I had heard the rumors for years, but I didn’t think it actually would happen. My takes on a few Dylan albums:
FreeWheelin’ Bob Dylan: One of his most listenable and underrated albums, the same is true for Another Side of Bob Dylan.
Bringing It All Back Home: The album I fell in love with as a kid. Some of it is overwrought but mostly still amazing, perhaps his highest peaks.
Highway 61 Revisited: Half of it is wonderful, but it contains excess and some so-so judgment.
Blonde on Blonde: Many see this as Dylan’s peak, but I don’t listen to it much. Somehow the sound is a little harsh for my taste.
The Basement Tapes: The most overrated, too much murky slush and slosh.
Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, vol.II: The perfect medley.
Blood on the Tracks: Maybe the most consistent and listenable album, though it’s not pathbreaking in the way that the mid-sixties work was.
Time Out of Mind: An amazing “late career” work.
Dylan’s memoir is excellent, and his most underrated contribution outside of creating music is the CDs he edited for satellite radio, many hours of Dylan selecting and playing classics from early American musical history, blues, country, mixed styles, perhaps the single best look at the early evolution of American popular music. Many hours of listening pleasure. Bob Dylan Radio Hour. And the Martin Scorsese four-hour bio-documentary on Dylan is one of the better movies ever made, No Direction Home it is called.
If I recall correctly, three of the Conversations with Tyler turned to the topic of Bob Dylan. Camille Paglia loves the song “Desolation Row,” Cass Sunstein is a big fan, especially of some of the early period work, and Ezra Klein feels he is overrated, I guess that means especially overrated now.
Congratulations to Bob Dylan, polymath!