Deluxe Edition, Collector's Edition
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Dylan is a career spanning retrospective of Bob Dylan's music. This definitive Bob Dylan collection chronicles the artist's four decades of groundbreaking studio recordings, as well as his unparalleled influence on popular music and culture. Dylan serves as both a comprehensive introduction for new fans and an expansive, cherished overview for long time Bob Dylan Devotees.
It's about time the record-buying public was offered up a decent, updated Dylan compilation! After all, artists with far less in the way of cultural influence, sales figures, or sheer release numbers have put out many more retrospective collections. Think of this, then, as your Dummies' Guide to Dylan. And for those who really aren't sure if they like the reedy Poet of a Generation® or not, there's even a single CD Cliffs Notes-sized version. For everyone else, there's a triple-disc edition with deluxe packaging and nifty artwork. Even the most marginal fan might quibble with the selection--shouldn't, like, half of it be taken from The Basement Tapes, rather than just one tune?--but there's not a mediocre song on here. It's a tad surprising that the songs are arranged chronologically, rather than grouped by grand themes, the way Johnny Cash's music was on his Love, God, Murder set. But then it is such a pleasure to watch Dylan's progression, to listen as he so quickly works through his influences, goes electric, discovers country music and then Godand then finally somehow wraps it all up together like some alchemical, one-man version of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. No matter how you wrap it up, or which commercials it acts as the soundtrack to, or what professors might try to eulogize it to death, this is music that remains as thrillingly alive today as a rattlesnake coiled and hissing in your boots tomorrow morning. --Mike McGonigal
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I was gambling because I hadn't even heard Dylan's original Blind Willie McTell: just covers by The Band and the Stone's Throw guy. Anyway, it's worth it, perhaps his best song ever. According to Wikipedia, he didn't/doesn't think it's a "finished work." Shows how Dylan is a true genius, because he doesn't know when he's good and doesn't know when he's bad, he just has a compulsion to write and perform. Gotta give Mark Knopfler due credit for his accompaniment here.
Yes, this is a rambling review but if you can put up with Dylan's ups and downs, you can handle it.
It's amazing: there's only one track here from "Highway 61 Revisited," NOTHING from "The Basement Tapes" (the notes say "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is, but it's the "Greatest Hits 2" Happy Traum version), etc., etc.
One could get angry at all the songs *not* here (see all the negative reviews for the Deluxe Edition), and all the Dylan collections this is not (Previously mentioned example: with Tom Petty 1986 -Studio and Live), but what this *is* is "Positively 4th Street" and 47 other GREAT Dylan songs, stretching from one end of his career to the other. Not a single loser.
This CD isn't just Greatest Hits 1, 2 & 3 plus a few more tunes ... it lacks songs on those discs, and has songs that they lack. (Collecting Bob is not a tidy process!)
CAVEAT!!! The one danger is this set may make you buy other Dylan CDs: hearing the beautifully remastered version here of "On A Night Like This" made me buy "Planet Waves," which I'd had on LP and hadn't listened to in years. This set tantalizes:-) And it flows.