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Customer Review

on July 2, 2000
Dylan's first all-electric album may have dated somewhat, but it remains a fascinating and extremely powerful symbol of the 60s counterculture. With his extraordinary surreal imagery and literary references, the greatest songwriter of this century brought to rock music an intellect and respectability no one had thought it capable of possessing. This album is raw, unfinished; admittedly, it lacks the formal perfection of its great successor `Blonde on Blonde'- but that doesn't make it any the less impressive or significant. The album opener `Like a Rolling Stone' holds a unique place in rock history, and is even considered by many to be THE defining rock song (I personally admire the track more than I actually enjoy listening to it); the closer, `Desolation Row' is a sparsely arranged, musically economical 11-minute long number that breaks new ground in surrealistic poetry (`Einstein disguised as Robin Hood....') Whether or not one reads any actual deep-rooted meaning in these lyrics, the fact remains (though this may sound hypocritical) that such songs were absolutely essential at the time, for popular music to acquire the much-needed respect that had hitherto been denied it. Stacked between these two bookends are gems like the haunting `Ballad of a Thin Man', `Just like Tom Thumb's Blues', the wickedly funny title track, and the absolutely superb `Tombstone Blues'. Decidedly an album that changed the course of popular music forever.
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