March 22: Bob Dylan’s “Bringing It All Back Home” was released in 1965

….when we recorded Bringing It All Back Home, that was like a break through point, it’s the kind of music I’ve been striving to make and I believe that in time people will see that. It’s hard to explain it, it’s that indefinable thing..
~Bob Dylan (Paul Gambaccini Interview, June 81)

This is the point where Dylan eclipses any conventional sense of folk and rewrites the rules of rock, making it safe for personal expression and poetry, not only making words mean as much as the music, but making the music an extension of the words. A truly remarkable album.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

#1 – Subterranean Homesick Blues

Johnny’s in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when
But you’re doin’ it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin’ for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
By the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

Wikipedia:

Released March 22, 1965
Recorded Columbia Recording Studios, New York City January 13–15, 1965
Genre Rock, folk, folk rock
Length 47:23
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Wilson

 

Bringing It All Back Home (known as Subterranean Homesick Blues in some European countries) is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. It was released on March 22, 1965, by Columbia Records.

The album features an electric half of songs, followed by a mostly acoustic half, while abandoning the protest music of Dylan’s previous records in favor of more surreal, complex lyrics. On side one of the original LP, Dylan is backed by an electric rock and roll band—a move that further alienated him from some of his former peers in the folk music community.

The album reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart, the first of Dylan’s LPs to break into the US top 10. It also topped the UK charts later that spring. The first track, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, became Dylan’s first single to chart in the US, peaking at No. 39. Bringing It All Back Home has been described as one of the greatest albums of all time by multiple publications.

The Songs & the Poetry

She Belongs to Me” extols the bohemian virtues of an artistic lover whose creativity must be constantly fed (“Bow down to her on Sunday / Salute her when her birthday comes. / For Halloween buy her a trumpet / And for Christmas, give her a drum.”)

She’s got everything she needs
She’s an artist, she don’t look back
She can take the dark out of the nighttime
And paint the daytime black

#2 –  She Belongs To Me

Love Minus Zero/No Limit” is a low-key love song, described by Tim Riley as a “hallucinatory allegiance, a poetic turn that exposes the paradoxes of love (‘She knows there’s no success like failure / And that failure’s no success at all’)…[it] points toward the dual vulnerabilities that steer ‘Just Like A Woman.’ In both cases, a woman’s susceptibility is linked to the singer’s defenseless infatuation.”

My love she speaks like silence
Without ideals or violence
She doesn’t have to say she’s faithful
Yet she’s true, like ice, like fire
People carry roses
Make promises by the hours
My love she laughs like the flowers
Valentines can’t buy her

I never wanted to write topical songs,…. Have you heard my last two records, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61? It’s all there. That’s the real Dylan.
~Bob Dylan (Frances Taylor Interview, Aug. 1965)

Among other things, Bringing It All Back Home had a substantial effect on the language of a generation..
~Paul Williams (BD Perfoming Artist 1960-73)

My thoughts, my personal needs have always
been expressed through my songs; you can feel them there even in ‘Mr Tambourine Man’. When I write a song, when I make a record, I don’t think about whether it’ll sell millions of copies. I only think about making it, the musical end-product, the sound, and
the rhythmic effect of the words.
~Bob Dylan (to Sandra Jones, June 1981)

A surrealist work heavily influenced by Rimbaud (most notably for the “magic swirlin’ ship” evoked in the lyrics), Heylin hailed it as a leap “beyond the boundaries of folk song once and for all, with one of [Dylan’s] most inventive and original melodies.” Riley describes “Mr. Tambourine Man” as “Dylan’s pied-piper anthem of creative living and open-mindedness…a lot of these lines are evocative without holding up to logic, even though they ring worldly.” Salon.com critic Bill Wyman calls it “rock’s most feeling paean to psychedelia, all the more compelling in that it’s done acoustically.”

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it

#8 – Mr. Tambourine Man

Legacy

One of Dylan’s most celebrated albums, Bringing It All Back Home was soon hailed as one of the greatest albums in rock history.

  • In 1979 Rolling Stone Record Guide, critic Dave Marsh wrote a glowing appraisal: “By fusing the Chuck Berry beat of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles with the leftist, folk tradition of the folk revival, Dylan really had brought it back home, creating a new kind of rock & roll […] that made every type of artistic tradition available to rock.”
  • Clinton Heylin later wrote that Bringing It All Back Home was possibly “the most influential album of its era. Almost everything to come in contemporary popular song can be found therein.”
  • In 2003, the album was ranked number 31 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
  • In a 1986 interview, film director John Hughes cited it as so influential on him as an artist that upon its release, “Thursday I was one person, and Friday I was another.”
  • The album was included in Robert Christgau‘s “Basic Record Library” of 1950s and 1960s recordings—published in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)—and in Robert Dimery’s music reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2010).
  • It was voted number 189 in the third edition of Colin Larkin‘s book All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).

The album closes with “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue“, ……  However, the lyric easily fits in with the main theme of the album, Dylan’s rejection of political folk, taking the form of a good-bye to his former, protest-folk self, according to the Rough Guide to Bob Dylan. According to this reading, Dylan sings to himself to “Leave your stepping stones [his political repertoire] behind, something calls for you. Forget the dead you’ve left [folkies], they will not follow you…Strike another match, go start anew.” The only musician besides Dylan to play on the song is Bill Lee on bass guitar.

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

#11 – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

 Track Listing:

Side one

  1. “Subterranean Homesick Blues” 2:21
  2. “She Belongs to Me” 2:47
  3. “Maggie’s Farm” 3:54
  4. “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” 2:51
  5. “Outlaw Blues” 3:05
  6. “On the Road Again” 2:35
  7. “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” 6:30

Side two

  1. “Mr. Tambourine Man” 5:30
  2. “Gates of Eden” 5:40
  3. “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” 7:29
  4. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” 4:12

 Personnel

  • Bob Dylan – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals
Additional musicians
  • John Boone – bass guitar
  • Al Gorgoni – guitar
  • Bobby Gregg – drums
  • Paul Griffin – piano, keyboards
  • John P. Hammond – guitar
  • Bruce Langhorne – guitar
  • Bill Lee – bass guitar
  • Joseph Macho, Jr. – bass guitar
  • Frank Owens – piano
  • Kenny Rankin – guitar
  • John B. Sebastian – bass guitar
Technical personnel
  • Daniel Kramer – photography
  • Tom Wilson – production

Bob Dyaln – Bringing it all back home(Spotify):
bringing-it-all-back-home

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