banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Shane’s Rock Challenge: BOB DYLAN – 1966 – Blonde On Blonde

| 3 July 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Rock Challenge: BOB DYLAN – 1966 – Blonde On Blonde
By Shane Pinnegar

Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde cover

In 1965 Bob Dylan plugged in, prompting cries of ‘Judas’ from the folk mafia, but ultimately ensuring his music would reach a global audience, redefining rock n’ roll itself – something his earlier protest folk could only begin to manage.

Blonde On Blonde is the third of his rock albums (coming after Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited), and captures Mr Zimmerman full of anger, spitting vitriol to match the beefed up rock and roll provided by Canadian band Levon & The Hawks (later to become The Band).

Whilst I won’t pretend to understand half of what Bob’s bitching about, I do love this album and don’t believe Dylan produced a better one in his extensive career.

Despite not partaking personally, the stoner fun of Rainy Day Women No’s 12 & 35 is infectious – not to mention guaranteed to get a rise out of some.

Visions Of Johanna and Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands are beautiful, wistful and tender love letters and amongst his best compositions, especially Visions…

One Of Us Must Know, Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat and Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine all bemoan relationship breakdowns – the middle one allegedly about Edie Sedgwick, as was another of his greatest works which also appears on this record: Just Like A Woman. His alleged affair with Sedgewick left Dylan bitter at the Andy Warhol set, and it wasn’t long afterwards that he married Sara Lownds.

I Want You, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again and Absolutely Sweet Marie are also all standouts, but there’s not a dud on the entire double album.

It’s easy to say that Dylan was torn at this point in his life: having outgrown the limitations of his acoustic folk persona, he was exploring the exciting world of popular music and rock & roll, at the risk of losing his entire fanbase. Drugs were rife and he seems to have been living in a ghost world almost – perhaps the ideal and idyll of love were all that felt real to him at this time, even as it kept slipping from his grasp?

From great turmoil comes great art, so some say, and Blonde On Blonde is Dylan’s masterwork, in my opinion – a pinnacle achievement of songwriting and an album that he never bettered.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad