- 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.
- Check out the selection of Bob Dylan DVDs in our Music DVD Store.
The Essential Bob Dylan Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Top Customer Reviews
This is a complete set for anyone just discovering Bob Dylan, or for old guys like myself who are trying to rediscover the sounds of their youth-without having to buy a dozen CDs. The Essentials covers the range of tunes and styles of Bob Dylan and opens the door for further discovery of his music--by the way, there's a ton of it.
Songs like "Knock, Knocking on Heaven's Door," and "Positively 4th Street" remind me of summer days at the Drive-In listening to the jukebox and playing pool (when I had some quarters). The man puts his heart and soul into every song, and you can feel this. He's not some image created by a studio and thrust on the consumer by the media. Dylan came of age before million dollar endorsements and the era of goddesses (britney) who spit out focus group music created by committees for big sales. Dylan's songs on the other hand, reflect the attitudes, values, and events impacting the time in which they were written. You may think you have never heard Dylan, but I assure you, if you listen to these songs, you will be shocked how much of this man's music is a part of our culture and music traditions.
You won't go wrong buying this collection. As for the re-mastering part, I'm skeptical, but then again, my hearing is shot from 40 years of playing my stereo too loud.
First of all, this is obviously a collection for relative newcomers rather than seasoned Dylan-fans. Second of all, those newcomers should stick to the original "Greatest Hits" and "More Greatest Hits" for the 60s and early 70s material, and hand-pick the best of Dylan's later releases for the rest of his most important output.
There are just too many of Bob Dylan's best songs missing here, especially from the 70s and 90s. "Blood On The Tracks" is represented by only two songs, "Desire" is (mis-)represented only by "Hurricane"...and if non-album classics like "When I Paint My Masterpiece" and "Watching The River Flow" shouldn't be on a supposed "essential" collection, where should they be?
The compilers have opted for songs like "Subterranean Homesick Blues", "Silvio", "Everything Is Broken" and "Tight Connection To My Heart", and they are certainly not bad songs, but they could have done much better.
Leave this album alone, and go get the original Bob Dylan compilations, 1967's "Greatest Hits" and 1972's "Greatest Hits volume 2" - the one with 21 tracks on two CDs, leading off with "Watching The River Flow" on disc 1. Or pick up the classic albums "Highway 61 Revisited", "Bringing It All Back Home", and "Blood On The Tracks". Those will get you turned on to Bob Dylan much better than this good-but-not-great attempt at making a definitive Dylan compilation.
There will always be songs that the listener will feel were a mistake to omit, and for me "Ballad of a Thin Man" is the one I wish had been in this collection.
Disc One starts in 1962, with the folk days of "Blowing in the Wind", to when he went electric with "Like a Rolling Stone" from the ground-breaking Highway 61 Revisited, to the soft lilting folk/country sound of "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" from John Wesley Harding, released in 1967.
Disc Two starts with the romantic "Lay, Lady, Lay" from 1969's Nashville Skyline, through the 70's and the return of acoustic guitar and harmonica with two songs from Blood on the Tracks, to end the decade with the beginning of his Christian recordings, and a great track from Slow Train Coming, "Gotta Serve Someone".
Ten years later brings him to the fabulous "Everything is Broken", from Oh Mercy, and the collection ends with "Things Have Changed" from 1999, which was featured in the film "Wonder Boys", and the reason I bought this CD set. After viewing the film, what I remembered and liked the most was this powerful, marvelous song..
I am one of those that feel no one sings Dylan better than Dylan, and truly enjoy his rough, expressive voice; it is interesting to hear it through the span of nearly forty years on one compilation...it has become huskier, with a bit more wobble, but to my ears better than ever.
Total time for Disc One is 56:24, Disc Two 68:31, and the sound quality varies somewhat from song to song, but overall it is excellent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
yup... it's essential is all I can say... if you're from Minnesota this is what you needPublished 2 months ago by lydwine sisson
This is the first Dylan album I ever bought and how I got introduced to him. 2 CD's of masterpieces and the best Dylan compilation album for less than $20.Published 2 months ago by Steven Smith
How I wish he was still cranking out the poetry! He's as relevant today as he was in the 60sPublished 4 months ago by Keith Evans
I'm sure I would enjoy this album, if it weren't completely scratched.Published 4 months ago by joseph stevens