Bringing It All Back Home review
Dylan's fifth studio album Bringing It All Back Home was his
strongest to date, and topping Another Side of Bob Dylan is
no easy task. The first half of the disc, Dylan uses a solid
backing band and the second half is acoustic oriented beginning with
"Mr. Tambourine Man." Of the acoustic tracks two songs are
solo Dylan pieces and the other two songs he is supported only by
guitarist Bruce Langhorn.
Perhaps a comment about the most recognizable track
"Mr. Tambourine Man" will set the ambiance. While "Mr.
Tambourine Man" is overplayed, it wears well and is truly a
great song. It is a perfect example of how Bringing It All Back
Home transitioned Bob Dylan's folk music to a more electric level.
The song offers the acoustic feel and harmonica, but more
importantly the poetic lyrics and phrasing. But what makes this
track such a gem is adding the striking Nashville like guitar
lines courtesy of Bruce Langhorn. That style paved the wave for the next phase of Dylan's
career. Other classic tracks, "She Belongs To
Me," "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," are in the
mold of "Mr. Tambourine Man" with the well placed melodic
guitar phrasing that Dylan began to use more and more in the albums
to follow. Both "She Belongs To
Me," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," have alternate studio
renditions released on the CD version of Bootleg
Series Vol. 7.
blues numbers make their appearance, notably on the first half of
the disc. The best of the them include the essential classics
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Maggie's
songs "Gates of Eden" and "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only
Bleeding)" are great Bob Dylan solo pieces. Those tracks would be added to his
live shows with a song that was recorded during the Bringing It
All Back Home sessions "If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got To Stay All Night)"
typically slipped in between the songs. Live renditions of the three
tracks were released on Bootleg
Series Volume 6, while the studio rendition of the outtake
"If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got To Stay All Night)"
was included on Bootleg
Series Volume 1 - 3. Meanwhile, "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only
Bleeding)" would be played by Dylan acoustically during the 1974 tour with Bob Dylan
and The Band and is available on the classic Before
disc closes with the classic "It's All Over Now, Baby
Blue"; what phrasing and awesome guitar accompaniment. Overall, Bringing It All Back Home
is a classic album. Besides a few average songs in the middle of the
disc, everything else is vintage.
Barry Small ©