82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely, lovely record
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is one of those albums that I think I could listen to and enjoy anytime, regardless of mood. It's just a wonderful classic album. Dylan's second album, Freewheelin' is a great improvement over his debut (which is also a very good record). After composing only two songs for his debut, Freewheelin' finds Dylan significantly more confident in his...
Published on September 25, 2005 by FairiesWearBoots8272
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stereo mix only
I have many CD's in my juke boxes yet I get SACD's for the 5.1 surround mix this one is plain stereo so its just ok love bob dylan yet wanted him in surround.
Published 1 month ago by Donald Meek
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely, lovely record,
This review is from: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Audio CD)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is one of those albums that I think I could listen to and enjoy anytime, regardless of mood. It's just a wonderful classic album. Dylan's second album, Freewheelin' is a great improvement over his debut (which is also a very good record). After composing only two songs for his debut, Freewheelin' finds Dylan significantly more confident in his songwriting abilities. As well he should be, because his original songs here are amazing.
1. Blowin' in the Wind - One of the greatest folk songs of all time, and has been covered by numerous artists. Still one of Dylan's most well-known songs today.
2. Girl from the North Country - A lovely folk ballad, and one of my favorite romantic Dylan songs. In 1969, Dylan would resurrect this song as a duet with his Johnny Cash on his Nashville Skyline album.
3. Masters of War - Dylan's most scathing anti-war song and one of his most vicious protest songs ever. You can feel the venom in his voice as he talks of politicians who use war for financial gain. This song is still powerful now in 2005, in fact it may be more relevant than ever now.
4. Down the Highway - Country-blues tune with Dylan doing sort of an imitation of Hank Williams. A good song, but not the most memorable.
5. Bob Dylan's Blues - A short, lightweight country-folk tune. One of the album's lesser tracks.
6. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - One of Dylan's all-time classics. It resembles a protest song, but it's not quite direct enough lyrically to qualify. But it is one of the finest songs of Dylan's early years.
7. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Another classic and one of my personal favorites. This is a lovely ballad directed to Dylan's girlfriend Suze Rotolo. Heartfelt lyrics, a wonderful vocal from Dylan and excellent fingerpicked guitar too. One of his best songs.
8. Bob Dylan's Dream - A lovely folk song in which Dylan reminisces about the past. A great lesser-known Dylan song.
9. Oxford Town - Potent protest song about a racial incident, but I'm not sure exactly what incident is referred to.
10. Talking World War III Blues - A humorous narrative-song with lots of great lines including "'I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,' I said that." However, I prefer the version of the song on Bootleg Series, volume 6 - Live 1964.
11. Corrina, Corrina - A lovely interpretation of an old folk song, and the only song on the album to feature accompaniment. It features a drummer and possibly a second guitar player. It was to be the B-side of an early single, "Mixed-Up Confusion", which would have been Dylan's first electric song.
12. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance - Another folk tune arranged by Dylan. Dylan's energetic vocal style on this song is quite similar to that of his debut.
13. I Shall Be Free - The album closes with this humorous story song which starts a style that Dylan would revisit several times in the future. This song reveals Dylan's sense of humor better than nearly anything else he would record. "I make love to Elizabeth Taylor... catch hell from Richard Burton".
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is an excellent album that any serious fan of music should own and relish. If you're new to Dylan, this should be one of your first purchases, after Blonde On Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited and Blood On The Tracks. But don't stop here! If you like Freewheelin' be sure to check out Dylan's third album, The Times They Are A-Changin' which is almost as good.
75 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album, even for non-Dylan fans,
This review is from: Freewheelin Bob Dylan (Audio CD)I am not a Dylan fan. But I've got an SACD player, and whenever I notice a retailer selling off their SACD stock cheaply, I tend to hoover it up.
I've always felt a bit guilty about not liking Dylan, given that he has had millions of fans, and was, at least until his motorbike accident in 1966, as big as Elvis and the Beatles. I think the problem is that I was born a decade too late, and music has always been much more important to me than lyrics. It may be heretical to say this but, as a teenager in the 1970s, I found the music of bands like Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers more catchy than Dylan (great though the 'Desire' LP was).
