Why is Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
How does it feel? To be without a home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone.
Some stats & info about Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Pop Music, Album Rock, Blues Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #18
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Highway 61 Revisited released? 1965
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #649 out of 1,000
Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Around three years ago, I stumbled upon a brilliant, absurd, hilarious, and insightful podcast series helmed by actor Adam Scott (he’s been in many things ranging from Parks & Recreation to Step Brothers to Severance these days, but for my money his iconic role is as beaten down former actor Henry Pollard on Party Down) and Scott Aukerman (of Comedy! Bang! Bang! Fame in addition to director of Between Two Firms: The Movie).
The first iteration of the show, called U Talkin’ U2 To Me?, spent each episode focused on a single U2 album and would segue from ecstatically funny kind of improvised comedy to passionate geekery about the band and all things relating to it. Subsequent seasons of sorts did the same for the likes of R.E.M. and, most recently, Talking Heads.
I mention all of this because one term I’ve borrowed from the podcast is the notion of a song as a Stone Cold Classic (or SCC for short). And in the context of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, there are many ways to praise the album and its nine songs, but I’m going to easily slap the SCC label on the opening track, “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Not only is it a great song in its own right, but it serves as a pop cultural marker in the United States of the coming counterculture pivoting into the mainstream as Dylan himself pivoted from being an acoustic guitar-based folk singer to being an electric guitar-wielding rock star.
Another thing that sets Highway 61 Revisited apart is its great variety. Dig the blues rock of “From a Buick 6.” And Tombstone Blues has a shuffling, rollicking quality that shows off Dylan often at his best when he’s loose and obviously having fun.