The Essential Bob Dylan
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
The Essential Bob Dylan
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Includes Blowin' in the Wind; Don't Think Twice, It's All Right; The Times They Are A-Changin'; It Ain't Me Babe; Maggie's Farm; It's All Over Now, Baby Blue; Mr. Tambourine Man; Subterranean Homesick Blues; Like a Rolling Stone; Positively 4th Street; Just Like a Woman; Rainy Day Women #12 & 35; All Along the Watchtower; Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn); Lay, Lady, Lay , and more. 30 tracks!
Two discs of music don't exactly provide for a thorough overview of four decades of recording, particularly if the subject of the retrospective is one of the most important and prolific performers of his time. So The Essential Bob Dylan definitely skates over the leagues-deep oeuvre of Dylan, summarizing his monumental first half-dozen years in disc one and skirting over the following 34 years in disc two. Delving into Columbia's three Dylan greatest-hits packages (though curiously purging "I Want You," a genuine hit single in its day), Essential offers only a few surprises, opting for The Basement Tapes version of "Quinn the Eskimo" over the Self Portrait remake that made it onto Greatest Hits Volume II and tossing in "Things Have Changed" from the Wonder Boys soundtrack for completists. But this 30-track overview is designed with newcomers, not Dylanologists, in mind. --Steven Stolder
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The other thing I love about this album is listening to the progression in Dylan's playing style and vocals. It's amazing to see how his music evolved over the decades.
One note: the track listing on Amazon and Wiki are incorrect, this has a unique track listing that does not follow the CD track order. The sleeve has a track listing along with the album each song originated in.
Was W.C. Fields easy on the eyes? No. Did he seem like somebody you might want as your next-door neighbor? Not especially. Was he outrageosly hilarious? I don't think so; but there was some quality about him that keeps your eyes glued to him when you watch one of his movies.
Dylan is similar to me: Is he a great musician? No -- all his harmonica "solos" sound pretty much the same, for example. Does he seem like the kind of guy you'd want as your best buddy? Not necessarily -- he seems a little aloof and self-absorbed to me. Is he a great singer? Hardly. Sometimes you wonder if when he's singing he's making fun of somebody else (Woody Guthrie?) or he's putting everybody on with this vocal style. And yet ... there's something sort of addictive about it all.
His vocal phrasing and timing are amazing - maybe that's one of the things that makes him so fascinating - he keeps you on your toes that way, constantly changing up the time value of the notes and his intonation.
Anyway, Mr. Bob IS a great songwriter, and that's so obvious that it's barely an opinion, but practically an established fact; as proof just take a look at a small subset of the artists who have covered his songs:
Flatt & Scruggs
Dave Matthews Band
Rage Against the Machine
The Rolling Stones (Who do a cover of "Like a Rolling Stone")
...and of course The Byrds (who did better versions of many of his songs than he did himself), Joan Baez, etc.
Getting back to the earlier comparison, I guess Fields was a comic genius, although it's hard to dissect his work and come up with a plain analysis on just why it can be said he was so talented; the same can be said of Dylan, perhaps: he's a monster, but just why is a bit of a conundrum.
All collections of this type leave out at least one song that makes you say, "What were they thinking? Why isn't ___ on here?" In this case, for me, it's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall." There are many great Dylan tunes missing that are probably better covered by someone else (such as "My Back Pages" by The Byrds and "Wanted Man" by George Thorogood), but the original of "A Hard Rain" is THE definitive version of that particular song.
In summary, I think Dylan is one of the best songwriters ever, and this is a good introduction to and /or representation of his music.
I only rated this with 4 stars as it came with a broken CD (plastic) case. And, my quest searching for an empty case, came up a big zero. At least the CD's were not broken!
Top international reviews
at first I thought she couldn't, but she overcame everything, I just saw that some of her packages are on the way, with no past mistakes
Thanks for everything
This collection portrays my childhood, my family traveled Europe, why the hell did it end up in Brazil, the fault of my grandmother who wanted to settle in the city of São Paulo, I was afraid of the streets and we listened to Bob's old records My brother's Dylan who brought his luggage in the middle of his clothes, I remember the difficulties of establishing a new language, it was difficult but today at the age of 52 I shower my memories with these songs
LIKE A ROLLING STONES, remembers people leaving the country I was born and coming to different countries where we live, today we live in Brazil for 42 years, I was 10 years old and it was a huge difficulty for me, getting used to a new world, different people who didn't understand that they spoke, today I laugh out loud at the wrong words that I said
this song marked my new life, in a country far from everything, isolated from europe, dominated by portuguese and spanish
Inevitably some personal favourites will be ommitted and one's preference to focus on a few releases based on personal views of his best period means everyone's overall choice would be different. However this collection provides both a great introductory primer to anyone new to Dylan as well as an enjoyable career persepctive for those with most of the original LP/CDs, which touches most of the key performances and by rigorous chronological selection lets you see how it all developed.
In terms of overall quality there seem a few glitches esp. on the first CD (Maggies Farm and Rainy Day Women are not the best tracks from the LPs they appeared on) and the Quinn the Eskimo track is a throwaway. However these are wholly offset by several rare gems from single only releases (Positively 4th Street; Can you Crawl out your Window; Dignity and Things Have Changed).
Great value for money also!
For Dylan fans, it will not be ideal but, for anyone wanting an introduction to him, it is a good choice.