Bob Dylan 101: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan – Columbia – 1963
This is a young man who was meeting his destiny head on, and that is precisely what exists between the grooves of this record. Forget what you may have read or already know about Bob Dylan. Don’t think in terms of folk or acoustic, just listen, really listen.
“Blowin’ In The Wind” tears down the walls between right and wrong while refusing to offer any answers or shine a light on some seemingly simple solution. Sitting here listening to “Down the Highway” it feels like being inside a cave gazing upon the most brilliant paintings created by one lone voice crying in the wilderness. "A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall" is rock and roll at its most primal. One hears Elvis Presley as much as Woody Guthrie as this ribbon of highway unravels before us. The performance is both dark and foreboding as it pulls us down into its patriotic anti-lullaby with its luscious world weariness. It’s interesting that alongside some of his more political compositions like “Masters of War” and “Oxford Town” exist two of Dylan’s most heartbreaking songs, “Girl From The North Country” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”. It also features some of his funniest lines, “In my Cadillac. Good car to drive after a war”, from “Talkin’ World War III Blues”.
This was not just a beginning for Bob, but was also in some ways an ending as he walks down the middle of the street with Suze Rotolo, both of them freezing right down to the bone. This record is an epiphany and needs to be experienced if you really want to get to know Bob Dylan for the song and dance man he has always been and continues to be.