Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan's Historic Debut Still Dazzles and Delights!, 11 May 2001
This review is from: Bob Dylan (Audio CD)
The eponymous debut album of the greatest poet and songwriter of the Twentieth Century sounds as fresh today as it did forty yeares ago. This collection sees Dylan pay homage to and reinterpret his sources of inspiration from the blues and folk genre. Traditional favourites such as Fixin'To Die, Pretty Peggy-O and House of the Rising Sun get vigorous treatment from Dylan who is so exuberant here with his accompanying guitar, voice and infamous harmonica. The sparse and raw feel of this album still strike the listener who can hear Dylan celebrating and partly imitating his roots. Dylan's debt to Woody Guthrie is acknowledged in the poignant Song To Woody who was dying in hospital at the time of writing. This and the Chirpy and sardonic Talking New York are the only two original compositions on the album but Dylan proves what a master interpreter he was(and still is)of the trad. folk song with an accomplished version of Erich Von Schmidt's Baby Let Me Follow You Down. Dylan made this song his own which he famously performed it at The Band's Last Waltz in 1976 which summed up the history of American popular music at the time. The melodic and plaintive Man of Constant Sorrow provides a perfect vehicle for Dylan's voice and features prominently in the Coen Brothers' film O Brother Where Art Thou? sang by The Soggy Bottom Boys. This collection has no soggy bottom and has great variety from the sheer joy of Freight Train Blues where Dylan has real fun with his hillbilly hick up vocal and train impressions to the intense and sombre See That My Grave is kept Clean. What Dylan went on to achieve with his own songs and sensiblity had incredible impact on the evolution of popular music culture and from his debut album you can hear where he was coming from and tell where he was going. Roots and potential aside this album remains a pleasure to play and revel in the American folk tradition.
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4.1 out of 5 stars (40 customer reviews)
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