can be mentioned in the same breath as 1966 greats like Revolver
and Pet Sounds
is beyond me. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor