Bob Dylan: Playlist: The Very Best of Bob Dylan, 1980’s

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Bob Dylan
Playlist: The Very Best of Bob Dylan, 1980’s
[Rating: 3 stars]

To be honest, for most of my adult life – spent mostly working in record stores, being a record snob – Dylan’s ’80s output wasn’t much more than a punchline. Starting with the hackneyed Christianity of Saved (as opposed to the rather well-executed Christianity of Slow Train Coming) and really just spiraling out of control until hitting bottom with Dylan & The Dead, the ’80s saw the poet laureate of rock and roll make some of the worst music of his career. Which isn’t to say that he didn’t make any good music during that era – “Jokerman” is pretty rad and “Brownsville Girl” made Knocked Out Loaded kinda okay – it’s just tougher to see the high points when the valley’s are so low. That and I loathe commercial recording in the ’80s. Seriously, who thought all that reverb was a good idea? Or the dead-fish-on-wet-cardboard snare sound that dominated the era? I’ll never get it, but at least we live in an age where Dylan’s catalog has been thoroughly culled, and somebody has gone through the effort to assemble the best of non-classic-era Dylan in to one convenient place – better them than me I suppose. While lacking the pure visceral punch of his classic era hits, Playlist manages to shine a kind light on one the master’s most often ignored artistic phases. Kinda funny how it works out, eh?

Playlist: The Very Best of Bob Dylan: 1980’s Track Listing:

1. Silvio
2. Foot Of Pride
3. Blind Willie McTell
4. Jokerman
5. Pressing On
6. Everything Is Broken
7. Series Of Dreams (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
8. Most Of The Time (Alternate Version, Oh Mercy)
9. The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar
10. Every Grain Of Sand
11. Sweetheart Like You
12. Brownsville Girl
13. Dignity
14. Dark Eyes


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  1. The entire ‘Infidels’ lp from 1983 really was very good, totally underrated. Check it out. Dylan struggles with religious and political themes throughout with some excellent songwriting.

    “They say that patriotism is the last refuge
    to which a scoundrel clings.
    Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
    steal a lot and they make you king.”

    Tell me that bit of poetic foresight didn’t bit this country in its collective @ss 25 years later.

  2. Have you forgotten about Biograph? Ever damn song on that album is good, especially the previously unreleased tracks….and Blind Willie, Foot Of Pride and Series of Dreams were outtakes that were not released until the 90s….this is a hack article

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Darius Rucker: Charleston, SC 1966