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Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

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Editors’ Notes

Greatest Hits had collected the 10 most obvious singles from Bob Dylan's career up through its 1967 release date, while Greatest Hits, Vol. 2—released in November 1971 and said to have been compiled by Dylan himself—fleshes out the picture with deeper album cuts and a few new recordings that are equally essential. For the hardcore Dylan collector, the draws (which have great artistic value, regardless of their rarity status) include the 1971 single-only "Watching the River Flow," the outtake "When I Paint My Masterpiece," a live version of "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" from Dylan's 1963 appearance at New York City's Town Hall, and three songs recorded in 1971 with Happy Traum: "I Shall Be Released," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," and "Down in the Flood." (Dylan had previously recorded those three in 1967 with The Band; those sessions remained unreleased until 1975's The Basement Tapes.) It's interesting that Dylan chose nothing from his debut album and only one track from Blonde on Blonde, the album he later singled out as being his best. Bottom line: this "hits" collection is as poetic and inscrutable as the man himself.

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.

Mono

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.

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....
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