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Planet Waves

4.4 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Planet Waves
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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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  • Bob Dylan: "At last I was here, in New York City... I was there to find singers, the ones I'd heard on record--Dave Van Ronk, Peggy Seeger, Ed McCurdy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Josh White, the New Lost City Ramblers, Reverend Gary Davis... most of all to find Woody Guthrie." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.


Editorial Reviews

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Dylan had been working with The Band occasionally for almost ten years by the time Planet Waves, the first official release with the group backing him, was released in 1974. It's a solid effort with a brace of great songs ("Forever Young," "Something There Is About You"), even if the playing never rises to the fire and energy of The Basement Tapes or some of the combination's legendary live bootlegs. As he wrote Planet Waves, Dylan was at the beginning of the emotional powerslide that would result in Blood on the Tracks, so the songs veer from the bitterness of "Dirge" to the sweet hope of "Wedding Song." --Michael Ruby
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000025OP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,061 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Don't mess with record companies. When Dylan left Columbia for Asylum in the early 1970s, Columbia apparently retaliated by releasing "Dylan" (as of this writing still not available on CD; not that anyone is really complaining). This album contained rather unnerving outtakes from "Self Portrait" (considered by many as his worst, or at least most confusing, album), including covers of "Mr. Bojangles", the Elvis Presley classic "Can't Help Falling in Love", and Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi". Dylan returned to Columbia two albums, and a little more than one year, later.

While on sabbatical from Columbia, Dylan played with The Band and "Planet Waves" appeared in very early 1974. Some rather exciting things followed. Dylan, in seclusion for years, toured for the first time since 1966 (and with the very same band). So, once again, fans had yet another "comeback" on their hands (1970's "New Morning" was also called a "comeback" as well as 1975's "Blood On The Tracks"; this speaks volumes about Dylan's repertoire). But this time the tour wouldn't stop. "The neverending tour" continues unabated to the present day.

On its appearance, "Planet Waves" divided fans and critics, and continues to do so. Some listeners outright hate it, calling it "rushed", "sloppy", and "obsessive". Others hail it as a hugely underrated masterpiece, calling it "edgy", "rough", "personal", or "from the heart". Most would probably agree that it isn't one of his worst, while conceding that it stands a little distant from his absolute best work.

A number of moods pervade "Planet Waves". The bouncy opener "On a Night Like This" will cause all still feet to twirl with glee. But the suicidal follow-up, "Going Going Gone" will plant those feet in concrete while perking up ears and brains.
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Format: Audio CD
Usually a label's remastering project is an attempt to get fans to shell out the bucks one more time, but Columbia's new Dylan cds are a different proposition. In particular, "Planet Waves" is like a whole new album. I never realized how warm and relaxed Dylan's vocals are, how tight The Band locks in behind him, how perfect Richard Manuel's and Garth Hudson's piano and organ accompaniment are. This remastered version is light years better than the original, and the songs aren't too shabby either. The whole gambit of moods is explored here, from the urgent rock of "Tough Mama" through the tender prayer of "Forever Young" to the aching confusion of "Wedding Song". At the time he recorded this, Dylan was a man in conflict between his love of settled family life and his desire to hit the road again, and this album captures his dilemma perfectly. "Planet Waves" could be his most underrated album.
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Format: Audio CD
It's easy, in retrospect to see how this album was overlooked. Dylan had just left columbia[for this and the before the flood album],his first tour since 1966 was starting, and there were no anthems of political dissilusionment among these songs. 1974 was not 1968,and after a number of offbeat choices,word was dylan had lost his edge.Then he and the band put together this studio gem,precursor to his next studio piece and perhaps his masterpoiece,BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.I think these two albums[discs]should be taken as one.From the brilliant forever young, to dirge to the absolutely brilliant wedding song,the cracks in dylans personal life are showing.The band is, as always, excellent,dylans singing quite clear.The two versions of forever young sound like two completly different songs.The slight scraping sound in wedding song are the buttons of dylans coat on his acoustic guitar[he did this song in one take.]I hav eheard this is monor dylan, and i greatly disagree.This is dylan on the verge of another movement,poised for the tour with the band,blood on the tracks waiting to be born.Essential recording to understand the artist.
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Format: Audio CD
Planet Waves is definitely a worthy Dylan album with the Band. With awesome sweet tunes like "Hazel" and "You Angel You", you almost need this. "On a Night Like This" is almost a sequel to the New Morning opener "If Not For You", that's cool stuff. It's also cool how they carry on with "Forever Young". I don't know about buying the SACD version of this...just buy this one, unless you have SACD player or you NEED to hear a better mastering. 4.5 stars because this isn't as essential as "Blood on Tracks" or the old stuff. But it comes darn close.
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Format: Audio CD
PLANET WAVES is an important album in Dylan's career, thought not necessarily an essential purchase for any one but the fans of the man. While his best albums are undeniably important records in the pantheon of the rock canon, PLANET WAVES is not among that elite. But first, let's review examine Dylan's history around this time.

Dylan had been fairly quiet since the late 1960s, and while he had released three albums (one, NASHVILLE SKYLINE, with a significant hit, "Lay Lady Lay") SELF PORTRAIT was seen by most as a critical blunder, and while NEW MORNING was hailed as something of a return to form, NM did not capture the wildness and overall sound of his earlier material.

The first major event occurred in 1973, when Dylan was chosen to record a soundtrack for Sam Peckinpah's film PAT GARRET & BILLY THE KID. Not only that, he also got a part in the movie. While the soundtrack was his first recorded work to be released since 1970's NEW MORNING, the soundtrack was largely instrumental, with only four of its ten tracks featuring Dylan singing. Of those four songs, three of those tracks were different versions of the same song, a ballad about Billy the Kid. The only major song to come out of the soundtrack was "Knocking on Heaven's Door", an admittedly great song.

The second major event came when Dylan announced he would be leaving Columbia Records, his label from the beginning of his career, to go to the newly formed Asylum Records.

The third major event, announced very shortly after Dylan jumped ship for Asylum, was the announcement that Bob Dylan would be embarking on his first major tour in eight years. Not only that, Dylan would be touring with The Band, who had been his backing band (known then as The Hawks) on his legendary 1966 world tour.
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