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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Don't criticise what you can't understand'
'The Times They Are A-Changin'' doesn't progress from what Bob Dylan did on 'Freewheelin''. Rather, it broadens his protest-oriented repertoire. Perhaps the gloomiest of his albums, it seems to be the only one from which his sense of humour is entirely absent. There is a slight shift in emphasis from anti-war songs to the effects of social injustice and hardship...
Published on 18 Jun 2008 by D. J. H. Thorn

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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Dylan's Patented Antidote To Happiness.
Nobody's favourite Dylan album, "The Times..." is his real 'protest' album. After a rush of optimism in the title track there's a lot of human misery to deal with. Though some of it is due to some really awful guitar playing. Despite the likes of "The Ballad Of Hollis Brown", "One Too Many Mornings", "North Country Blues", "Restless Farewell" and, of course, the title...
Published on 6 Sep 2000 by tolstoyisd@hotmail.com


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Don't criticise what you can't understand', 18 Jun 2008
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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'The Times They Are A-Changin'' doesn't progress from what Bob Dylan did on 'Freewheelin''. Rather, it broadens his protest-oriented repertoire. Perhaps the gloomiest of his albums, it seems to be the only one from which his sense of humour is entirely absent. There is a slight shift in emphasis from anti-war songs to the effects of social injustice and hardship. Nevertheless, 'With God On Our Side' would have fitted in with the dominant theme on his previous album. The lyric, and in particular, its closing verse, is brilliantly crafted, though Dylan's delivery is occasionally disjointed by sloppy tempo changes, perhaps an attempt to break up its seven minutes.

The title track is probably the best-known item on the album, in large part due to the status it gained as a slogan, a kind of rallying call. It sets the tone for the whole album, characterised by Dylan's sober drawl and songs of relentless, unchanging form. The latter technique works well on the folky blues of 'Hollis Brown'. Dylan uses the guitar to add sombre colour to the song, which is a 'what-drives-a-man-to-kill' lyric of the sort featured liberally on Bruce Springsteen's early 1980s album, 'Nebraska'.

'North Country Blues' is probably the gloomiest recording, relating the anguish and hardships endured by redundant miners. Sandwiched between this and 'With God On Our Side', the reflective 'One Too Many Mornings' almost seems like light relief. 'Hattie Carroll' is another death song. It's one of Dylan's more articulate performances, though, ironically, I believe, there are doubts as to the authenticity of the slant Dylan puts on the story.

This album may not be perfect then, but it's still blindingly powerful and a remarkable forty-five minutes for 1964.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bob Dylan album most aware of the Guthrie legacy, 20 Aug 2004
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
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I am not going to argue that "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is the best of Bob Dylan's early albums, because that honor clearly belongs to "The Freewhelin' Bob Dylan," when the prospects of war gave Dylan's protest songs greater potency. But this is the one that is his most earnest attempt to emulate the great Woody Guthrie, a fact that I think is perfectly clear just from the black & white cover photograph of Dylan. The point is underscored in Dylan's "Outlined Epitaphs" that takes the place of traditional liner notes. There Dylan writes "In time behind, I too wished I'd lived in the hungry thirties an blew in like Woody t New York City an sang for dimes on subway trains satisifed at a nickel fare."
This year I have been listening to a lot of Woody Guthrie's songs and as great as Bob Dylan was in the Sixties and beyond, if there are people who do not remember when Guthrie was America's troubadour that is truly a shame. Listening to these songs you can clearly see the strong parallels between the two, with Dylan providing the same angry arrogance as his hero in the title track on "With God On Our Side." But Guthrie could also tell stories and Dylan takes his turn at that as well, with "Ballad of Hollis Brown" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." There are not as many Dylan classics on this one as "Freewheelin'," but this is perhaps an even better collection of the really early Dylan, in off the bus from the Hibbing in the big bad city.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars His one, real protest album., 26 April 2007
By 
street-legal (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
When Bob Dylan has a fire in his belly and is on top form, there are few things finer in this world. With two albums under his belt and a confidence that could only have come from rapturous applause, he embarked upon this most serious of collections.

