Dylan by Bob Dylan

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Dylan by Bob Dylan
Dylan by Bob Dylan

Album Released: 1973

Dylan ::: Artwork

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1.Lily Of The West3:44
2.Can't Help Falling In Love4:17
3.Sarah Jane2:43
4.The Ballad Of Ira Hayes5:08
5.Mr. Bojangles5:31
6.Mary Ann2:40
7.Big Yellow Taxi2:12
8.A Fool Such As I2:41
9.Spanish Is The Loving Tongue4:13


This album consists of songs rejected for New Morning and Self Portrait, the latter being one of the most under-celebrated albums of all time.

This is also famously known as the album that Columbia released after Bob Dylan unceremoniously dumped them, because they apparently wanted to ward off sales for his upcoming album Planet Waves on his new label.

Even if that conspiracy theory is true, by far the biggest disservice Columbia did to Dylan's discography was coming up with that ridiculously lazy album title! I mean, stop being such suits and exercise a little bit of creativity! The cover art is OK though. They probably had to pay some art-school graduate big bucks for that.

I have no idea what Dylan thought about the release of this record. But I, who am the center of the universe, loved that Columbia released this ... I mean, why should I be robbed of the opportunity of hearing these songs? And I don't want to hear them on one of those lame bootleg compilations, no sir! I want to hear them on a mainstream release!

And for any hardened Dylan fan (and I mean one of the real fans who would celebrate an album like Self Portrait), Dylan is pretty much essential listening (and now I bet some of you are wondering if I'm just going to praise everything this guy has ever done and leave it at that. Oh, I'm going to have plenty of time to not praise everything he's done as soon as the 80's roll around).

One similarity this album has with Self Portrait is that most of the songs are covers, many of which it seems almost surreal to think he'd perform. There is one original on here (“Sarah Jane”), but unfortunately it ain't exactly great shakes. I listened to that song quite a few times this week ... it's sort of fun while it's playing because it's tuneful and upbeat, but unfortunately it just doesn't stick with me. Fortunately, some of the covers make up for that shortcoming.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)

Some readers may think I've boxed myself into a corner here ... by giving Planet Waves a 2 star rating surely Dylan has to score significantly lower?

Even Dylan himself in Chronicles describes this album with bemusement, although he's careful not to actually criticize it. What confuses me is that this album was released by Columbia during a period when Dylan was no longer with the label, apparently as 'revenge', yet it's actually a fairly strong release.

I've dug into my Dylan sessionography to find out exactly where the songs on Dylan come from. A few are out-takes from Self Portrait, the rest come from the New Morning sessions. That information may not fill fans with confidence, but then the better moments from both albums were absolutely great.

Dylan doesn't necessarily always choose the best songs for his albums, I don't think he's ever been obtuse about that, he's just not sure of what his own best work is. So although it's blindingly obvious that they're not amongst his very best work, the out-takes from New Morning are all perfectly respectable. And the tracks from Self Portrait (the final three basically), are just a bit of fun.

And to counteract the accusation that both Self Portrait and this album were deliberate acts of career sabotage, Dylan does actually properly sing here - he's not giving half-hearted vocal performances. Besides, some people like him doing the odd trad/arr and cover version. "Lily of the West" for example has a speedy little rhythm, with Dylan playing harmonica, and is a proper tune. Sure, he wasn't so hot at songwriting at this stage and he mumbles some of the words, but it works really well - it sounds like Dylan.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)