But Dylan doesn't go away, and he's now one of the few popular artists to have much of his output available on SACD. THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN was one of the key visual references in the recent Cameron Crowe movie VANILLA SKY.
I think you have to have lived through the era to really appreciate the impact of what Dylan was doing. Coming late to the era, it matters little to a new fan that 'Highway 61 Revisited' was the first electric folk rock album. There are now hundreds, if not thousands, of electric folk rock albums to choose from, and if anything, the later ones are likely to smoothe off the rough edges of the first.
But now I have a wad of Dylan SACDs and the opportunity to wade through them in chronological sequence. And I keep coming back to THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN because it possesses a great purity and enthusiasm. As other reviewers have said, it's just the man, his mouth organ and his guitar (apart from on 'Corrina, Corrina'). SACD captures the simplicity of his performance superbly. NB This is SACD Stereo -- not Surround Sound, nor Dolby 5.1.
The music is part folk, part blues. Yes, it's slightly repetitive in that it lacks the diversity and creative input you could get from a wider group setting. But for me, this is solo Dylan at the top of his game, bristling with confidence that an enormous audience would take to the album. To enjoy this CD, you don't need to organise a sit-in, protest march or late-night coffee with a few student friends. It really is OK to listen to this in the car or while exercising or even (heaven forbid!) as background music while working or giving a dinner party. Dylan probably foresaw none of these uses for his music, and I suspect the only protest at such abuse would come from his diehard folk fans -- the same ones who protested about his later transition to electric instruments. Me, I just love it because it's so uncluttered. (And normally I don't like folk music!)
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Episode Two - The Talent Explodes,
The Dylan of 1963 sought to tell us about the world and what was happening in it as he saw it, but he also wanted us to have a couple of laughs. "Talking World War III Blues" and "I Shall Be Free," though dated only by the characters named, are still great examples of Dylan's sharp wit (which, by the way, has not decreased at all in 2002).
'Freewheelin'' marks the first time Dylan wrote or co-wrote nearly all of the songs on the album. ("Corinna, Corinna" is the lone exception.) The disc is finally being recognized as one of Dylan's best, alongside 'Blonde on Blonde' and 'Blood on the Tracks.' It's about time.
Disc Time - 50:06
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Freewheelin' Sophmore Album,
This review is from: Freewheelin Bob Dylan (Audio CD)It's almost impossible to put Bob Dylan's music in the context of when it was first released, as he is going on forty-plus years of fame and icon status in most learned musical circles. It's hard to hear the songs he penned, seen through the lens of what they came to mean and what they continue to mean, as if they were new, sparkling examples of a talent just beginning to be realized.
All of which makes hearing "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan", his 1963 sophmore album (after a self-titled debut the year before) all the more impressive. With just his guitar and harmonica, Dylan manages to weave his way through social protest, love and loss, and story-songs like the gifted folk poet that he was first sold to the world as. Before he went electric, Dylan became the darling of the folk movement through songs like "Blowin' In the Wind", "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright", "Masters of War", and all these are presented in the exceptional technical format that maximizes their beauty and stark evocations of subject matters both political and personal.
It's the spit and anger of "Masters of War" that many people will probably take away from this record, but don't forget the humorous side; as showcased in some of his best tracks from the mid-Sixties, Dylan was not born missing a sense of humor. "I Shall Be Free", in particular, is one of the funniest tunes committed to record. "Talking World War III Blues", "Bob Dylan's Blues", and "Bob Dylan's Dream" make for a humorous aside to the more strident sloganeering that Dylan engages on. "Corrina, Corrina" sees Dylan backed by a sparse band, and it is entirely possible that the original album would have been more along those lines had not Dylan's manager at the time sought to court the folk audience and shun the rockers who might have grasped Dylan back then.
I have to confess that I was hesitant to purchase this; as a fan of the "electric years" (starting with the masterpieces contained on "Bringing It All Back Home"), I was reluctant to hear some of the folk material. But this album could very well be the perfect introduction to Dylan; it contains classic songs that any artist would give their right arm to pen (and many would cover), and flows perfectly from one tune to the next. There's not a bad note on the album.
