Sunday, March 18, 2012

For Every Hung-Up Person in the Whole Wide Universe

Bob Dylan came out 50 years ago today, launching the most remarkable career in modern music history. The recently released Chimes of Freedom four-CD set, featuring nearly 80 Dylan covers by fans, friends, acolytes and people I've never heard of, pays tribute to the breadth of that career.

As a measure of the rise and fall of Dylan's songwriting muse, I've made note of the album that each of those songs represent, to see when Dylan was writing his most fabled compositions. This is the first appearance on an official Dylan LP for each, so that "The Mighty Quinn" is not listed on The Basement Tapes, when it was first recorded, but on Self-Portrait, which is always nice to stick up for. Albums without any songs on Chimes of Freedom aren't listed; sorry, Knocked Out Loaded.

The biggest upset is that there are more songs from Street-Legal (3) than from Highway 61 Revisited (2). There's even one song that's never been released on a Dylan album - or even recorded by Dylan, I don't think. But we'll get to that.

Bob Dylan: 1 ("Baby, Let Me Follow You Down," by Marianne Faithfull [!])
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan: 5
The Times They Are a-Changin': 7 (That's seven out of ten total.)
Another Side of Bob Dylan: 3
Bringing It All Back Home: 7
Highway 61 Revisited: 2
Blonde on Blonde: 6
John Wesley Harding: 2
Nashville Skyline: 2
Self-Portrait: 1
New Morning: 1
Greatest Hits Vol. 2: 3
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: 1
Planet Waves: 1
Blood on the Tracks: 4
The Basement Tapes: 1 (Other songs from The Basement Tapes appear on the package, but the only one that got its first release on a Dylan LP here was "This Wheel's on Fire.")
Desire: 1
Street-Legal: 3
Slow Train Coming: 1
Shot of Love: 2
Infidels: 2
Empire Burlesque: 1
Biograph: 2
Oh Mercy: 3
Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3: 4
MTV Unplugged: 1 ("John Brown." Believe it or not.)
Time Out of Mind: 4
Never released: 1

That never-released song is "I'd Have You Anytime," which Dylan wrote with George Harrison and appeared as the opening track on All Things Must Pass.


  1. I've just spent four days in a place where you'd think Dylan would be well-known, or at least well-remembered: Hibbing, Minnesota, and environs, where he was born and raised. Those who refer to him there first recall him as "that singer." Then, once prompted, they repeat his name with something between annoyance and real disdain.

  2. Hibbing is just about the coldest community in America, isn't it? I imagine the only phrase the residents there wouldn't treat with annoyance and disdain is "leaving Hibbing."

  3. Oh, you're thinking of International Falls, about 60 miles north. Hibbing is the garden spot of the entire Iron Range.

  4. Where are the other colloquizers?