Bob Dylan In 'Highway 61 Revisited'

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Justin Wagner Bob Dylan is revered as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and his album “Highway 61 Revisited”, released in 1965, is no exception to his genius lyricism. Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman in northern Minnesota, which seems far away from any music metropolis such as Chicago or New Orleans, but that did not stop him from becoming one of the most influential musicians of all time. Bob Dylan was influenced by the largely political lyrics and folk music of artists such as Woody Guthrie. This influence is obvious in almost all of Dylan’s song’s lyrics and especially in his earlier, strictly folk, albums. Minnesota was not known for any particular style of music, so the likelihood of his hometown have much musical influence …show more content…
These songs are not about the same old things that most rock ‘n’ roll songs are about, such as love and sex. Dylan instead focuses on make political statements about the society of the time. These political statements are sometimes veiled in almost surrealistic statements, which seem to come out of left field at first listen. One such example is the line “The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken” from the song “Tombstone Blues”. At first this seems like a completely nonsensical line, but when you analyze the words it actually makes sense. The words yellow and chicken are also ways of saying cowardly or weak, so this could be a criticism of people, specifically politicians, arguing using different words, but the narrative is still the same because the words mean the same. This is probably a critique of the escalation of the Vietnam War that was happening at the time that this album was released. There is a common theme between a few of the songs about being lost or stranded and not knowing what to do. One of these songs, and by far the most popularly successful off this album, is “Like a Rolling Stone”. This song seems to be about a once rich woman, who was given everything and didn’t have to work for it, that is now homeless and probably strung out on drugs. This theme of being lost is also evident in “Ballad of a Thin Man” when the subject, Mr. Jones, is …show more content…
In “Ballad of a Thin Man” near the beginning of the song it seems as though Bob chuckles as he tries to sign one of the lines. Because of the somber mood of this entire song, it seems kind of out of place, and I don’t really know why this line wasn’t rerecorded. It doesn’t take much away from the song, but it’s just a little thing that I noticed. Bob Dylan isn’t really known for his great singing voice anyway, so anyone who listens to this album shouldn’t be turned off by one little vocal guffaw. Another idiosyncratic thing on this album is in the song “Like a Rolling Stone”. The song music seems to cut out from stereo to mono near the beginning of the song. Again this doesn’t take too much away from the greatness of this song, but it is just something that I

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