This 1969 release, the ninth studio album from icon Bob Dylan, is my absolute favourite of his albums, even above `Highway 61' or `Blood On The Tracks'.
Following the trend set in `67s John Wesley Harding, Dylan goes completely country, with jaunty twanging guitars, and a lighter singing voice that was totally different to the voice he had employed previously. He even teams up with country legend Johnny Cash on the opener `Girl From The North Country', to great effect. What makes it stand out for me is that it is such a happy album. Dylan's best music often came from sublimating his personal adversities into music, with dark and musically powerful tales resulting. But here the man just seems to be very happy, and is trying to transmit that feeling through the music. So an album full of simple odes to love and paeans of happiness results. It's an album impossible to listen to all the way through without having a big wide grin on your face as the music uplifts you. Ant to top it all is the inclusion of `Lay Lady Lay', which I have to say would be one of my desert island discs.
I just love this album. It's got a real feelgood factor, Johnny Cash and one of my all time favourite tracks, Lay Lady Lay. 5 stars unreservedly.