Customer Review

91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surely not the best available Bob Dylan-compilation, August 17, 2004
This review is from: The Essential Bob Dylan (Audio CD)
Whether or not you agree with the compilers' choice of songs is obviously a question of taste, and very subjective, too. And I'm sure that a lot of people will think that this collection is all good and fine, but despite the high quality of almost every song, I still believe a significantly better "essential" collection could have been made - and has been made, too.

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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 2, 2011 12:38:15 PM PDT
Smurf says:
The "Essential" series is not designed for the hardcore fans who want all of the artist's great songs in one place. It is made for those casual fans who only want the artist's greatest hits and best-known material. How many people do you think would buy a double-disc set filled with album tracks and B-sides they've never heard of? The hardcore fans would, and that's about it.

All the songs I've ever heard of by Bob Dylan are here in one CD case, and all the songs are terrific. If you want something new to it, then go buy the "3.0" release which has six previously unreleased songs on a third disc!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2012 8:54:46 AM PDT
Paul Mueller says:
If these are all the Bob Dylan songs you have heard of...You are truly uniniated...
There is so much more, and many better ones available...I could list close to 100...
Paul Mueller
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