Bob Dylan’s 35th Best Studio/ Bootleg Album

A painting of a woman in a bikini holding a water jug over her head to use as a weapon against a man who is wearing a bandolero and hat while throttling another man

Knocked Out Loaded
1986
Grade — C-

To be a roots musician in the heat of one of the most musically desolate period in history, the eighties, was really a struggle to many solo artists that gained popularity in the 60’s and 70’s. Dylan was no different, as before releasing a negatively panned album in Down in the Groove, he also released this one, which was received just as poorly.

The album consisted of a couple of covers, a few co-written pieces and just two entirely original compositions. The artist hit a wall with his lyrics, and it spurred some to even call the album, “a career-killer”.

However there are, as every Dylan album, very bright spots. The most obvious of these is the widely praised “Brownsville Girl”, an eleven minute epic so absurd it almost seems a parody of Dylan. The piece, composed with Sam Sheppard, was a perfect mix of the vague illusions that paint the illustration of the song, while also having a bit of ADD along the way. Its one of Dylan’s best, and don’t let the length fool you, its nearly the only song you’ll have on repeat for this album.

Besides “Maybe Someday” that is. Beneath all that over-production lies a very clever song that seems to be a step down from “Brownsville Girl”, but still has a charm and a catchy beat.

Otherwise, the album isn’t worth very much. The cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “They Killed Him” is abysmal, but otherwise most of the tracks are just bland. Really, really bland.

But not this one! Take a listen to “Brownsville Girl” in all its insanity! http://videos.sapo.pt/UuoiZLJVQkyZZiGAAHw2

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