on 17 September 2003
Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, an already classic album, just got better with this SACD hybrid version. The 5.1 surround mix is wonderfully clear, revealing lots of previously hidden details, especially in the numbers Dylan recorded with Eric Weissburg & Deliverance. The vocals are crisp and fill the room like never before. The overall experience is like hearing this album again, but in the studio, sitting in between the musicians as they play.
The only thing is that the packaging, though much better than the original CD version, is not up to the same standards as Sony's own Legacy re-issues. A song-by-song analysis (like the ones for the Byrds, for example) would've been nice--and that goes for most of the classic albums of this Dylan re-issue series, unfortunately.
Still, it's a must-have, if you're any kind of Dylan fan at all...
on 15 October 1999
This album arguably represents the finest hour of Dylan's longand winding career, and is probably his most musically and vocally accessible for the non-converted. Here Dylan has well and truly left behind the jangly guitar and rabble-raising lyrics that left such a mark on the Sixties (but can be somehwat jarring these days) and has moved into a much more deeply emotional and personal world. His anger and bitterness are still there for all to see (Idiot Wind), and sometimes both are expressed with an honesty and vitriol that are breathtaking, but his targets have changed. Written during and after the break-up of his marriage to Sarah Lowndes, the swing between bitter resentment and sweet nostalgia is there for all to see. Dylan may be a private man, but listening to this album almost makes you feel like an intruder. 'Tangled Up In Blue' remains one of Dylan's most enduring songs, and here his gift for story-telling is at its most evident, whilst 'If You See Her, Say Hello' shows Dylan at his most tender and vulnerable. How this song came out of the same head in the same session as 'Idiot Wind' is one of the many mysteries Dylan can't help leaving behind. Every song on this album is a gem, with the exception of 'Lily, Rosemary and The Jack Of Hearts' which is awful and why he chose to insert it in the middle of this otherwise flawless album is, I'm afraid, yet another of those mysteries.
on 6 August 2006
I remember buying this album when it first came out in the mid seventies. It made me speechless then and still does so thirty years on. It is simply the finest collection of modern songs ever recorded. I know we have Sargeant Pepper, Let it Bleed, Led Zeppelin 2, Radiohead etc. etc. but this album does something no other album can do. It covers all of the human emotions from despair to real happiness. Tracks 'Like Tangled up in Blue', 'Idiot Wind' and 'You're a Big Girl Now' are simply masterpieces of how to write a great tune with great lyrics and drive it straight into the listener's heart.
'If you see Her, Say Hello' is devastatingly sad - enough to draw you to tears. I mean, he rips his ex wife to pieces in 'Idiot Wind' but here he behaves like an apologetic little boy towards her almost as if she has won a battle over him.
In fact, Dylan probably means most of what he sings about here, focussing on the break up of his marriage. There are no hit singles here, very little you are going to hum along to; but I do guarantee it will have an effect on you like no other album ever has or ever will. As one reviewer has already said, if you could take one album with you, this is it. If you own it, you simply know. And if you don't own it, you need to get a copy, close the door and listen to it on your own. This is genius of the highest level.
on 10 November 2005
as a very ignorant bob dylan fan ive listened to him all my adult life......BUT only "best ofs". after the recent T.V. documentary i decided to catch up on his back catalogue. WOW, what a delight its been, "Freewheeling" "Desire" superb! but "Blood on the tracks" is the work of a genius. Buy it now!!! dont miss out!!!!!
on 29 April 2016
My favourite Dylan album and I think best album ever. There are some real advances in the sound of CD releases, but where they add clarity they lose warmth and depth. This is smoother and recaptures the sound just as I remember it. This is a pricey album to buy, but worth every penny!
The undisputed singer-songwriter champ/people's poet of the Sixties was all but commercially washed up by 1974. Neither the weedy "Dylan" from 1973 nor "Planet Waves" from 1974 were good as whole albums with only "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue" and "Knocking On Heaven's Door" showing that old melody and lyrical magic. A pointless live double "Before The Flood" with The Band followed in July of 1974 and smacked of contract filler - damaging his reputation further. But come early the following year - all that lost faith was about to change...
Fast forward to April 1975 - and I'm scouring the singles boxes in Dublin's cool and trendy Dandelion Market (a sort of indoor Camden Town). Dealers would collect ex chart singles that were a few weeks past their sell-by-date from the city's abundant record shops and flog them for 50p or less. New and in their label bags - you'd pick up deals and take chances on new names. So I'm flicking through the Dawn and Bell label bubble gum pop when I spot "Tangled Up In Blue" by Bob Dylan on its Orange and Yellow CBS Records label (3160). I paid my 50p, took it home and hoped for the best when I put the needle down. My jaw promptly fell to the kitchen lino...and in many unhygienic ways...its been there ever since...
There can't be too many Dylan nuts who don't worship at the feet of CBS Records S 69097 and Columbia PC 33235 released January 1975 in the States and February 1975 in the UK. Charted at 4 in Blighty but going all the way to the top in America - "Blood On The Tracks" signalled that the man was back - and how. In all truth he hadn't sounded this vital (or confused) since "Blonde On Blonde" in 1966.
Let's get to the CD - two standard versions in 1989 and 1993 preceded the real deal - a proper remaster on a 2003 Columbia SACD Hybrid CD that contained both an SACD layer and a Standard STEREO mix. Easily available in a glossy card digipak - it has beautiful sound quality and should be enough for most. But this is Bob Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks" and if I can attain another microscopic ounce of audio quality out of yet another release - I'm gonna spend money on that sucker. So I bought this gorgeous USA-Only Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab audiophile pressing - and I'm thrilled I did. Here are the buckets of rain...
