Well, this is another one I had to buy from Amazon.  Fortunately, I got it for the bargain basement price of $3.97.  Quite a deal for such an excellent album.  Now, mi madre is a huge Bob Dylan fan, so I remember growing up listening to her play this album on the beautiful wood cabinet stereo in the living room.  The stereo had a turntable, a tuner, and an 8-track player (yes, apparently I am that old) in it, and I used to love watching the LPs spin and the lights on the 8-track light up.  I think she had this album on vinyl, as I vaguely remember the album cover, but I definitely remember her bellowing “How does it feeeel?” as she sang along to “Like a Rolling Stone”.  Despite her love of all things Bob Dylan, I never really caught the bug, even though Bob Dylan is technically my first rock concert: I was taken on a family trip to see Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead on a triple-bill at the Akron Rubber Bowl when I was 8 years old.  As awesome as that sounds now, I was sadly too young to appreciate it and I don’t remember much of it.

However, this album makes me want to listen to more Bob Dylan.  The lyrics are what sets it apart…Dylan is witty, satirical, philosophical, and sarcastic, sometimes all in the same stanza.  It seems one could literally spend years analyzing the myriad of historical and literary references present on this album.  Musically it is rather varied, with some tracks being very bluesy and others straight-forward rock.  Interestingly, several of the songs abandon the strophic (verse-chorus-verse-chorus) formula and are just basically lengthy narratives with harmonica or guitar fills in between the stanzas.

Other lists: “Like a Rolling Stone” is the #1 song on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Songs of All Time.  Also on the list are “Desolation Row” at #187 and “Highway 61 Revisited” at #373.  Bob Dylan is #2 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists, and is #7 on the list of the 100 Greatest Singers.

My favorite track: “Like a Rolling Stone”

Honorable mention: “Desolation Row”

Quote: “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose”