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Too many wrong choices
on 27 April 2003
Whether or not you agree with the compilers' choice of songs is obviously a question of taste, and very subjective, too.
And I'm sure that a lot of people will think that this collection is all good and fine, but inspite of the incredibly high quality of almost every song on here, I still believe a significantly better job could have been done.
First of all, this is obviously a collection for relative newcomers rather than seasoned Dylan-fans. Second of all, those newcomers should stick to "Greatest Hits" and "More Greatest Hits" for the 60s and early 70s material, and hand-pick the best of Dylan's later releases for the rest of his most important output, such as the "Blood On The Tracks" and "Desire" albums.
There are just too many of Bob Dylan's best songs missing here, especially from the 70s and 90s. "Blood On The Tracks" is represented by only two songs, "Desire" is (mis-)represented only by "Hurricane"....where are "Idiot Wind", "Simple Twist Of Fate", "Oh Sister", "Romance In Durango" and "Sarah"?
And if Dylan's non-album classics, like "When I Paint My Masterpiece" and "Watching The River Flow" shouldn't be on a supposed "essential" collection, where should they be?
The compilers have opted for songs like "Subterranean Homesick Blues", "Silvio", "Everything Is Broken" and "Tight Connection To My Heart" instead, and they are certainly not bad songs, but they could have done better.
Leave this album alone, and go get the original Dylan compilations, 1967's "Greatest Hits" and 1972's "More Greatest Hits" (or "Greatest Hits volume II" if you're an American - either way it's the one with 21 tracks on two CDs, leading off with "Watching The River Flow" on disc 1). Oh, and "Blood On The Tracks", too. They'll get you turned on to Bob Dylan much better than this good-but-not-great attempt at making a definitive Dylan compilation.