Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Blonde on Blonde
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Sundazed is proud to present the first-ever reissue of the original mono mix of this landmark double album, recorded in Nashville with Al Kooper, Robbie Robertson, and a cadre of top session cats. The result, later describ... more »
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Sundazed is proud to present the first-ever reissue of the original mono mix of this landmark double album, recorded in Nashville with Al Kooper, Robbie Robertson, and a cadre of top session cats. The result, later described by Dylan as "that thin, wild mercury sound," is a unique masterwork that sounds as vital today as when first released in 1966. This Sundazed edition is presented on High-Definition Vinyl, from the absolute original analog mono masters.
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"That Thin, That Wild Mercury Sound..."
Martin Dawson | Royton, Oldham, United Kingdom | 07/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What would you need to be to be the greatest album of all-time?1.You'd need to have a classic opening salvo that sets the tone - and the quality - for what is to follow...
'Rainy Day Women' exudes a good-time feel with its Salvation Army band vibe and its party atmosphere with the whoops and hollers of the session musicians, the interjections of "Yeah!" and "Tell 'em, Bob!" and that harmonica crescendo. This track never fails to whip up the excitement. Especially when you know what is in store on the rest of the album...
'Pledging My Time' has a laid-back feel and a relaxed-sounding Dylan which then leads into 'Visions Of Johanna'. I can't think of a better start to an album.2.You'd need to have at least one stand-out track that ranks with the very best ever written...
This album has two.
'Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands' was, as I'm sure everyone knows, the entirety of side 4 on this album's initial vinyl release and also the first track laid down by Dylan and his band of the finest Nashville session musicians. By the time it had reached its eighth minute the session men were looking at each other as if to say 'How long is this going to last? What is going on?' This is Dylan's beautifully controlled declaration of love to the woman who would become his wife. "With your mercury mouth in the missionary times/And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes..." and the question which clearly needs no answer : "Who among them do you think could resist you?" Dylan took some flack later for claiming to have stayed up for days in the Chelsea Hotel writing this for Sara Lowndes when it was easily established that he'd kept the band waiting in the studio through the night whilst he was writing in the basement downstairs before the recording. See, in particular, Lester Bangs' review of 'Desire. But what no one seems to have put forward is this : yes, maybe he did write in the studio but it's possible he had spent delirious days and nights writing the basis for the song which he then edited in the studio, honing the lines to perfection before recording it. That's my theory, anyway. For what it's worth.
'Visions Of Johanna'. This tale of thwarted idealism in love is possibly Dylan's finest moment. The music gives the voice of Dylan room to breathe as he contemplates the absolute unattainability of perfection in love compared to the ordinariness of the attainable everyday. " Louise, she's alright, she's just near..."3.You'd need to have a bit of controversy. Well, maybe. Can't do any harm...
Leaving aside the drug-innuendo of 'Rainy Day Women', possibly shocking in its day but not any more, there is 'Just Like A Woman' where arguments still rage. Dylan ; misogynist or misunderstood? Well, clearly, it's not his nastiest lyric but that's hardly a defence. My own view is that it's not misoginistic; it's a lyric that seemingly goes to the heart of a person and would have made as much sense to read 'You fake like a man/You take like a man/But you break just like a little boy...'. It's the discrepancy between the inner fragility of the individual in contrast to their projected and, to Dylan at least, false self. Plus there's the poetry where Dylan lays himself on the line to the same person : "When we meet again/ Introduced as friends/Please don't let on that you knew me when/I was hungry and it was your world..."4.You should perhaps have songs that aren't necessarily celebrated within the artist's canon but still leave you astounded and in awe whenever you hear them...
'One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) is a case in point. The hammond organ swirls, those spiteful lyrics and great vocals from the man himself. This album is the best Dylan ever sounded. The voice is old-beyond-its-years and yet beautiful at the same time. And at least one word in each line is sung as if it's in italics. Genius.5.You'd need to have the arrogance of the Gods...
From the iconic cover shot to the Lennon-baiting 'Fourth Time Around' the album projects this like nothing else. The dig at Lennon was playful : Dylan suggesting that as John had ripped him off for three earlier Beatles songs ('You've Got To Hide Your Love Away', 'I'm A Loser' and 'Norwegian Wood'), Dylan may as well write the fourth one for him there and then...The similarity to 'Norwegian Wood' is absolutely intentional.6.You'd need to fit together perfectly, both artistically and stylistically...
Easy. Bob Dylan's musical vision is perfectly realised here.What would you have to be to be the best album of all-time...
Well, you'd have to have lines like "the ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face...". You'd have to be "that thin, that wild mercury sound". And? Well, obviously, it's a wholly subjective thing. But you'd have to be an album to last forever, to constantly sound fresh and exciting, to provide more defining moments in music than any other...In short, you'd have to be 'Blonde On Blonde'. By Bob Dylan."
Christopher Henrici | Washington, DC United States | 10/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We all know about this album as being a classic. The great musicianship of Al kooper and Robbie Robertson coupled with Dylan's songwriting make this and Highway 61 among Dylan's best albums. A majority of buyers doubtless own this already and are pondering jumping on the reissue wagon again. The packaging of the reissue is well done compared to the barebones earlier issue. I am probably in the minority, but I always thought the previous cd issue of this particular album (though not some of the other dylan discs) sounded pretty good. I have grown so used to it that the reissue somehow does'nt sound right in comparison. I got the re-release partly based on the recommendations posted here. I use a cd player only, and as a cd I found the reissue not as enjoyable to listen to. True there are a few more details on the new mix, from an analytical standpoint it may be "better". I put on the reissue and did'nt really find myself enjoying the music. I then played the original disc and found it to be more relaxed and enjoyable. One thing I noticed is Al Koopers organ on "Visions of Johanna" is underneath the mix on the reissue, coming through thin and faintly. Kooper's musicianship is more readily appreciated on the original disc. The vocals on all the tunes sound a bit warmer and natural on the original disc too, though they might not be as "clear" as the reissue. The guitars, especially Dylan's acoustic, sound better with less clarity on the original disc, the reissue brings them out a little more, while this initially may seem "better", eventually it is not, bringing out more of a tin sound. I'm not sure that greater clarity and resolution always make old rock recordings more enjoyable. I did find "Blood on the Tracks" to be superior to the previous cd version, being consistantly more musical. Overall I can't say the same for the "Blonde on Blonde" reissue, which is more ambiguous... neither version is anything to write home about from a strictly sonic standpoint- collector's may want this one for the variation of content though. If you want to hear the best recording available from this period of Dylan's voice, guitar, and harmonica in emotionally moving performances, play the acoustic set disc one of "live 1966"."
I'm just sitting here beating on my trumpet.
Johnny Heering | Bethel, CT United States | 09/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blonde on Blonde is Dylan's absolute masterpiece. The two-record set featured the stoned celebration of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" and the sweetly engaging "I Want You", but it was for it's ballads--"Visions of Johanna", "Just Like a Woman" and the side-long "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands"--that he drew forth the most dense, hypnotic music of his career, and poetry that overflowed not only with hypnotic wordplay but a depth of mood that language can rarely convey. Played by guitarist Robbie Robertson, the future leader of the Band, as well as by a group of ace Nashville studio musicians, the songs were hardly country songs, but the recording milieu certainly was--and it suggested the next turn Dylan might take."