Despite being an acclaimed author, musician, poet, and disc jockey, Bob Dylan’s greatest works date from the 1960s. His songs became the anthems of the anti-war movement and he became an informal chronicler of American unrest. Here are some of his most memorable works. For many people, Dylan’s music is one of the most important pieces of American popular culture. But what is it about Bob Dylan’s most famous songs?
Blonde on Blonde
The album is an extraordinary feat of songwriting, and contains endless lyrical and musical revelations. Its music is equally inventive, ranging from cutting guitar riffs to liquid organ riffs, crisp pianos to woozy Brass Bands. It is a milestone in Dylan’s development as an electric rock & roll musician; Dylan would never again release a studio record with such hard-edged imagery.
The cover photo is a classic example of Dylan’s creativity. The photograph depicts a gaunt Dylan with disarranged hair, pursed lips, and piercing eyes. He’s also holding a pair of pliers and a picture of an older woman. His clothes are also slightly out-of-focus. The photographer, Jerry Schatzberg, is a friend of the singer’s wife, Sara Lownds.
While his previous two albums were highly influential, Blonde on the other hand was a career-defining peak for Dylan. The album combines Nashville session musicians with his modernist literary sensibility. Its lyrics are described as a rare blend of visionary and colloquial. It’s no wonder Blonde on Blonde is often considered a masterpiece. And it’s one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time.
Blood On The Tracks
“Blood on the tracks” is one of the classic Bob Dylan songs. Although it has many facets, the lyrical content is not always clear. While Dylan’s early work was considered “pastoral,” his first proper studio album, Planet Waves, was released in 1974 and debuted at No. 1. The single “Forever Young” was Dylan’s biggest hit, but the album’s lyrical content was more varied and ambiguous than most of his previous efforts.
“Blood on the tracks” was recorded in the summer of 1974, a few years after Dylan returned to touring after an eight-year break. After living in Woodstock, upstate New York, and spurning the fast-paced, hedonistic life of touring artists, Dylan had decided to move back to the city after a decade. But his return to touring had a serious impact on his marriage, which was already suffering under the strain of the hectic lifestyle.
Although Dylan has denied it, the lyrics are as personal and raw as the singer himself. It’s not hard to imagine how Dylan felt while writing this album. His marriage to Sara Lownds had broken down in 1975, and the songs were inspired by the events of that time. Despite the fact that many of the songs were written as part of the breakup of Dylan and Noznisky, the album has a complex history. The songs are infused with a mixture of grief, regret, and bitterness.
Rough and Rowdy Ways
In 1969, Dylan’s debut studio album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, was released to critical acclaim. This album’s singles had achieved considerable success, and its critics praised it widely. The album reached the top spot in four year-end albums lists. It also peaked at No. 1 in over ten countries, including the United States. This is an example of Dylan’s ability to capture the imagination of an audience and inspire them to listen.
“Rough and Rowdy Ways of Bob’s” lyrics speak of reflection and experience. The lyrics are a combination of references and quotes that are carefully layered to conjure a profound message. Dylan layers meaning as incantation, mixing references to things that seem appropriate together for a good sound. He sets up oppositions in order to play with our understanding. And the album’s lyrics are a masterful reflection of the lyricist’s enduring power.
“Murder Most Foul” (the album’s title track) is a 17-minute ramble on the assassination of President Kennedy. Dylan sings in pouty sing-speak with tender orchestration, and his lyrics paint a picture of the slaying, all the while assigning blame to a collective evil. But Dylan’s vantage point expands beyond one famous murder to include the titles of works by Shakespeare and the Eagles.