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Desire

Bob Dylan

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Album Review

If Blood on the Tracks was an unapologetically intimate affair, Desire is unwieldy and messy, the deliberate work of a collective. And while Bob Dylan directly addresses his crumbling relationship with his wife, Sara, on the final track, Desire is hardly as personal as its predecessor, finding Dylan returning to topical songwriting and folk tales for the core of the record. It's all over the map, as far as songwriting goes, and so is it musically, capturing Dylan at the beginning of the Rolling Thunder Revue era, which was more notable for its chaos than its music. And, so it's only fitting that Desire fits that description as well, as it careens between surging folk-rock, Mideastern dirges, skipping pop, and epic narratives. It's little surprise that Desire doesn't quite gel, yet it retains its own character — really, there's no other place where Dylan tried as many different styles, as many weird detours, as he does here. And, there's something to be said for its rambling, sprawling character, which has a charm of its own. Even so, the record would have been assisted by a more consistent set of songs; there are some masterpieces here, though: "Hurricane" is the best-known, but the effervescent "Mozambique" is Dylan at his breeziest, "Sara" at his most nakedly emotional, and "Isis" is one of his very best songs of the '70s, a hypnotic, contemporized spin on a classic fable. This may not add up to a masterpiece, but it does result in one of his most fascinating records of the '70s and '80s — more intriguing, lyrically and musically, than most of his latter-day affairs. [In 2003, Columbia/Legacy reissued 15 selected titles from Dylan's catalog as hybrid SACDs, playable in both regular CD players and Super Audio CD players. Each title is packaged as a digipak, containing the full original artwork. On each of the titles, and on each of the layers, the remastered sound is spectacular, a considerable upgrade from the initial CD pressings.]

Customer Reviews

cleopatra's mom?

I've heard isis is the name of cleopatra's mother..not sure, but what a great song! there's a classic video out there called the rolling thunder revue..dylan at his craziest, and best. also, romance in durango is a great song, but find a live version to hear him truly rock it. love countrified dylan, and this album is among the best in his catalog..there's a rare album called dylan (not the new one) that has covers of sara jane, and lily of the west that's a must have if you like this album...and who doesn't?

What Happened?

Desire and Blood on the Tracks were some of the most haunting and inspirational music ever. From the depth of his lyric, to the violins, to the words. I just wanted more of this...More albums in this same style...

really good

Desire is an album that showcases Dylan's vocals considering what people may think. Hurricane deserves it's recognition and Isis as well. Not his greatest but really good.

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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