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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Times They Are A-Changin'
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on 22 April 2013
There are very few albums where every track is worth listening to again and again. This is one of those albums; one of Dylan's early classics. This was one of the iconic protest albums of the sixties with the title track warning the estabishment of the inevitability of change, and then songs such as Hollis Brown, With God on Our Side, Only a Pawn in Their Game and The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol vocalising why that change was necessary. Although the world has moved on, the album is as fresh as the day it was made, almost fifty years ago - only the names and context have altered.
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on 20 August 2017
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on 24 August 2015
Stunning sound yet again from MoFi stunning if not sublime
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on 10 October 2017
as expected
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 July 2015
1964 saw the release of two Bob Dylan studio albums. The second was 'Another Side of Bob Dylan' and the first was 'The Times They Are A-Changing', which was his third album. The light-hearted humour that was contained in many of the songs which graced his first two records is completely gone from this one. Produced by Tom Wilson, this is a far more serious, even depressing album, with songs focusing on very important issues that were especially significant at the time, such as racism, poverty, and social change. Ultimately, this is probably Bob Dylan's only complete protest album, and the first to contain all original material.

The title track is one of Dylan's most widely known, and most influential songs. It has become something of a genuine anthem as the ultimate protest song. As well as being a superb example of great songwriting and acoustic guitar playing, it manages to brilliantly capture the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterised the 1960s. It was the only single that was issued from this album, which contains some truly important songs from the master lyricist at his very best. 'With God On Our Side', deals with the opinion of how God is never an excuse to justify or defend war, and the haunting story-telling 'North Country Blues', focusing on the troubled life in a mining community, are particular favourites of mine. These are timeless songs, not only are they well written and nicely delivered, they also have important messages, most of which are still highly revenant today.

Many people consider 'The Times They Are-A-Changin' to be Bob Dylan's finest work, but I have so many of his albums that I hold in such high regard that I struggle to pick out a favourite (though 'Blonde on Blonde' is very high in my affections). Nevertheless, it's a classic straight to finish, and a hard-hitting masterpiece that ought to be heard by all lovers of good music. This is not his most assessable and easy-to-listen to record by a long way, but one to listen to alone quietly, and really concentrate on the lyrics, and only then you can really appreciate the statements he is making.
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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2008
'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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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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on 26 April 2007
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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on 8 December 2010
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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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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