Stephen Chapman

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Rolling Stone top 100 albums: #97 Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Based on the top 100 albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500, I have set myself the challenge of hearing and appraising each album. I hope to be surprised and educated along the way.

Number 97 is Bob Dylan’s second album – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.  Released in 1963, it established Dylan as a songwriter as well as a performer. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album are Dylan original compositions.

The album opens with “Blowin’ in the Wind“, which became a 60’s anthem and, not having heard this properly for a long time, I was surprised at just how good it was. After this great opening, the following song, Girl from the North Country is a comedown, but the quality improved with the intriguing Masters Of War. 

Some of the tracks sounded like one take was recorded and deemed fine and therefore, the album is very inconsistant in places. You go from the dull Bob Dylan’s Blues to the great A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall and Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Bob Dylan is a supreme songwriter, though his singing can grate a little. This album is up and down for me and not an easy listen despite the constant and very basic guitar/vocal/harminica arrangements.  Based on the album as a whole, it doesn’t hang together well.  Just pick out the classics is my advice.

My rating: 5/10

Standout tracks: Blowin’ in the Wind, A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.

Listen to the album via Spotify here.

See the Top 100 here.

2 comments on “Rolling Stone top 100 albums: #97 Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

  1. Pingback: This week I have been… | Stephen Chapman

  2. Raybeard
    December 7, 2013

    For some reason (or am I doing something wrong?) I only find the very final track, “I Shall Be Free”, available to play on Spotify. No great loss for the moment, though, as Dylan’s voice has always driven me up the wall. However, on this one track it’s not yet at his whining worst.

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This entry was posted on August 28, 2013 by in music and tagged , , .

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