Thursday, April 06, 2006
Some Dylanology: Here are (some of) Rolling Stone's reviews of his albums. Not surprisingly, they brought out the big guns on a lot of these-- Greil Marcus, Jon Landau-- Jann Wenner himself weighs in on "Slow Train Coming". What makes the whole thing interesting is how desperately wrong they are. Wenner says of "Slow Train: "It takes only one listening to realize that Slow Train Coming (Columbia Records) is the best album Bob Dylan has made since The Basement Tapes (recorded with the Band in 1967 but not released until 1975). The more I hear the new album — at least fifty times since early July—the more I feel that it's one of the finest records Dylan has ever made. In time, it is possible that it might even be considered his greatest." Landau on "Blood on the Tracks": "If in Dylan's world of extremes there's room for a middle ground, that's where I place Blood on the Tracks....To compare the new album to Blonde on Blonde at all is to imply that people will treasure it as deeply and for as long. They won't." Most of these reviews start from the notion that the side under scrutiny is Dylan's best since X-- a sort of backhanded complement since what it means is really, "I hate the stuff he's been doing to, but this is different.