Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bob Dylan: "Dylan" (1973)

Yes, I realize "Dylan" is widely regarded as the worst album of the man's career.   As Dylan fans know, it was released without the artist's consent by Columbia Records after Dylan made the move to Asylum Records.    Made up of outtakes from "Self Portrait" and "New Morning" - not 2 of his most acclaimed works - "Dylan" is basically a collection of rejected tracks.  

But for me in a weird way it works.  It's not ever gonna be mistaken for "Highway 61 Revisited" or "Blonde on Blonde" or "Oh Mercy" - or even lesser albums such as "Infidels."   But, still, there is a certain charm to it.   It's listenable, and even interesting in its way.  

In particular, the performance on "Lily of the West" is enjoyable.

Listening to this album tonight, and the kitschy background vocals are annoying at times, to be sure... but at the same time it adds to the overall out-of-place peculiarity of this album.   If this album had never been released but leaked, its tracks would have greedily been circulated by traders.  

It's not the place to start, and will never ever be considered one of Dylan's essential works, but "Dylan" doesn't deserve all the hate and disdain it receives.  

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