Bob Dylan’s 37th Best Studio/ Bootleg Album

A close-up of Bob Dylan wearing a coat and hat, holding a guitar

Bob Dylan (Self Titled)
Grade — C-

Bob Dylan’s introduction from Greenwich Village in New York to Columbia Records was met with nearly no attention. Dylan was a part of the then growing act of the solo-folk-acoustic-traditional-singing-youth genre. The covers of popular traditionals such as “Gospel Plow” and “Man of Constant Sorrow” were fairly standard, and met with little to no response from the public, generating nearly non-existent sales until a few years later in Dylan’s prime. 

Only two songs off the thirteen track album are original cuts, one being the excellent piece to Woody Guthrie, his idle at the time. The song showed his songwriting skill, and caught the attention of then popular counter-culture icon Joan Baez. After time around her and others praising his own compositions, he started to start trying to come with material for his next album almost immediately, where his fame would soon be found.

The album has some very bright spots, but mostly just focuses too much on songs done by many, and for the most part, very similarly to those people.

“Song to Woody”, “Baby Let Me Follow You Down”, and the song the Animals would make famous soon after, “House of the Rising Sun” are all excellently done. All use his fingerpicking skills well and the first also has some really clever rhymes and a good tempo for such a young songwriter.

This album would be a lot better if he had included some of his early compositions, as with the release of The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 shows, he had a lot of extra songs he had written, but was nervous of responses.

Not a terrible album, but lacking a big hit or jaw dropper. The good songs are great, and the rest are somewhat middling, but sung very well, as this was before he took up smoking as a full time job.

The song that made the Animals a household name for a while. –


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