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John Wesley Harding (2010 Mono Version)

Bob Dylan

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Seen as a harbinger of rock's post-Peppers back-to-basics movement upon its release the last week of 1967, John Wesley Harding transcended easy categorization. As gnomic as Highway 61 Revisited, but as hushed in its own funky way as Another Side of Bob Dylan, Harding stands as one of Dylan's greatest albums. Cut in Nashville with a three-piece rhythm section, its songs are mostly parables that, even at their most musically jaunty ("TheBallad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"), are filled with mystery and distrust. But don't forget the occasional matter-of-fact violent shock (the bolt of lightning that destroys a courthouse in "Drifter's Escape"). Of course, there were also the apparently plainspoken title track, and two love songs made for covers, which they quickly received. It's often argued that rock fans can dance and think at the same time; substitute relaxing for dancing, and Harding provides an ideal soundtrack


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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