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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2006
Dylan's first album was a Woody Guthrie-pilfering, fairly ugly piece of work. Nevertheless, it was fairly popular, and the pressure was on for his second album. He was already being called a visionary - check out the sycophantic wibbling about him in the album booklet when he'd only released one album. But, just for once, the critics were dead on, as with his second album, his first of all original material, he discovered his muse; it would scarcely leave him up until the 1980s.

I'm not one to throw around a five-star review. I find myself giving them to more Dylan albums than anyone else though; I think the only ones who could equal him on that score would be The Beatles. This is not to say Freewheelin' is perfect, as I think Out On The Highway is a meandering, odd track not worth the time, as the guitar part and vocals seem to be completely ignorant of each other despite being played by one guy.

But the rest of the album is positively magnificent. The likes of 'Blowin' In The Wind' or 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' have become trite through ubiquity, but the lesser known songs on here are just as good. 'Corinna, Corinna' is a fairly traditional ballad, with a backing group that - while sounding hilariously restrained when compared to the insane rocking of the likes of 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream' two years later - suit the song. 'Oxford Town' and 'Baby, Gimme One More Chance' are both two minute numbers, both superb, and very different; the former a mini-rant about civil rights, the latter are gloriously absurd love song where his wheezy harmonica playing and childish whooping make everything here seem worthwhile.

Overall, this is one of the essential Bob Dylan albums. If you only buy one record from his acoustic period, make it this one; it's the best of the lot.
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on 16 March 2006
Hard to believe even now that Dylan was a mere 21 years old when he wrote and recorded this. Has there ever been a better anti war song than Blowin' in the Wind, anything more scathing than Masters of War, anything more nightmarish than Hard Rain. Add to this the brilliance of songs like Dont Think Twice, Girl from The North Country and Oxford Town and this record must have seemed unbeleivable in 1962 ( the year I was born).
Understandably there are weaker compositions compared to these, some even forgettable, but this record is a songwriting masterclass, for me easily the best of Dylan's pre-electric albums.
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on 13 September 2013
Dylan lays it down and announces with this second album that he was indeed here to stay. The best was yet to come but this album still holds some of the greatest songs in Dylan's entire discography, Blowin' In The Wind, Masters Of War, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, Don't Think Twice, It's All Right, all classics. Protest songs, love songs, folk songs, or just singing the blues, the material on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan remains amongst the most astonishing ever recorded by an artist who was still aged just 23.

Truly something special this masterpiece has been given the vinyl release it really deserves. This wonderful Mobile Fidelity 180g 45 rpm release is in a word - STUNNING!
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on 4 February 2014
Music on Vinyl releases are almost always very well pressed. The sound quality is very good although they do sound a little clinical in comparison to true analogue releases. the bass has a dry tight sound which robs the music of weight. I'll still buy them now and then but I won't expect them to blow my mind. They are good source of vinyl though, as some of the re-releases from the proper audiophile vinyl companies are far too expensive now (e.g. Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity). I'm sure if they reduced their prices they would recoup any losses in higher sales volumes and give more music lovers the pleasure of hearing their great releases.
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on 25 May 2011
Like nearly everyone else I only really picked up on what Dylan was about through Peter Paul & Mary and it was into the mid 60s after heraing the Vacels' Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window that I really took notice.It was all about the covers-the Byrds,Johnny Cash,the Turtles.
This was the British Invasion and Dylan found himself part of it mainly via the Animals.
The Urban Folk Revival meant nothing here in the U K apart from a one off by the Kingston Trio and a later one by the Rooftop Singers.
It was something you began to learn about and decide just who you liked.Me? I liked Barry McGuire and the group he came from the New Christy Minstrels.
The song which gained McGuire his ticket to the One Hit Wonder Club was written in a deliberate attempt to copy his ideas.
And Eve Of Destruction is to my mind a real Desert Island Disc.
You also began to learn just how Dylan had become a writer to be reckoned with.He copied other songs mainly Public Domain and passed them off as his own work.
Which to me is a plus factor.Dylan copies and Dylan becomes a Carpet Man covering songs all over the place.He has a giant backlog of songs yet sings a mass of covers which at least tells me he's not big headed enough to just do his own stuff.This is mainly on the Never Ending Tour but it would not be while the end of the 60s that he cut a stack of covers as Self Portait and its self titled sequel.
It would not be till the 80s that he began covering again and the 80s is I reckon a key period of Dylan activity
Today there's a veritable library of Dylan books and no end of CDs
Dylan's electric records were to me Good Time Music
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on 11 June 2013
To call this album one of the greatest albums ever made would not exactly be a revolutionary claim, but is no less accurate for it.

It seems unnecessary to me to explain this claim too much, or to provide any analysis of the album - it's legacy stands testament to itself.

Suffice to say, this is the album that told New York that the young Bob Dylan wasn't just some Village folksinger, but someone with something to say.

Critics and fans can argue it out over when his best work was, or whether he betrayed the folk scene by going electric a few years on - but even those who've never "got" Bob Dylan can appreciate his early masterpieces on Freewheelin' such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice".

There is a sorrow about this album that anyone who knows what it's like to be lovelorn and lonesome will relate to - a forlorn hope, tackled with a smart, bittersweet humour in some of the tracks.

But I'll cut off my review, before I give in to the appeal of going deeper into the album itself, and finish by saying that everyone should listen through this album. From the instance of its release fifty years ago, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan has intrigued, inspired, and become a part of the lives of many people. It's not too late to become one of them.
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on 9 July 2005
Compelled to write a review about the brilliance of this record. I am relatively new to Dylan and enjoyed his first album 'Bob Dylan' but wanted to move on to some of his original work. 'Freewheelin' did not disappoint- its the voice of Dylan that makes these songs so great with stand out tracks 'A Hard Rains...' and the quite brilliant 'World War III Blues'. If you like the raw side of Bob Dylan and his distinctive blues sound then this is the record for you.
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on 2 March 2012
This was the first Dylan album I ever bought, but I've been a fan way before too. I didn't give too much attention to songwriters like Dylan and Cohen when I was a teenager, but when I discovered them, it's safe to say they changed my life. I actually started listening to the lyrics, trying hard to decipher their meaning and quote them on a daily basis. Dylan means that much to me. To many people, he's a poet first, then a musician.

`The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' is one of his early, acoustic affairs, and contains most of his classic songs like "Blowing In The Wind", "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", "Don't Think Twice It's All Right"...the other songs are great too, especially "Talking World War II Blues", which is hilarious!

If you're new to Dylan, any of his early albums might turn you into a fan, but this one is going to cement that for good.
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on 16 August 2013
A real classic! Love it! I remember listening to this over and over in the 60s - somehow lost the record and have finally replaced it. It still sounds amazing! Great sound and excellent condition.
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on 4 April 2011
This is one of my all time favourite Dylan albums. I have it on plastic but it got played so much that it was not worth copying it. the quality of these songs is measured by the fact that they have all been played and covered by other outstanding musicians.
Blowing in the wind, Girl of the north country, classic Dylan and the songs every one learning guitar in the sixties cut their teeth on.
Don't think twice it's alright was covered by just about everyone and 'A hard rain's a gonna fall' was covered by Roxy music.
Don't take my word for it, buy the album and sit and listen, because that's what Dylan is all about; he's a true urban poet.
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