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Love and Theft

436 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 11, 2001
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  • Bob Dylan: "The 'Queen of the Folksingers,' that would have to be Joan Baez... The sight of her made me high. All that and there was her voice. A voice that drove out bad spirits. It was like she'd come down from another planet." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

At once relaxed and rocking, romantic and roguish, this 2001 album thrilled fans and instantly placed itself alongside the best albums in his oeuvre. These still sound fresh and inspired a decade later: Mississippi; Summer Days; High Water (for Charley Patton); Po' Boy; Sugar Baby; Lonesome Day Blues , and more!

When we last left the ever-confounding saga that is Bob Dylan's now-superhuman recording career, he'd reunited with producer Daniel Lanois, with whom he cut 1997's Time Out of Mind, his most coherent and appealing collection in nearly a decade. Now the still-reigning prince of musical contrariety and potent wordplay is back with his most focused, well-played collection since 1989's Oh Mercy, another Lanois production. One listen to the fade-in of the opener "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" and it's clear that all Dylan's roadwork has shaped him and his band (including guitarist Charlie Sexton) into a mighty musical weapon. And while his craggy howl continues to resonate, it's the songs here that astonish. A sturdy midtempo melody makes "Mississippi" the equal of the best numbers on Time, which it was actually written for. He convincingly puts over the R&B swing (yes, swing) number "Summer Days." "Honest with Me" ("I'm not sorry for nuthin' I've done / I'm glad I fight, I only wished we'd won") is a driving rocker that packs a genuine punch. And the light, lounge-like "Bye and Bye" and the southland ramble "Floater (Too Much to Ask)" show extraordinary confidence. He's labeled these songs "blues-based," but in typical Dylan fashion what would promise to be the most overtly blues number here--"High Water (for Charlie Patton)"--sounds like a banjo-based gunfighter ballad. But then that's this artist's gift: confounding expectations. --Robert Baird

1. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
2. Mississippi
3. Summer Days
4. Bye And Bye
5. Lonesome Day Blues
6. Floater (Too Much To Ask)
7. High-Water (For Charley Patton)
8. Moonlight
9. Honest With Me
10. Po' Boy
11. Cry A While
12. Sugar Baby

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B00005NI5Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (436 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Tiernan Henry on September 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
A few months ago the music press dusted down their Bob Dylan obituaries, changed everything from the past to the present tense, and called it a celebration of Dylan's sixtieth birthday. Typically, Dylan took no public part in the celebrations.
"I blew out some candles, ate some cake, and went to bed," he told the Times.
He managed a little more too, spending a couple of weeks in a New York studio in mid-May, on a break from his ongoing touring.
With Dylan at the production desk the album was quickly recorded and mixed.
Dylan and his band were joined by keyboardist Augie Meyers, who reported that the sessions were workmanlike, thoroughly enjoyable, with Dylan penning extra verses between takes as needed.
The result, "Love And Theft", Dylan's 39th studio album, positively hums with brilliance.
Though it sounds little like the Grammy-winning "Time Out Of Mind", the new album fits right in with Bob's musical journey through the past decade or so.
In 1991 he released a collection of old folk and blues songs on "Good As I Been To You". A year later the more focused collection, "World Gone Wrong", popped out.
Dylan was delving deep back into his musical roots, shaking the dust off his battered copy of the "Anthology of American Folk Music" and clearing the dust from his own head. "Time Out Of Mind" came along in 1997, loaded with musical and lyrical references to myriad blues, folk and country songs. Old timey and bang up to date, the album was a huge success.
Four years on comes the next instalment and it is every bit as good.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
All right, I have something I need to get off my chest. First, though, the review. This is incredible. While not quite in the class of Blood on the Tracks and the electric trilogy of 65-66, its still a dern fine piece of work, right next to Freewheelin', John Wesley Harding, and Time Out of Mind, masterpieces all. Tweedle Dee is a great opener, bluesy, a little bluegrass, awesome, straight through the finale Sugar Baby, which is a song that can take it's rightful place in Dylan's canon next to the other greats. Po' Boy is a wonderful song along with the fun Summer Days, the blues rocker Lonesome Day Blues, and especially Highwater, the second best song on the album, behind the instant classic, Mississippi. This brings me to what really cheeses me. How, how I ask, can people criticize his voice? A conventional voice singing Mississippi would have made it just a good song. Dylan's voice does something to it that is unimaginable if you've heard the Sheryl Crow version. His voice is an additional instrument that no one else knows how to play. Dylan's is truly beautiful singing. This voice is a world-weary, but I've survived dangnabbit voice and is truly a revelation. Feel free to follow Ricky Martin and his crew of phonies who are destroying American music, if that's your thing; eventually you'll find that road leads nowhere and long after they're gone, Dylan will remain.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By V. Messner on October 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My favorite Dylan period was from Bringing It All Back Home to Blonde on Blonde. I remember the first time I checked into the possibility of listening to Bob's newer music. I clicked on a link at Amazon, and my first impression was that his voice was unbearable. Recently, after seeing the great reviews for this cd, I decided to take a chance and order it anyway. Am I ever glad I did. I really love the music. It's got what I would call a sort of '50s rock sound....but you can never really describe Bob Dylan's music, can you? I was also suprised to find that Dylan's new lower vocal range quickly grew on me - as soon as I put aside the expectation of hearing the Bob Dylan from the '60s. Being open minded is very important when it comes to music, and I'm glad I chose to give this one a chance.
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98 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on September 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Dylan strikes again! You all are probably very curious what Bob Dylan has been up too since we last heard from him in 1997 with the Grammy winning TIME OUT OF MIND, and I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy on September 7th, with the bonus disc of two tracks. Don't worry, you all are in for a treat. The bonus disc has a traditional folk song entitled "I was Young When I Left Home," and has a running length of 5:24, and the other is an alternate version of "The Times They Are A' Changin'," and 2:57. Both are remarkable. But what about LOVE AND THEFT? Well, I'll tell you.
Dylan's miracle working knows no stopping, and with this release, he single-handedly creates an homage to the blues and yet captures all the tensions therein this particular genre. It's truly a greatest hits album, but not of Dylan, but rather the blues. That is the central paradox of this album. He has created a blues album which is simultaneously being torn in two directions, which epitomises the genre itself in the 1930s to the 1950s.
LOVE AND THEFT certainly marks its roots in the blues. Just a little over half the album plays like the successor that this record is to the 1997's smash TIME OUT OF MIND in the sense that it feels really bluesy but without the death obsession that its predecessor had. The other half, (these five tracks: Summer Day, Bye and Bye, Floater, Moonlight, and Po' Boy) sound like they call come from the same synapses of Dylan's brain, as their sound blur into one another. The best way to describe it is it sounds like old, simple bluesy folk compositions with a real 1930s to 1940s feel too it. Summer Day's intro reminds me of old 1950s rock, but then transform back into the similar feel of the aforementioned tracks.
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