Friday, May 2, 2008

Number 1 Highway 61 Revisited

Number 1 Highway 61 Revisited
Artist: Bob Dylan
Released: Aug. 30th, 1965

Track Listing
Like A Rolling Stone
Tombstone Blues
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
From A Buick 6
Ballad of a Thin Man
Queen Jane Approximately
Highway 61 Revisited
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Desolation Row

"Here comes the blind commissioner, they've got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tightrope walker; the other is in his pants"

The sum is greater than its parts. What if the sum is from another universe? Six plus six equals macaroni cheese, fuzzy math, dream world calculations, algebra from a planet unknown? You listen and it just doesn't make any sense while making all the sense in the world. WHERE DID THIS COME FROM!!!????? I don't get it but it gets me got it? Area 51 in the desert, not quite Alien hunters, Highway 61 in Mississippi, we've had visitors and they left vinyl proof.

I put my list together and I wanted to fight this, I wanted a dark horse to come galloping up the back stretch and take out Bob Dylan by a nose. The race wasn't rigged; it's just that all the other thoroughbreds were on a different track, in a different town, in the vicinity of Comprehendibleville. Highway 61 Revisited don't race there, it never did.

A couple of parameters for #1….

Opening track is the greatest (and the most unlikely) single of all time.
You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clownsWhen they all come down and did tricks for youYou never understood that it ain't no goodYou shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

"The first time I heard Bob Dylan, I was in the car with my mother listening to WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind." – Bruce Springsteen commenting on Like A Rolling Stone

The fulcrum point of the most influential artist in recorded music history
Infusion of the folk poet with the rock and roll master. The cornerstone of the way he used to sound with the way he was going to sound.

The essence of "hip"

That album cover, with the Triumph Motorcycle shirt, the way the name of the album sounds when you say it, "Highway 61 Revisited". Song titles like "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Queen Jane Approximately" lines like….

She walks like Bo Diddley and she don't need no crutch

Now if you see Saint Annie please tell her thanks a lotI cannot move my fingers are all in a knot

And dropping a bar bell he points to the skySaying, "The sun's not yellow it's chicken"

My favorite Bob Dylan song, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Dooon Doon dah doodala doon Dooon Doon dah dooodala doon doon doon wah weenk wahn a wahnn wahnnnn……….

It's not really a sense of wonder as much as it is a sense of awe. When I first heard Highway 61 Revisited it blew my mind, the 247th time I heard Highway 61 Revisited it blew my mind. Head scratching, awe inspiring, other worldliness, mind blowing essential Bob Dylan. My # 1 album of all time, it wasn't ever in doubt. I have officially given up on trying to figure this album and this Bob Dylan out. Until someone puts my ass on a spaceship and flies me to the place this album came from and dishes out enlightenment on the whole thing, even DESOLATION ROW!!!!!!!!, number one is set in sonic cosmic stone.

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