Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan

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Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan
Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan

Album Released: 1975

Blood on the Tracks ::: Artwork

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1.Tangled Up In Blue5:41
2.Simple Twist Of Fate4:17
3.You're A Big Girl Now4:34
4.Idiot Wind7:47
5.You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go2:55
6.Meet Me In The Morning4:21
7.Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts8:52
8.If You See Her, Say Hello4:47
9.Shelter From The Storm5:00
10.Buckets Of Rain3:22

Reviews

Holy moly, do you know what this sounds like? A classic Bob Dylan record!

That is, I don't hear any country-croony stuff, tossed off covers, weird female backup singers, or a single one from those coke-heads in The Band. This is Bob Dylan doing what Bob Dylan has always done best - singing his Mr. Wheezebag vocals, with instrumentation that can only be described as tasteful. The tunes are pretty catchy too.

The sheer goodness of Blood on the Tracks shocked the music-listening public and press so much that it was not only hailed as his long-awaited return-to-form at the time, but his best album ever. That reputation continues to hold to this day. So yes, this is an excellent record and fully deserving of a high reputation, but is it better than The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, or Blonde on Blonde? ... you're dreaming!

On the other hand, I think I know why people like this record so much. First of all, it's fairly mellow, which should appeal to those who think his 60's records were either too sloppy or too folky. Furthermore, these lyrics are startlingly personal. Dylan was apparently going through some rough times in 1974 and 1975 (most prominently a divorce), and it sounds like he was getting quite a few things off his chest throughout this album.

But what am I doing talking about lyrics? As I've said on a number of occasions, I'm not a lyrics guy. Melodies are Reason #1 I think Blood on the Tracks pales compared to Dylan's classic 60's albums. I mean, can you honestly tell me any of these melodies come close to matching the immortality of songs like “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “Like a Rolling Stone”, or “Blowin' in the Wind”? I doubt it.

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


After several years of muddling, after many folks had counted him out, Dylan releases his best album.

Obviously inspired by his divorce from a former Playboy bunny by the name of Sara, this is the greatest breakup album of all time. Dylan is at turns ruminative and vengeful, wistfully recapturing memories of the love affair that was, then wishing the damn bitch would go to hell.

His melodies have never been stronger, and his skills as a lyricist are in top form too - "Tangled Up In Blue" is as perfect as pop music gets. Ideally, this is what country music ought to sound like - beautifully stoic, but sentimental in the face of the ups and downs of love after 30.

6 stars

by Reviewer: Creative Noise

At last, the album I always knew Dylan had in him! And the reason it’s so good is that - apparently - everyone’s paying attention. Dylan’s paying attention to his singing, someone (I heard it was his brother David Zimmerman) is paying attention to the arrangements, and of course the songs are written with attention to the lyrics (for a change).

The most noticeable effort is in the vocals. Instead of Dylan’s usual scattershot approach - of random accents, missed notes, and flubbed lyrics - he bears down, giving appropriate intensity to the emotions, singing gently on the ballads, and hitting all the notes. And because he’s making an effort, he seems to be putting more into these performances - not to sound like a living room psychoanalyst, but the listener gets the sense from this record that Dylan actually cares about the music on it. His phrasing of sweet lady in the second verse of “Idiot Wind” may be the most ironic performance in the history of singing.

The songwriting is mostly wonderful too. Dylan comes up with some terrific tunes here, eminently hummable (“Buckets of Rain”), soothing (“If You See Her, Say Hello”), bouncy (“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”), or scathing (“Idiot Wind”).

The lyrics make for a sort of concept album too, as the narrator flashbacks over a ruined love affair, sorting out the wreckage of the narrative in “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Simple Twist of Fate”, dropping contempt and anger all over the audience with “You’re a Big Girl” and “Idiot Wind”, then recalling attempts to salvage the relationship with “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome” and “Meet Me in the Morning”.

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by Reviewer: Steve Knowlton (blogging at Steve's Record Reviews)


So, what exactly happened to Dylan in the time after Planet Waves to cause him to produce this? Well, he took art lessons - he became creatively inspired - and given the state of his marriage at this stage, for the first time in a fair few years he actually had something to write about.

The idea Dylan had was this ... if you look at a painting, you don't see all of it at once - some parts are off in the distance, some nearby, and there's no fixed sense of time. The opening track "'Tangled Up In Blue" demonstrates that well lyrically - both past, present, and future are equally applicable to the sense of whereabouts the listener is in the story.

That song was re-recorded for this record. Originally, it was intended the whole album would be bare and stripped-back, with just Dylan on acoustic guitar with a bass guitar for company. The re-recording of tracks resulted in controversy from some fans, who felt that some of the original versions were superior to the final takes.

But listen to "Tangled Up In Blue", else "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts", or even "Idiot Wind". In this its stripped-back version for example, the latter track had a set of personal lyrics very close to home as far as Dylan was concerned - he'd laid bare his heart and soul through song. But, nine or ten songs of that, it was decided, would prove heavy going for most people. So the album was made to be more varied by including tracks with full band performances.

"Simple Twist of Fate" is achingly beautiful, full of sadness and resignation, it makes me feel for the world, for all of those in suffering. And "You're A Big Girl Now" is made for me not only by the beautiful guitar and bass introduction, but also Dylan's superb vocal performance, his finest since Blonde on Blonde I think.

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