Analysis of Bob Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks' (1975)

4120 WordsSep 4, 201317 Pages
"Blood on the Tracks" is generally regarded as Bob Dylan's best album after his mid-'60s trilogy of electric rock, consisting of the iconic universally beloved albums "Bringing It All Back Home", "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde". It's a somber yet temperamental record that people tend to call his "break-up album" or his most 'confessional' one, despite Dylan's own claims that he doesn't write confessional songs, having tried that once without much success (referring to "Ballad in Plain D", which he regretted writing and recording). "Blood on the Tracks" is a pretty straightforward work of music in terms of lyrics, lacking the enigmatic nature of his magnum opus "Blonde on Blonde", the eccentric warmth of "Planet Waves" which preceded it, the exoticism of "Desire" which followed it, and definitely the cynicism and deviance that hounds 1978's underrated "Street-Legal". Despite being devoid of happiness, the album is hardly callous - it is a blizzard of woeful emotions that showcase Bob as a vulnerable and mature human being, which is an interesting change from 1974's "Planet Waves" that consists mostly of short love songs - Dylan's comes off unusually affable on that album; it truly conveys his enjoyment of playing music and singing. Dylan first recorded "Blood on the Tracks" in New York and later decided to re-record most of it with a backing band after his brother suggested it the original may perhaps be too monotonous. One of the recognizable features of "Blood on the Tracks" are the first evidences of Dylan's capabilities as a storyteller, which John Wesley Harding already hinted at approximately 8 years before ("The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" is one of Bob's most complex ballads). The album opens with a great jumbled tale, one of his most well-known songs: "Tangled Up in Blue". The track brilliantly introduces one to the moods and

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