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Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan
Label: Sony
Release: 1962

Tracklisting:
She's No Good
Talkin' New York
In My Time of Dyin'
Man of Constant Sorrow
Fixin' To Die
Pretty Peggy-O
Highway 51
Gospel Plow
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
House of the Risin' Sun
Freight Train Blues
Song for Woody
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan
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Average Blamo User Rating: (5 votes)

1962 saw a brand new face come along in folk music. Robert Zimmermann, a young upstart in the world of folk, recorded thisalbum in '62...unfortunately, there is 1 main problem with the album - a distinct lack of originals. This wasn't Dylan's own fault - he was required to write an "initiation" album as well, proving that he could do standards before he went on tohis own stuff. A shame, because by this time, Dylan was already writing great work - as proven by the 2 songs on here andthe Bootleg series.

This doesn't make for a bad album though - Bob Dylan plays the standards extremely well. The basic theme that runs throughout several of the songs is death - it's all in the songs "Gospel Plow", "In My Time of Dyin'", "Fixin' to Die"and "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean". "Gospel Plow" and "Fixin' To Die" are both played at a fast tempo, and they aren'tbad, although not as good as the other two - the other two are basically played in a slow blues. Aside from "House of the Risin' Sun", these two raging, slide-driven pieces would be the two best songs on this album.

Most of the other covers are pretty standard territory - Not bad, but nothing special. "She's No Good" opens the album ona fast and humourous note, with Dylan straining his voice on several occasions. There's yer basic standard "Man of ConstantSorrow", another fast run-through in the lively "Pretty Peggy-O", a standard blues in "Freight Train Blues" and Eric VonSchmidt's "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"

A couple of other works are worth mentioning - the 2 originals included. "Song for Woody" is a pretty standard tribute toBob's main influence, Woody Guthrie, and "Talkin' New York" is a humourous, stream-of-consciousness song in the same veinas "I Shall Be Free". There's another heavy, fast blues with the storming "Highway 51", and of course, the best work here- a fabulous recording of "House of the Risin' Sun". Better than the Animals' interpretation? I'd say they're about thesame. Both look at the songs from different perspectives, and whilst Dylan doesn't change the lyrics around for his version,both versions still have the same brooding, dark effect. Best work on here, for sure.

I think i'll give this album a 6 - the album certainly could have been better, if they had allowed Bob to put some more of his original songs on here. As it is, though, it's a good album, and it does stands on it's own. Nice record.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

this album is a nice little cover album of blues and folk standards. it's not brilliant, but it is quite good. not a bad way for mr. dylan to start.

in fact, two of the songs on here far surpass the more famous cover versions by other artists. in my time of dying in particular. the zeppelin cover had a really horrible jam in the middle: this version is as stark as can be with a 20 year old dylan sounding AMAZINGLY like a 79 year old dying bluesman.

the cover of "house of the rising sun" is better than the animals version because of the pure emotion inherent. He preaches it like nobodies business, and he doesn't change the lyric from "girl" to "boy" like the animals did, which helps to show you what the house really is.

those are the two standout tracks, and it features two dylan songs, neither among his best, although talking new york blues is hilarious.

don't buy it first when you start a dylan collection, but my god DO buy it. it's great fun.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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