Dylan standing, slightly bent at the waist, in front of a stairwell

Ranking All 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #25- Street Legal [1978}-

#25 Street Legal- 3 1/2 stars- Bob Dylan’s 18th studio album- released on June 15, 1978. 3 stars out of 5 stars.

The countdown so far 39- Dylan -1973 38- Down In The Groove -1988 37-Knocked Out Loaded- 1986 36-Christmas In The Heart- 2009 35-Under A Red Sky- 1990 34-Saved- 1980 33-Fallen Angels 2016 32- Good As I Been To You- 1992 31- World Gone Wrong 1993 30- Triplicate 2017. 29- Shadows In The Night. 2015 28- Self Portrait 1970- 27- Bob Dylan- Bob Dylan 1962, 26- Empire Burlesque 1985, now at #25- Street Legal 1978.

Album Cover Art - Dylan - Street Legal

Street Legal was the first new Bob Dylan album I purchased after becoming a Dylan fanatic a year earlier. I can’t remember what I did last Tuesday but I remember Saturday June 24, 1978- my friend Randy and I took a bus to Pittsburgh to see the Pirates game- they beat the Mets 7-4- and the bus stop downtown was across from the National Record Mart. My plan all day was to run over and get the new Rolling Stones and the new Dylan albums after the game. We had to catch the 6:30pm bus-the next bus was 11pm. The game ran well over 3 hours and we just got to the bus stop at 6:25pm. I told Randy I was running across the street I knew what I was getting I’d be right back. I grabbed the albums and luckily there was no line at check out- as I walked out of the National Record Mart I saw the bus was sitting there. I got across the street and on the bus just in time. Randy and I had earlier talked about the Dizzy Gillespie free concert that was going on that night at Point State Park. We weren’t familiar with Dizzy other than knowing he was a jazz great. I figure if I had missed that bus- and we would have gotten to see Dizzy. We would talk about that over the years- how we almost saw Dizzy Gillespie. I wish I had missed that bus.

Bob Dylan's 'Street-Legal' a lively, satisfying album

I am getting a bit off topic- Bob Dylan’s Street Legal is the topic. I know of people who rank Street Legal as their favorite- or one of their favorite Bob Dylan albums. I have listened to this album over the years several hundred times- at least. I like the album- but I’ve never really loved it. The album was rushed- the production is kind of muddy, too much saxophone coming in at times. The songs- none of them are bad- some don’t work because they seem a little half baked or bad production sound. That said Its bit a bad album- some really good songs- the best being “Senor {Tales Of Yankee Power””- in listening to the album a few times this week one line really sticks out- for the times were are living in “let’s overturn these tables, disconnect these cables, This place don’t make sense to me no more.” The opener “Changing Of The Guards’, “No Time To Think” and ” Where Are You Tonight” are standouts. All through the album there are soulful female backing vocals- giving it a gospel feel- at the time no one would have thought it- but in another year Dylan would shock the world with Slow Train Coming. Street Legal went to #2 in the UK and #11 in the US album charts. His previous album Desire had gone to #1.


  1. I haven’t heard it as much as you…I got it in the late 80s…it was never a favorite but I never thought it was his worse like some do… You are moving toward the really good stuff soon.

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