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4.6 out of 5 stars
178
4.6 out of 5 stars
Blonde on Blonde
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£16.90+ £1.26 shipping


on 10 October 2017
as expected
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 October 2013
Obviously this is a masterpiece. Its riches are inexhaustable, and no review could do them justice (in reason or rhyme), so here instead are a few random thoughts about just five lines from its lyrics.

"I've got a poison headache, but I feel alright."
By early 1966, Dylan was clearly on 'a lot of medicine' (as he rather charmingly put it at the time) to keep going. On Blonde on Blonde he sounds desperately tired and strung out, blurry, yet at the same time utterly wired and alert. You can hear the drugs. And the album is drenched in drugs references, from the single-entendre chorus of 'Rainy Day Women' to the arcane 1960s drugs slang that permeates just about every song. But, for all this, it's not a 'druggy' record. The drugs are a means to an end rather than an end in themselves, that end being the transcendence Dylan had sought from his Tambourine Man the year before. The quest for transcendence is a perennial Dylan theme, and he never gets closer to it than here on Blonde on Blonde.

"Oh, I didn't know that!"
There's so much buried tresure hidden in Blonde on Blonde; so many sly and artful allusions to the past, so many shrewd borrowings. It's a record you can listen to for decades until, one day, a phrase wll pop out at you from a crackly old 1930s blues song and suddenly a whole new dimension of meaning opens up in Dylan's lyrics. I won't spoil your fun by giving you any clues. Just watch out for those railroad men - they'll drink up your blood like wine.

"We see this empty cage now corrode"
By 1965 Dylan had widened the focus of his protest singing into huge existential broadsides against the 'empty cage' of bourgeois consumerist America. Songs like 'It's Alright Ma' and 'Desolation Row' mined the final surreal nuggets from Dylan's vein of societal protest. By Blonde on Blonde, Dylan's lyrical concerns had rusted down towards a bleary analysis of the toxic effects of this broken society upon the individuals living within it. The songs here are thus more interpersonal and intimate than on the previous two albums, and delivered from within the world's chaos rather than soaring imperiously above it; the worldview, while no less bleak than before, is implied, never explicit, and is maybe all the more corrosive as a result.

"Early in the morning"
The archetypal blues lyric, and the phrase with which Dylan starts 'Obviously Five Believers'. Consciously. Dylan has shown utter mastery of the blues form throughout his career, but nowhere more so than here. Anyone who says white boys can't sing the blues should listen to Blonde on Blonde. Apart from anything else, the album is a blues masterpiece.

"Ain't it just like the night?"
Well, yes it is. Blonde on Blonde is OF the night, ABOUT the night, FROM the night, FOR the night and JUST LIKE the night. Most of the recording took place way into the small hours, often with Dylan still honing his lyrics in the studio long after midnight while his band played cards until, by 3 or 4 in the morning, it was finally time for a take. It shows. The playing is tight but loose, like you'd find late-on in a good jazz club: the 'thin, wild mercury sound' that Dylan never quite recaptured. Lyrically, too, all the real action takes place after hours, amidst the freaks and pimps and damaged socialites that only come out after dark. Listen to it late at night and you'll hear the darkness.

If you've bothered reading this far, chances are you're a longtime Dylanite who already owns this. If you aren't, and you don't.. well, you don't need me to tell you what you need to do.
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on 5 March 2017
Good old Bob
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on 27 August 2007
While a number of my comtemporaries liked Dylan and played his records to me, it was this album that got me hooked on him. That happened because someone that I was rooming with in 1966/67 kept playing it. The following year 1967/68, when I moved to another location to go University, I had withdrawal symptoms, so I went out and bought my own copy.

Dylan lyrics, if taken literally often do not quite make sense, but then seem to communicate at a subconsious poetic level while still leaving you wondering (even after 40 years) if you understood. That is partly why many of these songs endure. Another reason is that coupled with the lyrics, this album is with an electric band, (which - on the whole - I prefer to the acoustic 'folk' ones) and the playing on this album is just superb.

Which is my favourite track varies a bit depending on my mood. The only track I have never liked particularly is Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands - mainly because it is rather long. This occupies a whole side on vinyl, so I just played that side less frequently.

When I started buying CD's, this was one of the first CD's I bought (actually in a 3CD box set with John Wesley Harding and Self Portrait). However, I 'lent' it to my daughter when she went of to university, and after a while I realised the meaning of a permanent loan and so had to buy another copy.

Postscript: SACD version.
I was going to add a separate review of the SACD version, but it seems Amazon somehow realized I had already written a review of the CD version. The music is the same - so the 5 star rating remains.

I bought the 5.1 SACD mix to decide whether it was worth buying Dylan SACD's (while they are still available - they seem to be discontinued even though SACD itself is not dead as there are still a few new classical music issues each month. I not sure whether in general it is worth buying the SACD version if you already have the remastered CD. In this case, there is some intelligent placing of the various elements that makes it easier to discern individual instruments. Other than that, it is the same recording. So I am not planning to replace other Dylan CD's I have with 5.1 SACD versions. Where I don't have an album and there is a 5.1 SACD available, and the price is reasonable I will chose that in preference to a remastered CD. Some Dylan SACD's are just stereo - I will buy these only if they as as cheap or cheaper than the CD.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 September 2015
Rock music's first ever double rock studio record was released in 1968, and is a strong contender for the best Bob Dylan album of all time. 'Blonde On Blonde' simply represents everything that Dylan is as a singer-songwriter and musician, displaying a lot of warmth and humour throughout, as well as consistently beautifully written, well-crafted folk-rock music which will continue to enchant new generations of music lovers for many years to come. It certainly takes me to another place whenever I play it.

