Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home…Desert Island Albums

This is my seventh-round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. 


he not busy being born
Is busy dying

I was a kid when I first heard a Bob Dylan song and it was Knocking On Heaven’s Door. I liked the song but didn’t think much else about it. Later I  heard about him while reading about the Beatles. This man was armed with words that caught everyone’s attention. The books would describe his voice as crude but effective with other adjectives thrown in the mix. I then bought his greatest hits.  I received that great Dylan poster with the album that had “ELVIS” formed in his hair…I thought what a cool guy.

Original Bob Dylan Poster Created by Milton Glaser – The Ross Art Group

I then purchased Bringing It All Back Home and I was a bigger fan. I loved his voice right away. He didn’t sing like McCartney, Lennon, Elvis, or anyone like that but it worked…his voice had soul and passion. I found out why a generation before me followed him like the Pied Piper…it all became clear. Whether you understood or agreed.. his voice and words meant something. Bob wasn’t a product.

It was Dylan who inspired the Beatles and it was The Beatles who inspired Dylan…they played off of each other and took popular music to new exciting places.

This album angered a lot of his fans. After being a folk singer armed with his acoustic and his bag of words…he blew people away. Then this album came out with electric instruments. That did not go down well with the folk fans. One side of the album was acoustic and the other side full of raw electric songs. Some of his fans would boo him at concerts as soon as the band backed him up on the rock section. That didn’t slow Bob down at all…he knew what he was doing was right and he would not yield to the boos or naysayers.

On top of all of this…the album was recorded in three days…three days (January 13,14, and 15 1965). That’s not enough time for most artists to get a decent outtake.

These songs…where do I start? Lets start with the opener Subterranean Homesick Blues and the line “You don’t need a weather man
to know which way the wind blows.” How many hippies have quoted that line? I learned this song by heart much like I did Tangled Up In Blue later on.

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) is a song that verse after verse amazes me. His voice in this song is perfect… almost like a preacher behind a pulpit. Bob sings about commercialism, hypocrisy, politics, and warmongering for starters. It’s wrong to pick out a lyric in this song without posting all of them but I will…”Made everything from toy guns that spark, To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark, It’s easy to see without looking too far, That not much is really sacred” I mean…holy hell…who comes up with that? It fits just right with today’s commercialism.

Love Minus Zero/No Limit is a over looked song by Bob that very well could be my favorite off of the album. This contains one of my favorite Dylan lyrics. “She knows there’s no success like failure, and that failure’s no success at all.” Lyricists would kill for lines like that…Dylan would make a habit of it. He helped raised the standards for songwriters. No longer would serious artists get away with simple rhyming lyrics.

She Belongs To Me took a while for me to get this one. For the longest time I skipped it on the album but then…one day it clicked. “She’s got everything she needs, She’s an artist, she don’t look back, She can take the dark out of nighttime
And paint the daytime black.” it has since become one of my favorites.

I’m not going to add more videos to the already full post but it was a coin toss on which ones to go over. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue, Mr. Tambourine Man, Outlaw Blues, Gates of Eden, Maggie’s Farm…and all of them are worthy. Bob released three albums between March 22, 1965 and June 20, 1966. Those albums were Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisted, and Blonde on Blonde. Those alone would be a hall of fame career for any other artist but Bob was just getting warmed up.

This is my first non-band album on my island and I couldn’t have picked a better artist or album. Listening to Dylan never gets old because you continually find something new you didn’t hear before.

