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The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

12 Apr 1988
4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 12 April 1988
  • Release Date: 27 May 1963
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 49:27
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00G93B36M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,370 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 7 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a great introduction to Bob Dylan's modest music. An inexperienced ear could judge it as too modest, but the key is to accept the fact that on the surface Dylan's music is samey. Then you'll notice that he is actually a superb composer and lyricist, and also stylistically wide. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan showcases Dylan's pure folk side. The album hits hard because it's very genuine. This is just the man, his acoustic guitar and his harmonica. Each of them is more tolerable than on Dylan's later albums: the young Bob doesn't yell ('Idiot Wind', anyone?), he hasn't completely stopped trying to get pure tones out of his harmonica, and he knows his guitar picking techniques which makes for nice variety. On top of this all, the atmosphere here is very cozy. You can hear Dylan giving a laugh now and then when he botches up some lyrics!
This being only Dylan's second release, it's amazing how consistent an album he could make. There are a few absolute gems: 'Blowin' In The Wind' in its simplicity is one of the best songs ever written, 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' starts the tradition of poetic Dylan epics, and 'Masters Of War' is very pungent in its young angry doom. The rest of the album doesn't quite rise to this level but doesn't feel like filler either. Every track has at least a slight hook or an original musical idea. Although the album features innovative lyrics for its time with a lot of political content and skillful rhymes, Dylan would develop a lot as a lyricist during the next years. Now it's mostly just a clever folk buddy singing his thoughts out.
All in all, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan practically brings the young witty Bob Dylan into your living room. The difference between this and today's sterile studio pop is amazing! Once you have acquainted yourself with this warm sound, there is no way back. The improved sound quality of this new issue only strengthens the effect. A pop music collection without this folk classic isn't a collection at all.
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Format: Audio CD
I am not a Dylan fan. But I've got an SACD player, and whenever I notice a retailer selling off their SACD stock cheaply, I tend to hoover it up.
I've always felt a bit guilty about not liking Dylan, given that he has had millions of fans, and was, at least until his motorbike accident in 1966, as big as Elvis and the Beatles. I think the problem is that I was born a decade too late, and music has always been much more important to me than lyrics. It may be heretical to say this but, as a teenager in the 1970s, I found the music of bands like Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers more catchy than Dylan (great though the 'Desire' LP was).
But Dylan doesn't go away, and he's now one of the few popular artists to have much of his output available on SACD. THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN was one of the key visual references in the recent Cameron Crowe movie VANILLA SKY.
I think you have to have lived through the era to really appreciate the impact of what Dylan was doing. Coming late to the era, it matters little to a new fan that 'Highway 61 Revisited' was the first electric folk rock album. There are now hundreds, if not thousands, of electric folk rock albums to choose from, and if anything, the later ones are likely to smoothe off the rough edges of the first.
But now I have a wad of Dylan SACDs and the opportunity to wade through them in chronological sequence. And I keep coming back to THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN because it possesses a great purity and enthusiasm. As other reviewers have said, it's just the man, his mouth organ and his guitar (apart from on 'Corrina, Corrina'). SACD captures the simplicity of his performance superbly. NB This is SACD Stereo -- not Surround Sound, nor Dolby 5.1.
The music is part folk, part blues.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
£1.99 for classic Dylan, got to be good value ... for some reason it has downloaded twice - each track has a second version with (album version) after the title and is a slightly bigger size. Does anyone know why?
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Hadn't heard this album for a few years. So glad I downloaded it. It bought back many memories from my childhood as it contains many of my parent's favourites. Had forgotten the humour and the great quality of the lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
Bob Dylan's second album is totally different to his debut. A somewhat more mature and polished effort it shows just how much he had learned and developed in the few short months between. The style moves away from the raw folk to something more recognisable as Dylan - political protest, streams of consciousness, a mixture of direct, to the point lyrics with some that are almost surreal, tender love songs. All this and also probably his best known song `Blowing In The Wind', beloved by a generation of guitar strumming hippies around campfires.

I find it a lot more accessible than his debut, and very listenable. The songs flow nicely, opening with the social conscience of `Blowing in the Wind', through the country stylings of `Girl From The North Country', back to political statement with `Masters of War', and so on with a great deal of variety. Dylan was an artist with a lot to say, and it is here that he started to earn his sobriquet as the voice of the generation with tracks such as the angry `Hard Rain's Gonna Fall'. His bitter ode to love gone wrong `Don't Think Twice, It's All Right' still resonates today, and I have to say is probably my personal favourite Dylan track of all time. Despite being full of anger and bitterness there are moments of tenderness (the aforementioned `Girl From The North Country', and an interesting reading of `Corrina Corrina') and the album ends on a note of hopefulness with the elegant `I Shall Be Free'.

One of Dylan's most consistent and accessible albums, and probably the best from his early acoustic years. 5 stars easily.
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