If you want to hear Dylan, you must hear "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan". You owe it to yourself to get this album, and prepare to put it on repeat at least seven or eight times the first time you play it. It's that damn good, and I don't know how else I can emphasize that.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put Zimmy on the Map,
This review is from: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Audio CD)Dylan was relatively unknown before the release of this album, but he certainly wasn't afterwards. Simply tremendous from cover to cover. Blowin' in the Wind is obviously a theme song for an entire generation, but the most important song on the album is the stunning 'A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall'. Not only did it almost eerily predict the future turmoil in the latter part of the '60s, it is also one of the great poems of the 20th century. When Allan Ginsberg, himself no slouch as a poet, heard this song, it brought him to tears. The Beatles listened to this album endlessly and worshipped Dylan. If it's good enough for the fab 4, it should be good enough for you! Dylan, with just his rudimentary guitar strums, basic harmonica lines and untrained voice was somehow able to create totally unique, incredible, moving music that hundreds of would-be Dylans were not able to come close to duplicating. Truly one of the great albums from a singular genius. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'd recommend this album.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars Not Enough,
The album contains classics like "Blowin' in the Wind", "Master of War", "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", "Oxford Town" and "Talkin' World War 3 Blues". Every song is great and Bob's singing and harmonica playing is cleared than at any other time during this artistic period. Bob's liberalism comes shining through, but he was being quite "politically incorrect" at a time when these views were definately not as accepted as they are today. His other folk/protest albums are great, but this is the best.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young & Wise Dylan,
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This review is from: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Audio CD)What more can be said about Dylan's Freewheelin'? He was only 21 but he already knew what life was going to be like. He sounds as if he's his own reincarnation - he'd been there and back! Wise words pour from his mind and come to us as this life riddle imagery. May the wind keep on blowin'...
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true milestone,
It is not Mr. Dylan's approach that makes the LP so exciting. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is the sound of a folk singer doing what folk singers have always done: sing to the common people of what is going on across the country. It was the alarming developments going on across the country that was so exciting. The Cuban Missile Crisis had just past, Vietnam was right around the corner, and, as the nuclear arms race escalated, everything seemed as if it could be gone tomorrow. Meanwhile, a new generation was arising, one that would test the uncharted waters of post-WWII society, inherit a world on the brink and decide how the norms must change to meet a tomorrow than never seemed more different than yesterday. It was a brave new world and someone had to sing about it.
Mr. Dylan was the first folk artist to show an understanding of the more terrifying and far-reaching changes that were engulfing the world around him. Resounding with a poet's clear-headed sharpness and folkie's wide-eyed innocence, dazzling Freewheelin' songs such as "Masters of War," "Talkin' World War III Blues," "Oxford Town" "I Shall Be Free," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "Blowin' in the Wind" brilliantly recapitulated this fascinating atmosphere. Sometimes Mr. Dylan's approach was wry and zany. "Talkin' World War III Blues" is a tongue-in-cheek recount of jaunting across a postapocalyptic city while "I Shall Be Free" places a merry drunk in the world of JFK and air raid drills. Sometimes it was gravely serious. "Blowin' in the Wind" is an open-hearted pat-on-the-back to troubled denizens of the day while "Masters of War" is perhaps the most scathing insult to callous, warlord politicians ever put into verse. No matter what his tone, no songwriter had a greater grasp on the almost incomprehensible times than the brilliant, young Mr. Dylan. He may not have been the first somewhat politically minded folk-singer but he was the first with the intelligence, skill and bravery to face, head-on, many of the more overwhelming troubles that had recently entered the world. To put it bluntly, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is the sound of folk music entering the second half of the twentieth century.
Not every song on album is steeped in revolution, though. An album so densely coated in insight and immensity would boggle the mind so Mr. Dylan treats us to some quaint, more traditionally minded, gems about love and wanderin' between the heavier songs. "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" and "Bob Dylan's Blues" are easy-going country ramblers while "Girl from the North Country" and "Bob Dylan's Dream" are sincere, mournful dirges. The greatest of Freewheelin's personal songs, however, is "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," a shove-off to an former lover that features Mr. Dylan's seething wit at its best.
