Ranking All 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #13- Modern Times. Bob Dylan’s 32nd studio album- released on August 29, 2006. 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, 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 #15- Planet Waves 1974, #14- The Basement Tapes 1975 and #13- “Modern Times 2006.
Bob Dylan had a dozen years years or so from the mid 1980’s until 1997 where he was clearly suffering from songwriters block- and his career was at a low ebb. Then in 1997 he made a miraculous comeback- from a potentially life ending serious illness- he released his big comeback album Time Out Of Mind [still to be ranked]- he followed that with Love And Theft [at least something good happened on September 11, 2001} another album still to be ranked- and the third album on his comeback- Modern Times came out in 2006.
The music on Modern Times- was anything but modern, a plus. Old time music like the previous two albums. It would become Bob’s first #1 album since 1976’s Desire. Bob at 65 became the oldest living person to have an album debut at #1. Not only was it a big hit with his fans but also another hit with the critics receiving universal praise. In Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time they ranked it at #204.
Modern Times music covers a number of styles- blues, rockabilly, ballads- and Bob is backed by a great band of musicians. A great sounding album – 10 songs clocking in at a little over an hour. Not a bad song in the bunch- if I had to select a Mount Rushmore- “Thunder On The Mountain’, “Rollin’ And Tumblin’, “Beyond The Horizon” and “Ain’t Talkin'”
Sitting here in 2021 Bob Dylan is coming off of his 39th album released last summer- Rough And Rowdy Ways- his great comeback continues 20 plus years after Time Out Of Mind. The comeback has been remarkable- my question is what if there was no comeback- how would Dylan be viewed today?