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Blonde On Blonde (2010 Mono Version)

Bob Dylan

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iTunes Review

It's hard to believe that, a mere two years before he released Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan was a diehard folkie armed with just an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. At the same time, anyone who'd been listening to him closely must have noticed that a simple folk structure would not be able to contain his increasingly ambitious songs. Dylan had begun to incorporate an electric rock sound on his two previous releases, but Blonde on Blonde made the transformation complete. By 1966, his creative juices were flowing almost beyond control; musical and lyrical innovation was pouring out of him faster than he could harness them. Released in May of thaty ear, this double album is a sprawling masterpiece,bursting at the seams with a wide array of musical influences (blues, country, folk) and surreal, envelope-pushing lyrics. Beautiful ballads such as "Visions of Johanna" and "Just Like a Woman" hew more closely to the folkie mindset, while "Rainy Day Women" is just plain rock and roll fun. "Stuck Inside of Mobile" blends the two sensibilities remarkably well. A truly classic album.

Customer Reviews

Like the first time I heard Dylan

I can't believe the utter quality of these recording, this brings me back to the days where I first started listening to Dylan, before I was rabid fan, with the guitar, drums, base, piano, and finally the organ to bring sweet beauty to my ears, backed by Dylan's lovely symbolist poetry that no can help to admire, who needs the Beatles when you got this God or at least taking notes through God's hand.

The Definitive Version of the Definitive Album

Blonde on Blonde remains one of the strongest albums in rock and roll. At times it's mysterious, other's it's wild and crazy, other times it's reserved, sometimes beautiful, sometimes acidic, sometimes tender, but it is always great. It's really one of the few real Dylan "albums" out there, in the full sense of the word. Every song seems to come from an indistinct point, and they all have this very warm and smoky sound. It's also one of those albums that is timeless and doesn't sound like a product from the 60s.

But enough people have waxed poetic about this album.

Now, finally, you have access to the definitive mono mix of this album in the digital realm. In many ways, stereo for pop music was like widescreen for television shows. A lot of albums made use of it, but very few took advantage of it early on, while the music tracking and mixing was focused mainly on the mono version. It wasn't until the late 60s that stereo overtook mono as the main format for albums. Mono records outsold stereo, mono records were also cheaper than stereo. AM radio only broadcasted in mono, and FM was only in its infancy. And jukeboxes were pretty much mono only. From the Beatles to the Beach Boys to the Young Rascals to even Bob Dylan, mono was the version that artists focused on. Stereo often exposes how the tracks were recorded and track, but mono captures what they were going for.

For many albums and songs, the mono mix has a more balanced mix, has heavier bass, and has a more cohesive sound than the stereo mixes of the same vintages, mostly because of technical reasons. But the real interest comes from albums that have distinct differences, sometimes as minor as slightly different fadeout, and sometimes as major as an overdub being completely different.

Blonde on Blonde is a very different album in mono than it is in stereo, and not just for technical reasons. The mono album was a labor of love, with many of the mistakes on the masters being edited out for the mono mix while the stereo mix kept them in tact. "One Of Us Must Know" comes to a full, loud ending rather than fading out at the last chord on most stereo versions (initially done for vinyl tracking reasons, it comes at the end of a side). The mono manages to capture that busy, lively sound that they were clearly coming for, where the stereo mixes sound sparse.

If you don't have Blonde on Blonde, this is the version to get. It is the mix that represents the sound Dylan was going for in the studio, and has all the mistakes corrected. If you already have the album in stereo, I find that it is interesting to compare the subtle and major differences that can arise between the albums. And if you are a fanatic, then there's no reason to have this.

It's great that rock and roll history is finally being restored. We're not just getting the songs and album configurations, but we're also finally getting the original sound.

Finally

The way the music is supposed to sound!!

Biography

Born: May 24, 1941 in Duluth, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist's role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock....
Full Bio

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