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Blonde on Blonde

4.7 out of 5 stars 434 customer reviews

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Blonde On Blonde
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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  • Bob Dylan: "If my songs were just about the words, then what was Duane Eddy, the great rock-and-roll guitarist, doing recording an album full of instrumental melodies of my songs?" Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.


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Bob Dylan ~ Blonde On Blonde

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Considered an unprecedented magnum opus when it arrived on two records in May of 1966 (1997's Time out of Mind is actually only about a minute shorter), Blonde on Blonde featured Dylan continuing to demonstrate remarkable powers over the course of 14 new numbers. Working in Nashville with session men and a few conscripted recruits (Al Kooper, Robbie Robertson), Dylan continued to bend minds with his warped lyrics and phrasing. Even dashed-off numbers such as "Obviously 5 Believers" and "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" contribute to the crazed, fun-house ambiance. Dylan will never be this wild again. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1986
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000024OG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (434 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,521 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Henrici on October 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We all know about this album as being a classic. The great musicianship of Al kooper and Robbie Robertson coupled with Dylan's songwriting make this and Highway 61 among Dylan's best albums. A majority of buyers doubtless own this already and are pondering jumping on the reissue wagon again. The packaging of the reissue is well done compared to the barebones earlier issue. I am probably in the minority, but I always thought the previous cd issue of this particular album (though not some of the other dylan discs) sounded pretty good. I have grown so used to it that the reissue somehow does'nt sound right in comparison. I got the re-release partly based on the recommendations posted here. I use a cd player only, and as a cd I found the reissue not as enjoyable to listen to. True there are a few more details on the new mix, from an analytical standpoint it may be "better". I put on the reissue and did'nt really find myself enjoying the music. I then played the original disc and found it to be more relaxed and enjoyable. One thing I noticed is Al Koopers organ on "Visions of Johanna" is underneath the mix on the reissue, coming through thin and faintly. Kooper's musicianship is more readily appreciated on the original disc. The vocals on all the tunes sound a bit warmer and natural on the original disc too, though they might not be as "clear" as the reissue. The guitars, especially Dylan's acoustic, sound better with less clarity on the original disc, the reissue brings them out a little more, while this initially may seem "better", eventually it is not, bringing out more of a tin sound. I'm not sure that greater clarity and resolution always make old rock recordings more enjoyable.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
What would you need to be to be the greatest album of all-time?
1.You'd need to have a classic opening salvo that sets the tone - and the quality - for what is to follow...
'Rainy Day Women' exudes a good-time feel with its Salvation Army band vibe and its party atmosphere with the whoops and hollers of the session musicians, the interjections of "Yeah!" and "Tell 'em, Bob!" and that harmonica crescendo. This track never fails to whip up the excitement. Especially when you know what is in store on the rest of the album...
'Pledging My Time' has a laid-back feel and a relaxed-sounding Dylan which then leads into 'Visions Of Johanna'. I can't think of a better start to an album.
2.You'd need to have at least one stand-out track that ranks with the very best ever written...
This album has two.
'Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands' was, as I'm sure everyone knows, the entirety of side 4 on this album's initial vinyl release and also the first track laid down by Dylan and his band of the finest Nashville session musicians. By the time it had reached its eighth minute the session men were looking at each other as if to say 'How long is this going to last? What is going on?' This is Dylan's beautifully controlled declaration of love to the woman who would become his wife. "With your mercury mouth in the missionary times/And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes..." and the question which clearly needs no answer : "Who among them do you think could resist you?" Dylan took some flack later for claiming to have stayed up for days in the Chelsea Hotel writing this for Sara Lowndes when it was easily established that he'd kept the band waiting in the studio through the night whilst he was writing in the basement downstairs before the recording.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm getting pretty sick and tired of people prattling on about Dylan the lyricist as though the sounds within which those lyrics were wrapped are of little account. Yes, it's quite true that Dylan works inside traditional musical forms and styles, but it's this very adherence to the familiar that makes a masterpiece like "Blonde on Blonde" all the more shocking in its impact. Here Dylan explores the full gamut of rock'n'roll's formal structures and themes up to 1966 and explodes them in messy, inspired ways. You get everything from potent three-minute pop classics ("I Want You") to over-the-top rockers ("Obviously 5 Believers," "Most Likely You Go Your Way") to various explorations into the blues, balladry, and even an epic elegy or two ("Sad Eyed Lady..."). Yes, the lyrics are brilliant, memorable, crackpot, obscure, maddening....but this is an album of SONGS, not mere words. Admittedly, coming to terms with Dylan's mid-'60s achievement is kind of tough because the soul and sensibility of his albums from this period were so influential that hardly anything that followed them escapes their impact. Perhaps the only real way to get a sense of how Dylan changed our "pop consciousness" is to listen to what came before him. Only then can you really recognize the divide for what it is. This is a painfully beautiful record, and it sounds as fresh and joyous to my ears as it must have sounded to all those stunned by it in 1966. There's no reason you shouldn't treat yourself to the pleasures of "Blonde on Blonde" - what are you waiting for?
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