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This review is from: Bob Dylan (Audio CD)
Perhaps due to its illustrious successors, Bob Dylan's first major release has often been viewed with little positivity and shrugged off as collection of folk cover songs, wholly incomparible to the later Dylan, who broke away from such folk restraints and penned some of the greatest songs of all time.. It is true that the songs on here are predominantly covers, and Dylan is best known for his fantastic song-writing, but taking the time to listen, the songs on this album are good folk songs and Dylan is in fine vocal form on them (if a little rough around the edges).
The highlight of the album is "House of the Rising Sun", sung from a female perspective rather than the bizarre male version of The Animals, this is my favourite ever performance of the song and certainly showcases Dylan's already burgoning talent. "Man of Constant Sorrow" is also well performed and, while perhaps not quite as good as the O Brother Where Art Thou? version, it's certainly in a different style and a good listen. "Talkin' New York", however, is the song that really showcases Dylan to come, with all the witty and inciteful lyricism so typical of Bob ("Talkin' New York" and "Song to Woody" are the only original songs that appear on the album).
Ultimately, "Bob Dylan" is a good folk album. The fact that it gives an incite into the early roots of the greatest songwriter ever to live is a welcome bonus, but ultimately it's a good work in its own right, and were it released by any multitude of other bands it would be seen as their greatest. Just don't expect a Highway 61 or Blonde on Blonde.