Ranking All 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #19- Tempest [2012} 4 Stars. Bob Dylan’s 35th studio album Tempest was released on September 10, 2012.
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 21. New Morning- 1970 20. Rough And Rowdy Ways -2020 and now at #19- Tempest 2012.
Tempest was Bob Dylan’s final studio album of new material until this years Rough And Rowdy Ways. Dylan wrote all the songs -except for a collaboration with Robert Hunter on “Duquesne Whistle” the first track on the album.
The album as most of the albums since his big comeback in the late 90’s- features traditional music. The title track is one which drew a lot of attention- “Tempest” is a 13:54 minute song about the sinking of the Titanic. It is one of the albums highlights. Another song that drew a lot of attention- and for a while appeared like it was going to be the final song written by Dylan to appear on an album – the album closer “Roll On John” is the weakest. It drew attention because of the subject matter- John Lennon. Odd that 30 plus years after Lennon’s death that Bob got around to writing a song about him. Also odd that The Beatle that Bob was closest to was George not John. If it were a Facebook page- under Relationship- the Dylan/ Lennon friendship would claim “Complicated.” While Lennon was heavily influenced by Dylan in the mid-60’s they had a falling out. The song while interesting is the weakest song in this collection. Back to the positive- in addition to “Duquesne Whistle”, ” Tempest” – other favorites of mine are “Pay In Blood”, “Scarlett Town” and Early Roman Kings”- really other than “Roll On John” -not a weak track here. The album did well on the album chart- peaking at #3 in both the US and UK album charts. This is a dark album- a lot of death, God and sex in the songs. Again, it appeared to some as the decade went on- that this would be the final album of new Dylan material- but as always- once you figure you have Dylan figured out – he surprises you. This was his only album of new material in an eleven year period- but it was a very good one.