1. Tangled Up In Blue
2. Simple Twist Of Faith
3. You're A Big Girl Now
4. Idiot Wind
5. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
6. Meet Me In The Morning [Side 2]
7. Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts
8. If You See Her, Say Hello
9. Shelter From The Storm
10. Buckets Of Rain
USA released November 2012 (February 2013 in the UK) - this issue of "Blood On The Tracks" is an "Original Master Recording" CD on Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2098 (Barcode 821797209861). An Audiophile Hybrid Edition - it has both SACD and DSD CD layers and does not require an SACD player for playback (it will automatically default to the DSD CD layer once in standard machines). The transfer from the original master tapes used Mobile Fidelity's patented ULTRADISC UHR GAIN 2 Remaster System with mastering by ROB LoVERDE (assisted by SHAWN R. BRITTON). It's a straightforward 10-track transfer of the album at 51:48 minutes housed in oversized hard card repro artwork. An inner gatefold black and gold card sleeve houses the gold CD (itself in a gauze protective) and there's a numbered (embossed) square on the rear cover.
When you first hear the opening triple-whammy of brilliance - "Tangled Up In Blue", "Simple Twist Of Faith" and "You're A Big Girl Now" - the differences to my ear are the acoustic guitars and the beautiful clarity to the bass - they're floating around the room but not drowning out his impassioned vocals. The high hats and drum taps on "Big Girl" are crystal clear but again they're not amped to a point where they take over. It's properly beautiful stuff.
And as everyone now knows the album revolved around the dissolution of his marriage - so the lyrics and songs flit between apathy and stupor ("Meet Me In The Morning") to slighting bitterness ("Idiot Wind") and a sort of hurting reconciliation ("If You See Her, Say Hello"). But then they come roaring back to simplicity and lingering affection ("Shelter From The Storm" and "Buckets Of Rain"). Dylan ends Side 1 with the short but oh so sweet "You're Gonna Make Lonesome When You Go". It's typical of the album - confessional yet still guarded - its Sixties throwback sound and vocals has to be one of his loveliest songs -with lyrical rhymes that thrill to this day (words from it title this review). The smacking of the acoustic guitar strings on "Buckets Of Rain" have fabulous clarity and that double bass in the background is warm and full too. Wonderfully done...
In some respects it's a shame Columbia simply don't just get on with it and do a DELUXE EDITION of this most iconic of his albums - maybe they will with its 40th Anniversary looming in 2015. There are two outtakes on Biograph and a further four on "The Bootleg Series Volumes 1 - 3" and with the original withdrawn album mix - would make a corker of a reissue.
In the meantime - if it's the best sound you want - then the spondulicks spent on this lovely reissue of "Blood On The Tracks" will pay dividends...
on 10 November 2004
As another reviewer wrote that this is Dylans most talked about album and the depth of the songs suggests that he was writing from a personal view. Well, he was. Dylan had just gone through a divorce and blood on the tracks is the product.
The beauty of this album is that Dylan approaches love and loss from many different angles forcing you to really think. Some songs are melancholy and downright depressing whereas others show a much more optimistic viewpoint. The highlght of the album, 'if you see her say hello' is simply breathtaking.
Basically this album inspires many emotions, and that really is the point of music.
on 25 March 2012
Reviewing 'Blood on the Tracks' is absolutely pointless by now, it is a work of genius, the world knows it, it is potentially THE zenith of 20th century music. Of all the albums I own and love, of all the masterpieces, the near masterpieces, The Smiths, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys .etc. this album is actually top. I actually count about 8 of the best songs I have ever heard on this one disc, from the lyrical master-class that is 'Shelter From The Storm' to the genuine rock of 'Idiot Wind', Dylan never really surpassed the music here, and that is one hell of a claim.
I admit the 'Rosemary, Lily & The Jack of Hearts' is a bit of a drag in comparison to the other tracks here, it doesn't seem to fit, 'Blood on the Tracks' is about pain or bitterness, this song just doesn't seem to have that. A second slight downside is that Dylan decided to leave one of his greatest tracks 'Up To Me' off the album, if you haven't heard this song but love this album you owe it to yourself to find it. But these are minor gripes, after all this is Bob Dylan at the height of his powers. It really is that good.
on 9 February 2006
This album has been described as the ultimate break up album, and was written just after Bob's break up with his wife Sara.
The reason why this album is so amazing, is that Bob every aspect of a break up, from reminissinig in Tangeled up in blue, to bitterness "Idiot Wind", to complete vulnerability in "if you see hear say hello", This is indeed the closest Bob has let us in.
The album has an overall warmth to it, and is beautifully simplistic. The lyrics cover the full sprectrum of Bob's talent, from the amazing and vivid metaphorical storytelling in Tangeled up in Blue, To Dylan's classic humor in Idiot Wind, "you're and idiot babe, its a wonder you still know how to breathe" that line cracks me up whenever i listen to it. I reccomend every track, but the ones that stand out are, well damn it evreyone to be honest. If your a Dylan fan you already have this album and if you dont then why not?, if you hate Dylan, then buy it! although you probably wont understand it, and will get your kick off some
mindless dribble like James Blunt (shiver). If you fail to feel any emotion for this masterpiece then you do indeed have a cold heart!.
on 9 February 2015
This is a beautiful album. The songs are so emotional, tender and sweet. I think everyone can relate to the songs on here. I think the sign of the good album is when your favorite songs changes over time. When I first brought it I couldn't get enough of the lovely Buckets of Rain but now I can relate to Simple Twist of Fate more. My only slight complaint is that at almost 9 minutes Lilly, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts is a bit dragged out and because of the up-tempo drum beat it sounds a little out of place. However this is still one of the best albums ever made and if your new to Dylan probably the best place to start.