- Bob Dylan in 1973: moving into the second round of unadulterated genius
- Bob Dylan’s Broken Hearts Club: a review of Blood on the Tracks
- “Tell me” by Bob Dylan; just a sketch that happened to be recorded.
- Bob Dylan in 1972. Still not writing much, but what he wrote gave a hint of what might come next…
- “Someone’s got a hold of my heart”: why Dylan might have decided to re-write it.
- Thief on the Cross: after 3 years of converting the fans this was Dylan’s last gospel song
- Jesus is the one: Bob Dylan off the rails
- Bob Dylan in 1971 – taking more time out but producing two brilliant songs.
- City of Gold: Bob Dylan goes gospel and is found by the Dixie Hummingbirds
- “Let’s keep it between us”: one of the astounding Dylan songs from a bumper year
- Dylan in 1970: a stuttering return to song writing.
- Dylan’s “Ain’t gonna go to hell for anybody” and the reason why the song doesn’t appear on Bob’s official site
- Bob Dylan in 1969: everything is lovely
- Dylan’s “Peggy Day”: a simple landscape too good to be true.
- Bob Dylan in 1968: as his country pulls itself apart, Dylan takes a year out.
- Dylan in 1967: a year of two (or maybe three) halves.
- Bob Dylan in 1966: the creation of a masterpiece, the decline into desperation
- Bob Dylan in 1965: the overview – the year Dylan invented two totally new forms of music.
- Dylan in 1964: the overview. Adding new themes to the repertoire
- Bob Dylan in 1963: the overview. Dylan the storyteller.
- Only a hobo; Dylan’s re-working of several traditional songs, finally rescued by Rod Stewart
- Bob Dylan’s compositions of 1962 and their themes: what was Dylan doing in his first prolific year?
- 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?
Indexes and reference pages
- A classification of Dylan’s songs
- About the author
- About the reviews
- Articles on Bob Dylan
- Bob Dylan year by year; decade by decade
- 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 According to some the imagery in this song comes from the 21st chapter of the prophet Isaiah when a watchman on the watchtower sees two riders approaching. Here is the text in the King James Version. 6 For … 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