Very few albums have what you'd call the perfect sleeve art, in the sense that it is a visual representation of the music within. On The Times They Are A Changin' it is perfect. Stark, moody, monochrome, almost archaic even in 1963. Bob looks 23 going on 53, a man with the world on his shoulders.

From the off, Bob has some serious things to say. Let not over-familiarity dilute the title track, a revolutionary and almost Marxist desire to see the old order crumble and for the young to take over. Its actually startling that he got away with it! The subject matter is largely grim; he sings about murders on The Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Only A Pawn In Their Game, and The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll. There's one about the horrors of a closing mining town (North Country Blues) and another couple that directly relate to his anger against the establishment (With God On Our Side and When The Ship Comes In).

Its predecessor, Freewheelin', was liberally sprinkled with his Chaplinesque humour, and he wouldn't be railing against anything except women on its follow up, Another Side Of... again doused with that silent movie farce as was his wont. The Times They Are A Changin' is pretty hardcore stuff; one man, a guitar, both as harsh as the words he was putting across.

For me, a special place in my heart is reserved for With God On Our Side and The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll. These are stunning pieces of poetry set to music that's so gorgeous as to make you want to weep. I personally prefer Freewheelin' for its greater scope, but like that album, this is purely timeless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan's Greatest Work, 28 Feb 2006
In the early 1960's a singer/songwriter/poet named Bob Dylan had released two albums, the self titled 'Bob Dylan', a mediocre debut and 'The Freewheelin'', a folk masterpiece containing classics like 'Blowin' In The Wind' and 'A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall' but his next album was to change folk forever.
In 1964 Bob Dylan produced 'The Times They Are A Changin''. In my opinion this is Dylan's best album. I am not one of these people who call Judas at concerts and believe him to be a traitor, my second favourite album is 'Highway 61 Revisited' but this is just something beyond this world.
His last 'protest' album before he started his 'rebellion' really is a treat. The way Dylan effortlessly puts poetic imagery in your mind which makes you think about the way the world is really makes me believe he's from another planet.
This album has the infamous song which holds the same title as the album and that is worth the price of the album alone.
This album is a piece of music history and simply is the greatest album in the world. Don't be put off by the word 'folk' it's so much more than a man singing songs about farms and women, It is poetry and music mixed and the product is 'The Times They Are A Changin'' and it does not dissapoint.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Times They Are A Changin': Bob Dylan - Dylan shows that he is no pawn in anyone's game, 25 July 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This 1964 release is the third studio album from icon of the age Bob Dylan. Building on the success of the previous year's `Freewheelin Bob Dylan' he continued to develop his own unique style, moving away from the pure folk of his debut and developing his political and surreal song writing styles. It's a dark album, full of death and bleak imagery, that culminates with the Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, probably one of Dylan's most topical and angriest songs that deals with the murder of a black woman and the racist legal system that let her murderer off with a joke of a sentence. Other highlights are the titular song, in which hope is expressed that things are changing (but the rest of the album seems to be trying to prove that they aren't) and `One Too Many Mornings', a paean of hurt and loneliness that we can all relate to.

