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Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

Bob Dylan

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Album Review

Where Dylan's first Greatest Hits took its title literally, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 is a greatest-hits album only in the loosest sense of the term. While the double album does contain several genuine hits — "Lay Lady Lay," "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You," the non-LP "Watching the River Flow" — it is largely comprised of album tracks that became classics, either through Dylan's own version or through covers. These include "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "All I Really Want to Do," "My Back Pages," "Maggie's Farm," "She Belongs to Me," "If Not for You," and "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," among many others. There are also various rarities scattered throughout the 21 songs, including a live version of "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" from 1963, a live take of "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)," and the Basement Tapes songs "I Shall Be Released," "Down in the Flood," and "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere." While some of the cuts may not be immediately familiar to some listeners, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 in many ways is a more accurate picture of the depth and breadth of Dylan's talents, making it an excellent introduction. And it's not just for casual fans, because the rarities and sequencing are revealing for even devoted Dylan fans.

Customer Reviews

Stunning Songs

This album really showcases the amazing breadth of Dylan's talent in his popular prime. There are treasures galore here - from the early virtuosity and lilt of "Don't think Twice," the disillusioned "My Back Pages" and the wonderfully bitter kiss-off, "Positively 4th Street"...One particular gem is the spare, lovely live recording of "Tomorrow is a Long Time", a stunningly personal, shell-shocked expression of the after-effects of love gone wrong, sung with harrowing, rough-sawn tenderness.

Arguably Dylan's greatest collection from the glory years

Almost every song here is a gem. The top song, by far, is Watching the River Flow: Dylan rocks! (Or, rather, Leon Russell gets him to rock). And it's great fun to hear so many songs covered by the yrds here so as to argue forever about which version is better. If the only Dylan you know is the croaking old guy, get this album to hear him at his best.


This has been my favorite Bob Dylan album, compilation or otherwise, since the 1970s, but has anyone else noticed that All I Really Want to Do, My Back Pages, and Hard Rain, are all in mono? With the recent release of the mono box I have been more in tune with these things, and these three tracks are definitely the original mono takes. Another reason to love the album.


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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