Collection: 6. Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde

Bob Dylan put out seven albums in his first four years on Columbia, a creative arc perhaps best represented by a hot-air balloon going straight up into the stratosphere. In this formulation, Blonde on Blonde—lucky No. 7, released when Dylan was hungry and it was his world—is the point where his music reaches the edges of space, the frightening limit beyond which it could go no further. This is the album with the most intricate melodies, the harshest harmonica bleats, the most tangled imagery; it subtweets John Lennon, tells you where to hang your binoculars, and correctly notes that to live outside the law, you have to be honest. It’s the one with Dylan’s funniest jokes but it’s also filled with crushing heartbreak, and it’s the one with the best drumming and the fattest organ sound.

Dylan never made another record like it. Blonde on Blonde is a sprawling and messy double-album, a record that opens with an adolescent joke about weed and closes with an epic, surreal, and deeply moving side-long meditation on love. Improbably, despite its length and speed-addled excess and rhymes that are approximately 20 percent duds, it all hangs together, not unlike a mattress balancing on a bottle of wine. About two months after its release, Dylan may or may not have taken a motorcycle ride that ended in a crash, and the balloon that shot skyward would drop a few thousand feet. The view was still great, but the air wasn’t quite so thin, and the mercury sound wasn’t quite so wild. –Mark Richardson / Pitchfork.com

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  • BOB DYLAN - BLONDE ON BLONDE (2LP) VINYL
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