It's perhaps not as instantly accessible as Freewheelin, but it grows on you. The imagery Dylan conjures up is vivid and makes you think. It's one of the great protest albums, 4 stars. The
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cold Coyote Calls., 8 Dec 2010
By 
Duluoz Lautrec (Dewsbury, Yorkshire.) - See all my reviews
They say you can't judge a book by its cover but 'The Times...' is exactly as the cover suggests, downbeat, mournful, melancholly, ragged and dirty. There's no 'I'm a poet/I know it/Hope I don't blow it" quips, there's no joking around on Bob's last 'protest' album, it's about death, desperation, sacrifice, hatred, Bob doesn't offer solutions, just states the facts.
It's just Bob with his harmonica and guitar and he fingerpicks beautifully on a couple of tracks, his vocals are mournful to suit the music and the lyrics are direct, there's no 'mystery tramps' or 'two wheeled gypsy queens' here, this is an album saturated with reality.
To my mind, the only throwaway song on the album is 'When The Ship Comes In' which sound like it's been included to up the tempo a touch and when you consider that 'Seven Curses' and 'Moonshiner'(available on 'Bootleg Series 1-3') were recorded in the same sessions, both downbeat and superior, you can see the reasoning but I'd have plumped for either of the rejected pair.
As far as the remastering goes, I don't hear any difference at all, the packaging is superior by a long chalk but a couple of the songs still sound like they're culled from vinyl or a dodgy mastertape, ironically this adds to the overall sound so it's no bad thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scrape and Scratch of Protest, 22 Feb 2006
By 
Although not an easy album to listen to by today's standards, the importance of "The Times They Are A'Changin'" in Bob Dylan's catalogue cannot be overstated. There can be no disputing the strength of the writing, be it in the social commentaries, the tender love ballads or the final reflective track, Dylan demonstrated his proficiency at turning his thoughts, ideas and opinions into song. Reaction to the album was less than enthusiastic, Little Sandy Review referred to it as "...45 minutes of gloom" and spoke of its "...spiritual masochism," while High Fidelity said "Dylan will not entertain you...But he will sear your soul." Tim Riley in Hard Rain described it as "...frustration with form," and said that Dylan "...sings to his lovers less as though they have disappointed him than as though he has disappointed himself. The Carnegie Hall concert had been a great success and proved how much Dylan had matured as an artist since the Town Hall concert six months earlier. The only pity was that several of the songs that were performed at the latter concert did not make the album, perhaps because of their planned inclusion in an aborted live album. The studio version of "Seven Curses" was eventually given official release on 1991's "Bootlegs Vols. 1-3" as were the studio versions of "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" and "Percy's Song" on 1985's "Biograph." The live version of the latter from Carnegie Hall is superior, if a little lengthy. Practically every song on "The Times They are A'Changin" has become a Dylan classic, and many are still being performed live today, although in vastly different arrangements. "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll" was perhaps a strange inclusion in the second half of 1975's Rolling Thunder tour (on one occasion Dylan dedicated it to Arthur Rimbaud!) but it gives some indication of the flexibility of these songs. All things considered, "Times" probably achieved what Dylan set out to achieve and it remains one of his most emblematic albums. With the slight hiccup of his next album ("Another Side of Bob Dylan") he would soon be the most important contemporary artist of the entire decade.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The man they call Bob Dylan........, 1 Jan 2004
By 
J. C. Eames "Winston" (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This being Bob Dylan's third album is commonly classed as his 'protest album'. Rightly so as there a five songs of the like on here. Including 'The Ballad if Hollis Brown', 'With God on Our Side', 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll', ' Only a Pawn in Their Game' and the title track.
However after looking past these there is a song lurking here which I have grown very fond of taking the name of ' Boots of Spanish Leather'. I overlooked this song at first but never again, it is a gorgeous love song.
Bob Dylan is capable of writing angry protest songs, brilliant rock songs and quiet, moving love ballads. If it was up to me there would be a copy of every Dylan album in every country in the world!! If you ever want to see a living legend before your very eyes go see him live you will never forget it.
As with all Dylan albums all the songs are great some even greater and this is an essential album. The last song 'Restless Farewell' is a little hint ( i think ) that Dylan had had enough and wanted to go his own way and shake off the protest songwriter image, what followed was 'Another Side of Bob Dylan'. After that certainly did go his own way! If you don't have it take my humble advice, BUY IT !!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan's best, 21 Oct 2001
This is definatly Bob Dylan's best album ever. The lyrics are thought prevoking, fantasticly performed and contain a moral message that is relevant to everybody. Among the best tracks are "The ballad of Hollis Brown" and "The lonesome death os Hattie Carroll". These tracks are about people who's lives have ended premeturely because of circumstances beyond their control, and also people that nobody really even notices are alive, never mind dead. This album definatly beats "Blood on the tracks" which is often seen as one of Dylan's best. Other tracks like "Only a pawn in their game" and "With God on our side" may not be wonderfully performed, but carry a very prominant and relevant message. As with all true protest music, you can't buy the album just for a good tune. It is worth buying it just for the lyrics, which if you really care, you will listen to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflection, 22 Jan 2001
By A Customer
To me, this is a magnificent album - intelligent and moving. It is admittedly slightly depressing but Dylan performs with such honesty that it is a truly emotive listen. I can't think of one weak track on it, and through the wailing of harp and voice, the lyrics have much to say about the trials and tribulations of life, and their context. No balladeer could give a better testament.
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