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Desire Original recording remastered

92 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 1, 2004
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Desire + Blood on the Tracks + Nashville Skyline
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  • Includes FREE MP3 version of this album Here's how (restrictions apply)
  • Bob Dylan: "The sound of Hank Williams's voice went through me like an electric rod and I managed to get a hold of a few of his 78s... I played them endlessly... When I hear Hank sing, all movement ceases. The slightest whisper seems sacrilege." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.

Editorial Reviews

Dylan's 17th studio album-a well-received follow-up to Blood on the Tracks -spent 5 weeks at the top of the Billboard Pop Albums chart and marked a return to topical songwriting and folk tales. One of his more collaborative efforts, the album hosts a caravan of musicians from the Rolling Thunder Revue, plus backing vocals from a then-unknown Emmylou Harris. Includes Hurricane; Isis; Mozambique; One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below); Oh, Sister ; the epic Joey; Romance in Durango; Black Diamond Bay , and Dylan's emotional ode to his crumbling relationship, Sara .

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00026WU50
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 138 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Following the string of absolute classics Dylan put out in the 1960s he slowly retreated from the scene into personal seclusion. The early 1970s left some fans scratching their heads. What was "Self Portrait" all about? And "New Morning"? Then he did a movie soundtrack for a Sam Peckinpaw film, and "Planet Waves" still seems to divide fans (some love it and some hate it). By this time he had completely shed any question of his desired role in the folk/protest scene of the 1960s. But he didn't go away, like many expected (and some really wanted). So what was up with Bob? Then suddenly, the mid 1970s saw Dylan releasing two albums that many fans rank amongst his best (and some called them "comeback" albums, though nearly every Dylan album has been called this by someone). In very early 1975 "Blood On The Tracks" apppeared like a miracle with its intimate and lush acoustic arrangements and sound. It even spurred a hit with "Tangled Up in Blue". Most critics and fans heralded Dylan's triumphant return. Dylan then outdid himself by releasing "Desire" in very early 1976.

This album contrasts with "Blood on the Tracks" to such an extent that some fans become polarized about which album stands as Dylan's true 1970s "classic". But the albums contain such disparate material that a definitive comparison and ranking between them remains difficult. They both have their respective strengths and flaws, and both doubtlessly stand amongst some of Dylan's best material.

"Desire" doesn't have the personal feel of "Blood on the Tracks" (with the salient exception of "Sara"). And Dylan introduced three items that make this album really stick out: a running violin, a lyrical collaboration with the late Jacques Levy, and a consistent backup singer in the form of Emmylou Harris.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Dave on May 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
On this album, perhaps more than any other, Dylan shows off his true power as a storyteller. This album is more or less a collection of stories, each one incredibly rich, vivid, and imaginative. The songs on this album could each be made into a movie, and this cinematic quality is how these songs play out in your mind as you listen to them. Dylan uses such incredible and detailed imagery that you really feel like you are in these beautiful and sometimes haunting scenes that he is describing.

Highly recommended!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Caleb J. Melamed on December 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like a time capsule, Desire contains the spirit of a hopeful past. Recorded in July and October 1975 and released in January 1976, Desire is the final third of Dylan's mid-1970s trilogy, whose other parts are Planet Waves (1974) and Blood on the Tracks (1975). Although falling short of the earlier two albums' near perfection, Desire has some of Dylan's most engaging and likeable music, and his most touching love song, "Sara." In many ways, Desire resembles Planet Waves more than it does Blood on the Tracks. On Blood on the Tracks, the lyrics have primary importance, whereas on Planet Waves and Desire the music is essential in uniting these albums' diverse strands. Dylan on Blood on the Tracks is a soloist with accompaniment, but he collaborates on Planet Waves and Desire with other outstanding artists. The members of The Band join Dylan on Planet Waves in a kind of rock chamber music. On Desire, Dylan shares both songwriting and performance. Jacques Levy is co-author of all but two of the songs, and Scarlet Rivera, on violin, and Emmylou Harris and Ronee Blakley, on vocals, are notable among the musicians who help give this album its unique texture. Both Planet Waves and Desire were recorded in the aftermath of war (the Yom Kippur War for Planet Waves; the Vietnam War for Desire), and share an optimism for a better world that brackets Blood on the Tracks' tragic vision.

The trilogy's narrative progresses from first to second to third person. Dylan sings as an individual on Planet Waves, but on Blood on the Tracks he finds himself caught in a mirror play of relationships gone wrong. On Desire, Dylan adds a third party, the audience, as an integral part of the performance. Dylan pulls us into Desire by reaching outward.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Knapp on January 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I didn't used to be much of a fan of Desire--I found it overrated with several weak tracks and I thought Emmylou Harris' background vocals were often harsh and annoying. I still feel this way, but I've come to appreciate the album a lot more and understand why so many people think it's one of Dylan's best. After giving it a few more listens, I really enjoy the stylistic diversity that the songs range over (perhaps to Dylan's collaboration with Jacques Levy on most of the songwriting) as well as Dylan's energy in delivering the tunes. I'd recommend it to anybody who's already got Dylan's greatest 60's material and Blood on the Tracks and New Morning as the last high-quality studio he put out in the 70's.

The album kicks off with the classic "Hurricane." Dylan energetically spits out the ironies of Carter's story over Scarlet Rivera's violin (which will remain throughout the album as a great addition to his sound). From there on out, the album covers a lot of lyrical and stylistic territory, form the rocking narrative of "Isis" to the world music flavor of "Romance in Durango," to the dark mystery of "One More Cup of Coffee" (one of the album's best tracks). Another highlight is Dylan's emotional tribute to his soon-to-be-ex wife, "Sara."

Like I said before, the album's weaknesses are a couple songs that either drag too much or sound A LOT like other songs on the album, and the outright mediocrity of "Joey," mainly boring and way too long for its own good.
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