Danielle Lane | Horseshoe, North Carolina | 06/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fortunately we've not come to the World War Bob Dylan sings about in "Talking World War III" on "Freewheelin'", but in today's times you have to wonder do you need a shotgun and a fall out shelter. Another song full of poetry is "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" of course everybody's who's anybody has heard this song, if not on this record, then the haunting version done during "The Concert for Bangledesh." Dylan has done so many excellent versions of this throughout the years, especially that version done with the Japanese orchestra, but this version is Bob Dylan raw and raging. Like "Masters of War" the song was topical then and it's topical now. It's just too danged bad that "All of the people can't be all right all of the time." But you can be right some of the time and that's good enough. Get this record, you'll be glad you did.
"The Times They Are A-Changing" the title song of the second album in this set is a song that will have you questioning your values, questioning your complacency. "The Ballad of Hollis Brown" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" will just plain make you mad. "North Country Blues" will make you weep for the coal minors and iron workers and those less fortunate. And "With God on Our Side" A song that Bob Dylan used to perform with Joan Baez a lot a long time ago will make you think. Every word in these songs is significant, every word important. This is another of those Bob Dylan records everybody should own. It should be like a rule.
I cannot describe the words and imagery conjured up on "Another Side" by Bob Dylan in the song, "The Chimes of Freedom." This is certainly on of the best songs, he or anyone has ever penned. You can find as much or as little in this song about America then and now, yourself then and now, things too numerous to mention walk through the phrases, words fail me, but they didn't fail the young Bob Dylan. Get this record, play this song, you'll see what I'm talking about. "I Shall Be Free No. 10" is a humorous rendition of Dylan's view of America. Some of the images and people mention might not be known by the children or grandchildren of the Boomers, but you can Google Barry Goldwater and the like if you want to get this funny song. At times, because Dylan goes between humor, protest and love songs, this record might seem a little uneven, because, for example, you're still laughing at "Motorpsycho Nitemare" when all of a sudden you're jerked right into the very serious, "My Back Pages." Didn't we all know more than our parents, weren't we all so much older then."
Mr. D. When he was Young and at his Best
Stephanie Sane | from the Asylum | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Freewheeling'" is Bob Dylan's second album, a folk record of some of the best songs he's ever done, and he was so young. On this CD you'll find "Masters of War," a song as timely now as it was way back in 1963 and a song Dylan has revisited time and again throughout his career. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" is on this album as well. It's my personal favorite, especially the way he performed it during the Concert for Bangla Desh with George Harrison at Madison Square Garden in 1971. If that isn't enough, Dylan performs the sweetest version of "Corina, Corina" you'll ever hear. And, of course, I have to mention, "Blowing in the Wind," perhaps the greatest protest song ever written.
My father told me he was disappointed in "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and when I asked why, he said that it wasn't nearly as good as "Freewheelin.'" And there you have the problem with a lot of Dylan fans, Bob is always changing, moving on and it's hard for his fans to keep up. The title song of this album is a raging protest against the establishment, one young people could still be singing today. "Girl from the North Country" is a tender love song that zings straight to your heart. "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," a ballad that just makes you want to scream, "Why!" My dad was wrong about this record back then, thankfully he knows it now.
My dad liked "Another Side" better than "Freewheelin'" but I did not. Sure it's a great record that includes "It Ain't Me Babe," A different kind of love song, way different, and "Chimes of Freedom" made popular back then by the Byrds, and "My Back Pages," the ultimate song about growing up, "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." How can anybody put it better than that?
This set is an excellent way to get started on a Bob Dylan collection if you don't already own these records. It's also some of Mr. D's best work.
Reviewed by Stephanie Sane"
Shane Shogren | Las Vegas, NV | 09/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These three records are masterpieces by anyone's opinion and are perhaps Dylan's best work. He was young and he was so good.
-- The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan --
Freewheelin' is Bob Dylan's second record. While his first was an album of mostly folk song covers with only two originals, this record had only two covers, the rest being originals and some of Bob Dylan's finest work. "Girl From the North Country" is one of my favorite songs, by anybody, and to think it was written by a twenty-one-year-old kid, almost half a century ago, way back in 1963.
"Master's of War" still seems valid today. Re, those masters of war, those seller's of guns, "There is one thing I know, though I'm younger than you, that even Jesus would never forgive what you do." Yet, despite those words that moved so many, all these years later the masters of war are still plying their trade. And, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention "Blowin' in the Wind," perhaps the best antiwar song ever written. Dylan asks nine questions about war and freedom, the answers to all of them, I'm afraid are, "Blowin' in the Wind."
-- The Times they are a-Changin' --
The opening track, "The Times they are a-Changin'" is a call to arms. It was heeded in the Sixties when the streets were filled with protesters, kids who wanted an end to the war in Vietnam. Dylan has sung this song countless times over the years, talking about the battle that is outside raging, but somehow we've forgotten this message, though we sing the words with Dylan at almost every concert he's given on his never ending tour. Sadly there are almost no protesters today. And it seems if one does raise a voice, bad things could happen to him.
Lord, I have to wonder if God ever was on our side. Bob Dylan doesn't think he was, but there are so many today who are convinced he is, maybe they should listen to this record. At least we've done something about the horrible racism Dylan sings about on "Only a Pawn in Their Game" and the haunting "Ballad of Hollis Brown," but we have a long way to go. I think all those people who are so against those who only want to better themselves by coming to America should be forced to sit down and listen to this record. That's what I think.
-- Another Side of Bob Dylan --
For me "Another Side" is all about "The Chimes of Freedom." Yes there are several other good songs on this record that marks a change for Bob Dylan from his so called "Protest Period" to a darker, deeper, more poetic kind of music. Poetry, Dylan had become a poet and to all of those who think there are hidden meaning in his words I have to say, "No, I don't think so." I think Dylan put it all out there, said what he meant and meant what he said. No hidden meanings, no secrets implied, but who needs 'em. "Chimes of Freedom" says enough, says if for a generation, for generations.
"Tolling for the Rebel, tolling for the rake, tolling for the luckless, the abandoned and the forsaked." What words, what power from this twenty-three-year-old singer who was already tired of leading a movement. Still, try as he might, he was the one the youth of his time looked up to, listened to, wanted to follow, but Dylan wasn't leading. Just imagine what this world might be like today if he had been. Maybe some of those misdemeanor outlaws who wound up in the White House might have been sidelined where they belonged. Ah, well, we'll never know.
Still, this is one fine record. "To Ramona" is one of the best songs ever written, the poetry so divine in this dark song. "It grieves my heart love, to see ya trying to be a part of a world that just don't exist." It's like he's singing about me, way before I was born, because I sure want to be a part of that world that doesn't exist. Ah, I was so much older than, older yesterday even. It's so sad sometimes, because like Dylan says, they "hype you and type you in making you feel that you gotta be just like them." I know I'm not making much sense, but get this record. Don't be like them, just do what you think you should do."
Bob at his best!
James F. Fisher | 02/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There has never been anything like the talent of Bob. These three cd's are Dylan at his best. Who needs a band. A band would only get in the way. I am one of those that think Dylan is much better by himself. But nobody has ever come across as powerful as this music. There is not a weak song. I do like the 'times they are a changin' the best. To convey a message in such poetry and yet get the message thru for anyone to understand, is the reason why Bob will always be the best."