The songs of the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan sparked a sensation. In the coming years they would be covered countless times, chanted at protest rallies and on street corners and their messages would be incorporated into the values of a new generation. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is the seminal force of folk music entering a new era, stronger than ever.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock's premier songwriter gains the national conscious!,
The central problem with protest albums is they have a tendency to become dated and awkward, but not here. These songs sound just as glorious as when they were first released. Where THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN does sound dated, this effect actually enhances the album, especially on the last cut of the album where he is talking to President Kennedy who was alive at the time. That alone gives the cut an endearing quality. For the just utterly blah, monotonous routine protest albums can be we go to the next album, THE TIMES THEY ARE A'CHANGIN', and while most of the cuts off that record are certainly worthy additions to the Dylan catalogue (considering the stuff that was being recorded at the time by Dylan, did we really need "With God On Our Side,") when taken as an entire album THE TIMES wears its listeners out emotionally. That is one album that desperately needed some light-hearted moments like "Eternal Circle" or something to break up the monotony. Sadly, two of the best compositions ("Percy's Song" and "Lay Down Your Weary Tune," both available on BIOGRAPH) were left off. Dylan does not make that mistake here. While certainly a protest album, it somehow transcends that and becomes a rather timeless piece of music. When compared to The Beatles' debut album, the other (much smaller, though to be fair The Beatles were very prolific for only being around seven years) body of work that all mainstream (and other) music is judged by, Dylan had them beat by a long way.
For those who are looking for a place to start, this album stands as an excellent introduction to Dylan. It makes more sense to start at the beginning and travel through his albums one by one to trace his artistic evolution. As for myself, I made a CD-R with a lot of the cuts that should have been on the album but weren't because of time restraints. For the new listener, they should also pick up THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 1-3, and should be one of their top five Dylan purchases. It provides a shadow history of Dylan, and many of his best cuts, including outstanding compositions from this album (most notably "Rambling Gambling Willie," "Let Me Die In My Footsteps," and "Talking Bear Mountain,") were, sadly and inexplicitly, left off...
Bottom line: Essential 1960s music. For those young ones out there, the generation previous has some excellent music being wrought in their era... From the looks of the current music scene, we'll never get another poet like Dylan. Right now, it looks like we won't even get passable music. What happened?????
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talkin' Classic!,
Dylan was never more focused than on this album, recording an incredible cannon of work, most of which has still not seen the light of day. Given the exhaustive amount of work to choose from, it's not surprising to find a well-rounded album that leaves no room for filler. It's a genuine LP at a time when singles were the norm, and albums were usually ways for the "unhip" to catch up to date with past singles.
Suffering from the six month absence of his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, who focused Dylan's Guthrie-esque love for the "underdog" into a compassion for the civil rights movement, is very much at the center of this album. (Not to mention the cover, where she appears with Dylan)
Already under criticism from some of the Greenwich Village folkies for going "commercial", Dylan reworked his album to include more overtly political songs like Masters of War and Talkin' World War III Blues.
But the genius of this album was it's ability to remain innocent and subliminal, despite the obvious implications and finger pointing intended. Dylan absorbs all his influences and refines them into an authentic voice of experience and truth, despite being 22 at the time.
Freewheelin' transcends the limitations of time and place, propelling Dylan light years beyond even his hero, Woody Guthrie by divorcing himself from becoming one voice.
From the beautiful melodic bliss of Don't Think Twice, It's Alright to Bob's remembrance of his first love in Girl From the North Country; there is an obvious humanistic element of love and innocence rarely found in the folk singer of the times.
The records benefits a great deal from John Hammond's deliberate attempt to under produce the album. Most songs were recorded after 2 or 3 takes, and so being, capture the real essence of Dylan's music and message through the rawness of his undisciplined guitar playing.
Blowin' In The Wind, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Oxford Town, and Masters of War all became classics of their time. Profound insights into the state of mind of the time, when Nuclear War seemed almost inevitable.
This record is recommended for people of all tastes and backgrounds. It's one of a few that truly transcends all genres and constraints of time without feeling contrived.
Dylan was never more focused, and never more enthusiastic and full of hope as he was on this album. A genuine masterpiece that tells not only the story of rock 'n' roll, but of America itself.
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