Ranking All 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #15: PLANET WAVES[ 1974} Bob Dylan’s 14th studio album. Released on January 17, 1974. 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 21. New Morning- 1970 20. Rough And Rowdy Ways -2020, #19- Tempest 2012 18. Together Through Life 2009 #17- Another Side Of Bob Dylan 1964 #16 -Infidels 1983 and now #15 Planet Waves 1974.
It has been my belief that the most under appreciated and overlooked Dylan studio album is this one- Planet Waves. It was Dylan’s first album of new Dylan written songs since New Morning in late 1970- which at that time going three and a half years was forever. Dylan was suffering from some writers block issues. Not that he didn’t still have product coming out -he did and in some cases it was product he didn’t really want out- [the album Columbia released when he left them Dylan} One of the reasons this may be overlooked is it is after leaving Columbia and signing with Asylum- he would only release two albums with Asylum- Planet Waves and the live album with The Band- Before The Flood.
Speaking of The Band- The Band were Bob’s back up group on this album. This album is a departure from Dylan albums before it in- many of the songs deal with domestic concerns. A number of love songs but also songs dealing with death and suicide. It is a very personal album. A lot of these songs seem to be about his wife at the time-Sara.
The album went to #1 on the charts but got mixed reviews back then. Modern reviews have been much kinder. My Mount Rushmore of songs from the album- the most well known song “Forever Young”- there is a slow version- ending side 1 and a fast version starting side 2- I have always liked the slower- longer version best. Also- “On A Night Like This”, “You Angel You” and “Something There Is About You.”