Monday, August 28, 2006

Lost Dylan Albums That Influenced Dylan

Just when did Bob Dylan start feeling his oats again? After those crappy albums in the 80's and early 90's, came 1997's Time Out Of Mind. Murky and eerie, to my ears. But it's that album that critic's cite as the one that got Dylan interested in making records again. But they're wrong. The albums that did it for him were 1992/93's Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong. Both cover albums of old folk songs. The type Dylan did when he first picked up a guitar. Neither album sold well. My Billboard Joel Whitburn Album book says neither one was even certified gold. But the praise given those records is what made Dylan step up for Time Out Of Mind. Five years after Love and Theft, he drops Modern Times. I don't find it as immediate as the former. It doesn't rock out enough. And there are one too many slow dirges here. But it kicks in just enough to make up for its slow spots. As a sequel to Love and Theft, Modern Times is like that Billy Bragg/Wilco followup to Mermaid Avenue. Not a classic but worthy. And in 2006, isn't that all we can ask of Bob Dylan.
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