Ranking all 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #21- New Morning [1970} Bob Dylan’s 11th studio album- 4 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, 25- Street Legal 1978, 24- Nashville Skyline 1969 23- Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid 1973- 22- Shot Of Love 1981 and now at #21- New Morning 1970.
New Morning was released on October 19, 1970 just four months after the controversial Self Portrait album which was panned by critics and fans alike. New Morning’s arrival was viewed at the time as a return to form. Nine of the dozen songs on the album were recorded days before the release of Self Portrait. It is a very good but not great album- a second tier Dylan album. You get the feeling that he knew that Self Portrait wasn’t going to be well received and he was getting his back up plan. I don’t think there are any Dylan classics on this album- a bunch of good songs. Of course at the time there would be no way of knowing but Dylan was about to go into his first songwriting slump- it would be three years until the next album- which was unheard of at that time. The highlights on this album- the most well known song “If Not For You” would be released in late 1970 on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album- and a year later would be the title track on Olivia Newton- John’s debut album. This is as close as it gets to a classic Dylan song. Other favorites ” The Man In Me” which would decades later be used in The Big Lebowski, and “Day Of The Locusts” which was written about his day in Princeton University where he received an honorary doctorate. The album also featured a return of Bob’s nasal singing voice when he had abandoned with John Wesley Harding in 1967.