Friday, February 15, 2008


Steve Earle once said that Townes van Zante was the greatest American song writer of all time & that he'd be willing to get up on Dylan's coffee table in his cowboy boots and shout it. I suppose Steve Earle is entitled to his opinion, as wrong as it might be, but I'd be more than willing to get up on his coffee table in a pill-box hat and tell him how wrong he is. Plus, I'd get to meet Steve Earle which would be pretty cool. Anyway, many moons ago, I had a copy of Dylan & the Band's The Basement Tapes on vinal, but then my record player broke & @ the time it was hard to get moderately priced ones. They've again become more popular, but back then they were mainly for DJs so they were really nice and consequently expensive. As this impeded my listening ability, I hadn't listen to a lot of my stuff in about 7 years (Solstice was a baby when it broke), but I found the Basement Tapes on CD on Amazon the other day for 3 bucks so I now have a nice CD version and nice it certainly is. It's so much better than I remembered. Their writing and orchestration is amazing. It sounds so far ahead of its time. In fact, when he played "Down in the Flood" last fall, I thought it was a new song because it sounds so similar to his new stuff. Listening to it this week got me thinking about 2 things
1) It's been a long time since my last music post
2) What are my 10 favorite Dylan songs?
As it turns out, I had to go w/ 25 which was hard enough. Here they are in order of recording. Most are from a 4 year period which may say more about my tastes than about his writing, but this list does span the etirety of his career. We'll see in 10 years if his newest stuff will still make the cut or if I'm just being nice. Feel free to add your favs to the comments section.

Girl of the North Country (1963)
Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (1963)
Boots of Spanish Leather (1964)
Mama You Been on My Mine (1964)
When the Ship Comes In (1964)
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (1965)
Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
It Takes a lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (1965)
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (1965)
Love Minus Zero / No Limit (1965)
Visions of Johanna (1966)
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (1966)
Absolutely Sweet Marie (1966)
You Ain't Goin' No Where (1968)
Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)(1968)
(Crash on the Levee) Down in the Flood (1968)
All Along the Watchtower (1968)
Tonight I'll be Stayin' Here w/ You (1969)
When I Paint my Masterpiece (1971)
Buckets of Rain (1975)
If You See Her Say Hello (1975)
Tangled Up in Blue (1975)
Jokerman (1983)
Not Dark Yet (1997)
Thunder on the Mountain (2006)


Jules said...

How does Desolation Row not make your list? It's such an amazing song! It's Alright Ma and Sad Eyed Lady would be on my list too, although i could see why some people would discount the latter.

Andre said...

Actually, all three almost made the cut. It's funny because I've taught Desolation Row in my poetry classes before, but I couldn't find space on teh list for it.

Elizabeth said...

It's crazy,but your chronological order is my favorite first three. I don't know what order though.

Andre said...

Actually, I know that about you. In fact, it was your influence that turned me on to "Boots of Spanish Leather."