The album opens up with the ultimate stoner-song 'Rainy Day Women #12 & 35', with it's salvation army like chorus and lyrics which never fails to bring a smile to my face, and ends on something of real beauty with the epic 11 minutes plus 'Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, which is devoted to his wife Sara. Many stone-cold Dylan classics can be heard along the way, including the much-covered, fragile ballad 'Just Like A Woman', the sublime stranded story-teller 'Visions Of Johanna', which is nothing short of a masterpiece, the surreal love song 'I Want You', which concurs up much wonderfully imagery, and bluesy gems like 'Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat', and the pleasant supposed parody of John Lennon's 'Norwegian Wood', will keep you coming back for more and more.

'Blonde On Blonde' is quite simply a work of art, and makes a mockery of the common idea that double albums are held down with too much filler and weaker tracks. Is it Bob Dylan's best album? - quite possibly, is it one of the best albums of all-time? - I would most definitely say so. Although I'm a Dylan enthusiast, I don't believe I am being at all biased when I say that this is an essential work that should be placed in any self respecting music fan's CD collection.

My edition is the 2003 re-issue, which benefits from beautifully remastered sound quality, and the coolest black and white pictures of Bob in a black shirt, collected together from the same photo-shoot inside the album's booklet.
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on 31 October 2017
Dylan at the height of his creative powers joins forces with some of the best Nashville pickers results in this wonderful, majestic album, undoubtedly the "wild mercury sound" he was looking for. It is also one of his most immediately accessible and listenable albums, yet also rewards repeated playing. Dylan covers the whole gamut of emotions and styles, from the caustic humour of "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" to the stoned hedonism of "Rainy Day Women" to the surrealism of "Visions of Johanna" to the romantic "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands". His voice has never been better and Nashville's finest provide a wonderful accompaniment. Rightly considered to be one his finest. And I love that cover. When it was released in 1966, this curly haired teenager decided to grow his hair so it looked like Dylan's does here.
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on 10 July 2015
For many people the definitive Dylan album although it must be said that Blood on the Tracks has overtaken it in critics polls as his greatest work.From it's iconic out of focus cover of Bob this epic double album sees him twist and turn many musical genres.From the tongue in cheek Rainy day Women NO.12+35,to the beauty of I Want You,Stuck inside of Mobile which features one of his most memorable choruses to Visions of Johanna he never puts a foot wrong.Side four ends with the epic Sad eyed Lady of the Lowlands which takes up a whole side.That is of course you are listening to it on vinyl.And i nearly forgot to mention Just Like A Woman which showed a romantic side to Bob.One of rock musics greatest double albums.
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2007
This is Dylans best period in my books. His band was fab, especially the organ adding to the sound. The lyrics are just marvellous, he never fails to paint an interesting picture in your mind.

Listened to it again today and remembered tracks I'd forgotten about. "Pledging My Time" is a great bluesy number after the silly circus nursery rhyme of "Rainy Day Women" the only track i skip on the album.

The two absolute masterpieces in my mind on this album are two 7 minute beauties "Visions of Johanna" and "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again". Lyrics like "the ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face" and "jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule" some say pretentious, i say, magical, genius! The acoustic version of "Johanna" is also excellent on the famous Live 1966 cd.

You also have the famous tracks like the recently remixed "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine", "Just Like a Woman" and "One of us Must Know(Sooner or Later)"

This is class a full band sound, lots of harmonica. Truly an all time classic that has to be unconditionally recommended. As Jack Black said in the film "High Fidelity".... "Don't tell me you don't own Blonde on Blonde!!!"

Buy it! In fact I've just spotted a 3 CD package on amazon which contains the following of Dylans albums "Bringing It All Back Home/Highway 61 Revisited/Blonde on Blonde" These truly are from his most interesting period and if you purchase it like this you'll also get "Like A Rolling Stone", "Mr Tambourine Man", "Subterranean Homesick Blues" along with many, many class album tracks.
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on 26 September 2017
Received my copy this morning & it is a brilliant pressing the best i have heard. Much better than any vinyl recording. Like most Dylan fans i had the gatefold edition when it came out in 66 but its the music that counts & you wont get better than this
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 August 2012
This 1966 album is the seventh studio release from legend Bob Dylan, and considered by many to be his defining work, better even than the preceding masterpiece `Highway 61' or `Blood on the Tracks' from 1976.

Dylan's music always benefitted from adversity. In the beginning it was the challenge of making a mark that drove him to great heights, in the seventies the troubles with his marriage would lead to some of his finest recordings. Here it is a profound disagreement with his existing acoustic folk fanbase that leads him to hit the heights. His previous release, `Highway 61', had been intensely controversial due to his use of a rock sound and electric guitars. It had led to fans of his acoustic sound to cry `Judas' when he played tracks from it on tour. The vitriol was astounding. But it has to be said that the album had been a work of genius. Dylan decided to stick two fingers up at the critics, continuing down the electric road and producing a double album of tracks that were electric, eclectic and works of such genius that it forced the critics to shut up and admit that electric Dylan was far superior to acoustic Dylan, and that the man should be allowed to follow his vision wherever it took him.

Blonde on Blonde starts off where Highway 61 left off - giving us a set of song at times raucous (Rainy day women), slow and moving (the epic sad eyed lady of the lowlands), speaking of his experience of life with his usual metaphysical lyrics, vivid imagery and well constructed wordplay. It's track after track of some of Dylan's finest music, and for a double album it is surprising that there is no filler here.

Definitely one of Dylan's best. It was certainly the high mark until 1976's `Blood on the Tracks'. Dylans albums had become increasingly better and better up this release, and this marked a peak before a continuous slide that would reach its nadir with the terrible Self Portrait a few years later. 5 stars, easily.
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