We're in that time of the year when the weeks are just flying by... That means you must be 'ril busy too...so I'll get right to it.

16 Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks

016: Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (1974)

I may have mentioned this last time I covered a Bob Dylan album--Bob is my lady's favorite.

She's obsessed.

So I feel this pressure to also love everything Bob.  I acknowledge that this is an odd pressure to put on myself.

Adding to that, my younger brother, Josiah, bought me this very album on vinyl for my birthday this year.  It's his favorite, and he was really excited that I would be listening to it with this year's project.  I hadn't listened to it yet, because my listening plate has been full.

While I have respected Mr. Dylan's excellence on the past two albums on the list, especially a few of the songs (Don't Think Twice, It's Alright is a personal favorite now), I have not walked away with a newfound appreciation of the man, the legend.

So, I was a bit nervous that three would not be a charm.

I'm relieved to say it was.

I had read somewhere that this was an album recorded during a rough patch with his wife.  That factoid, coupled with the violent evocations of the title, I thought I would be in for a depressing doozy.

Then Tangled Up In Blue opens the album. Not depressing.

The beautiful Simple Twist of Fate--OK, a bit depressing...but it's so perfectly crafted. I especially love the lyrics on the final verse:

People tell me it’s a sin To know and feel too much within I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring She was born in spring, but I was born too late Blame it on a simple twist of fate

Bob's writing style really institutionalizes itself in this record.  Every verse of most song is pulled by the gravity of the title, nestled in the final line.  Also, I feel that Bob has come into his own here vocally.  Maybe I'm making this up, but whatever he's doing, it feels like he's more comfortable with the idiosyncrasies of his voice...and this somehow makes me like it more by extension.

All in, you see that some of the best songs ever written are on this album.

I have to be honest, though.  A couple of the songs (I'm talking about you Idiot Wind and Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts) are not favorites.



15 Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced

015: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)

I can see how this album would have shaken things up.

Not to mention it sounds like a classic rock collection or greatest hits package.

They had it.  No doubt.

Pot.  Manic Depression.  Murderous Domestic Violence.  Sex.  It's all there.

Another confession: I had no idea that May This Be Love--a wonderful song from Meshell Ndegeocello's amazing Bitter--was a Jimi Hendrix song.  It's amazing how many references I've been missing out on not having heard these albums before.

I love so many of these songs, but especially the album closer Are You Experienced?




I still like Blonde On Blonde better than Blood On The Tracks...but I haven't heard Highway 61 Revisited yet...maybe Bob'll get me with his #4 entry on this great list.  I'm sure that would mean a lot to him.

Jimi Hendrix is a force for sure.  This album has many wonderful tracks.  I definitely enjoyed it more than their previous two entries.  I definitely see myself getting more into this album over time.

Up Next

014: The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969) 013: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

Want to listen ahead, or see some posts you may have missed? Check out the full list of the 100 Greatest Albums here.