- Whatcha Gonna Do? Dylan’s magnificent 1962 blues, once rushed, once perfect
- Hero Blues: the song that almost replaced the magnificent “One to Many Mornings”
- Kingsport Town: Dylan in 1962 looking back to the traditions of the travelling singer
- “Walkin Down the Line” by Bob Dylan. Everyone seems to have recorded their own version
- Paths of Victory: various versions of Dylan’s song, and a sousaphone
- Quit your Lowdown Ways: a major hit for Bob Dylan, although now somewhat forgotten
- Bob Dylan’s Rambling Gambling Willie: three versions including one masterpiece.
- Dylan in 1961: the overview
- Hard times in New York Town; Dylan re-writing rural classics for the urban chic.
- Man on the Street. Bob Dylan’s reworking of the 19th century ballad.
- Talkin Hava Negeilah blues: Bob Dylan being silly? Or making a point?
- Talkin Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues: Dylan’s first song of note?
- Got My Mind Made Up: Dylan re-writes Petty, but what does it mean?
- I will love Him: Bob Dylan announces the second coming is getting close
- “Rock em dead”: Dylan and the gang having fun on stage, and well worth a listen.
- “Sweetheart like you”: deep meanings or general observations inside Dylan’s song?
- License to kill: Bob tells us the moon landings were not such a good idea.
- Yonder comes sin: Dylan’s abandoned (but so exciting) extravaganza.
- Need a woman: prepared by Dylan, transmuted by Cooder, as Bob enters his post-Christian world
- In the summertime. Is Dylan slowly revealing his movement away from the faith?
- Clean Cut Kid: one of the few anti-war songs by Bob Dylan
- I and I: God finds out Dylan thinks He maybe isn’t almighty after all.
- Under your spell: one of Bob Dylan’s stranger collaborations
- Shake: Bob Dylan’s 12 bar blues for Farm Aid
- “Never gonna be the same again” If this is the price of “Dark Eyes” I’d pay it 1000 times over.
- Spirit on the water: Dylan borrows from God, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Ovid.
- Waiting to get beat: Dylan goes Ska
- “Tragedy of the trade”: the background (and maybe source) to the Dylan and Goffin song
- “Howlin at your window” – we’ve found one of Bob Dylan’s most obscure songs
- “Well, well, well.” If you have never heard this Dylan song, listen now
- Emotionally yours: the meaning behind the music and the lyrics
- Trust Yourself: the absolute renunciation of Dylan’s Christian era.
- “I’ll remember you”: how Dylan’s experiments brought him to this song
- “Are You Ready?” The Christian side of Positively Fourth Street.
- Let Me Die in My Footsteps: was this Dylan’s first masterpiece?
Indexes and reference pages
- A classification of Dylan’s songs
- About the author
- About the reviews
- Articles on Bob Dylan
- Dylan anniversaries
- Dylan songs of the 1960s
- Dylan songs of the 1970s
- Dylan songs of the 1980s
- Dylan songs of the 1990s
- Dylan songs of the 21st century
- Dylan’s Opening Lines: an index
- Untold Dylan: “I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours”
Category Archives: Essential Bob Dylan
By Tony Attwood From as early as 1963 Dylan was highly engaged in writing “lost love” songs with an extra edge. “Lost Love” was defined by the English academic Professor Keith Swanwick of London University Institute of Education as one … Continue reading
Here’s a simple thought: “What is Lay Lady Lay” about? There’s an oft-repeated story that when the Everly Brothers heard it they mistook it for a song about lesbians, and turned it down. That was based on a mishearing. With … Continue reading
By Tony Attwood (revised March 2013) What is it that makes Dylan stay with Maggie’s Farm? Hardly a tour goes by without it being wheeled out, it has been on over half a dozen albums and it was part of … Continue reading
Subterranean Homesick Blues This was Dylan’s first successful attempt to integrate the emotions of the Beat Generation which he had understood from Alan Ginsberg and others combining the thoughts of the moment with three minutes of everything that was happening … Continue reading
The second of the two love songs from the first side of “Bringing it all back home” is infinitely more complex than “She Belongs To Me”. While musically it seems to be straightforward, the lyrics (and indeed the very title, … Continue reading
And what are we to make of Dignity. Raved over by many Dylan fans, it didn’t turn up on the mainstream albums, but appeared on the Essential album, and twice on the 2008 outtakes album. The Essential Bob Dylan version … Continue reading
Below in the review of this song that I wrote in 2008. After that is an additional commentary added in March 2013. Changing of the Guards: first track on Street Legal, failed to make it as a single (presumably because … Continue reading
By Tony Attwood Dylan’s commentary on being dislocated from the world, while being within it – here but not here – spreads across a multiplicity of his songs. It wasn’t there at the start – Times they are a-changing dripped … Continue reading
Blind Willie McTell This review updated 8 October 2016 including the addition of the link to the Dylan recording of the electric version of this song – see the end of the review, and some further thoughts on the lack … Continue reading
Not Dark Yet is one of the triumphs of Dylan’s later work – a pivotal point on the album, the darkest moment (despite the title) which then leads the way towards light. I’ll consider the album as a … Continue reading
By Tony Attwood “There must be some way out of here”; a simple but powerful start to this commentary on being controlled by organisations, social mores and responsibility. And as the song progresses the singer does indeed begin to find … Continue reading
Coming back to the songs from the early albums after 40 years or more it is interesting to see how beautifully constructed they are. It is as if Dylan spent far more time on these early pieces, crafting … Continue reading
By Tony Attwood. This review revised September 2014 Two lines of music – just eight bars long – repeated over and over and over. And yet it is brilliant, a song one never tires of because the record is so … Continue reading