The year 2007 has me revisiting
some Bob Dylan releases. I haven't heard his album Infidels since sometime in the
mid-1980's, a few years after its release. I thought it was pretty good then, and would rank it a few notches better
than that now.
Looking back at the track list, several of the songs I am familiar with from hearing live recordings and seeing some live performances. Though, any live versions is only a supplement, not a replacement for the versions here. So
with a good number of Dylan classics and strong renditions there is
much to enjoy on Infidels.
Dylan's band is very good on this recording with the most noticeable aspect being the guitar playing of Mark
Knopfler giving the
album a touch of Dire
Straits. Mick Taylor, most known for being a member of the
Rolling Stones during the period between Brian Jones and Ron Wood, is also on the album. Taylor's role is as big as
Knopfler's, but his signature is not defining like Knopfler's. Rather, he just adds good solo's and fills throughout, but if the album credits didn't list Taylor you'd think, hey, this guitar player has some nice musical
statements, who is it? Conversely, with Knopfler, if you know his playing, in numerous places, you'd say, that is Mark
Knopfler; his tone is
apparent from the albums opening track. It is easy to hear which
guitarist plays which part in the mix. It is a good album to play in headphones.
The second song, "Sweetheart Like You" has a strong guitar solo to end the song, very blues oriented, with Taylor
defining the mood, and also he and Knopfler trade some passages back and forth. The riff at 3:55 mark
reminiscent of classic 1970's Allman Brothers Band sound and the closure chord sequence very (The) Band like.
The track "Union Sundown" is one of the many highlights. A nice upbeat mood, strong delivery by Dylan, perhaps the best guitar on the album. While the riff
has Knopfler's signature, the slide guitar by Taylor steals the show. That is followed by "I and I," a slower track that allows for
Knopfler to play off the keyboards as well as Taylor.
Infidels is a very, very good album and is more than worthwhile. I wouldn't rank this as top tier
material. Dylan's album vary so much in terms of style and personnel so how high in the second tier releases it should go would really be dependant upon the type of
music you enjoy. Since I like the band personnel mix I'd probably place it higher than most fans.
If you are a Dire Straits fans and like Dylan, you'll enjoy hearing Knopfler's
solos and fills through out the album.