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The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 250 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, October 25, 1990
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  • Bob Dylan: "The sound of Hank Williams's voice went through me like an electric rod and I managed to get a hold of a few of his 78s... I played them endlessly... When I hear Hank sing, all movement ceases. The slightest whisper seems sacrilege." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.


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Audio CD

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Dylan's outstanding second album is a tremendous jump from its predecessor. Whereas the debut established him as a peerless interpreter of folk and country-blues classics, and a singer like none before, this followup features some of the most pungent original songs of the '60s. "Blowin' in the Wind," "Masters of War," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "I Shall Be Free": if this sounds like the lineup for a greatest-hits collection, you've got the idea. Nat Hentoff's liner notes are charmingly dated, but Dylan's idiosyncratic singing, unexpected lyrics, and inimitable guitar and harmonica playing are as immediate and relevant as whatever you heard on the radio today. (As great as this is, there's much more: a handful of top-rank outtakes from Freewheelin' appear on the Bootleg Series box set.) --Jimmy Guterman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1963
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000024RQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Audio CD
After his self-titled debut album, Dylan stunned 1963 listeners with his second disc, which opens with three Dylan classics in a row: "Blowin' in the Wind" is a timeless classic which has been covered countless times by countless artists. 40 years later, its power to convey what's wrong with the world has not diminished one bit. "Girl From the North Country" remains one of Dylan's classic love songs. "Masters of War" is a song that will be topical as long as war is waged in any portion of the planet. Two other tunes, "Hard Rain" and "Don't Think Twice" are among the best songs Dylan ever wrote. Dylan still performs these tunes in concert nearly four decades later. It's really quite amazing how well these songs hold up after all the years since their initial release. Great songs will always be great.
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
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Format: 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.
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