1. Subterranean Homesick Blues
2. She Belongs To Me
3. Maggie’s Farm
4. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
5. Outlaw Blues
6. On The Road Again
7. Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream
8. Mr Tambourine Man
9. Gates Of Eden
10. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
11. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home…Desert Island Albums”

  1. I just saw the Original Vintage Poster with Elvis in Dylan’s hair is selling for $600. You are write that they both played off of each other, but John wrote “Like Dylan’s Mr. Jones”, but I don’t think that Dylan ever made a Beatles reference in any of his songs. Dylan the middle part of I Want to Hold Your Hand was about getting high where they sang “And when I touch you … I get high, I get high.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob wrote a song called 4th Time Around. It was his answer to Norwegian Wood…but no he didn’t name them…

      I love that he thought they said “get high” in that. I think they helped him go electric and he helped them develop their songs more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great pick, Max. I probably would have chosen “Highway 61 Revisited”, mostly because I’m more familiar with that album – and, yes, admittedly, “Like a Rolling Stone”, “Ballad of a Thin Man”, “Desolation Row” and the title track are among my favorite Dylan tunes. That being said, songs like “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, “Maggie’s Farm”, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” are outstanding tracks as well.

    While I can’t say I love everything Dylan has done (and let’s be honest here, the same is true for pretty much any other artist I can think of), there’s no doubt the man’s an absolute genius. Even if he only had written the above tunes, he already would be a music hero in my book. And we haven’t even talked about “Tangled Up in Blue”, “Hurricane” and some of the other Dylan classics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The albums I liked the best are Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde…and Blood on the Tracks…Infidels.
      This album has “It’s Alight Ma”…that song alone won it over. That song and Love Minus Zero are probably my favorite Dylan…He has had such a career.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Frankly, Dylan has written so many great songs that it doesn’t even matter what he’s putting put these days. How many artists can say that?

        That being said, I was actually kind of intrigued by his last album. American songbook? Not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Is this part of the album pick thing going on with Hans?

    I like Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door & Lay Lady Lay. I like his If Not For You but, prefer Harrison’s version and Olivia’s.

    She Belongs to Me is pretty good. I’m just not a big Dylan fan (you already know that).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is…this is my seventh pick…I have 3 more to go. This has been a lot of fun. I never review albums so this is new to me….it’s a fun challenge.

      My favorite is It’s Alright Ma….the lyrics to that knock me out


      1. I read the lyrics. I sometimes see reflections of today’s mess. Much of it, though, I can’t make heads or tails out of. Of course, I have a lot of trouble with poetry in general. Most of the time, it is too lofty and abstract for me. I’m far too obtuse for such meanderings.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love “Proves to warn that he not busy being born Is busy dying”

        I would have killed to write that line


      3. You’d have done it…your way. You don’t have to be a poet to be a great lyricist. Honestly, poets are poets. Those who write lyrics are a different breed to me. There is flowery prose. Then, there is getting a point across or telling a story in music.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bob is both…but as song lyrics…they are great…he has a knack for the right words.

        Yea telling a story if you are a story teller…or an emotional writer (like I am) that go pure on what emotions you have at that time. Lennon was like that…of course much better lol.


      5. You’ll have to like Dylan for me. His “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, “Lay, Lady, Lady” and “If Not For You” aren’t “prosey” (is that a word? it is, now…). They are very straight forward and great. I get lost in the other stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I sure will! It will make a songwriter throw his/her hands up…that is the same way I feel about Paul Simon…it’s like damn…I can’t top that

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe it’s because Highway 61 is held in such high regard as a turning point in 60’s youth culture, I’m not sure, but I sometimes forget how great this album is. Then I play it and I’m blown away. Yes, it’s very much a mirror to our modern world. “Advertising signs that con you, into thinking you’re the one, that can do what’s never been done, that can win what’s never been won, meantime life outside goes on all around you…” – brutal yet beautiful. Great choice, Max.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m going to make myself very unpopular here and admit to not liking Dylan very much. Or rather, not many of his songs when he’s singing them himself – I love most of his songs but prefer them done by other people. Knocking on heaven’s door is great, but again – I prefer many of the covers. That said, I did own a copy of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, and later I bought his album Oh Mercy – some of which I still play sometimes.

    My fave cover of Love Minus Zero was done by The Walker Brothers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Val, Val, Val, lol…It’s alright. The reason I like him is because…he has so much passion in his voice but it’s not a voice that everyone picks up on.
      It never once bothered me…it reminded me of Van Morrison on some songs…early Van and some Mick Jagger.

      I’ll check that one out.

      Liked by 1 person

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