A greyscale photograph of Dylan's face with the text "BOB DYLAN" at the top left

Ranking All 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #8: ‘Love And Theft’ [2001] Bob Dylan’s 31st studio album. Released September 11, 2001. A

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 #13- “Modern Times 2006 #12 Oh Mercy 1989, #11 Slow Train Coming.#10- Desire. #9: John Wesley Harding 1967.

Usually when a new Bob Dylan album is released I will stop by the record store and pick up a copy on the day of release- but I know on the way home from work on September 11, 2001 that the thoughts of stopping in and getting ‘Love And Theft’ were quickly forgotten. I did pick it up a few days later.

‘Love And Theft’ was the second album- following 1997’s Time Out Of Mind- in Bob Dylan’s big comeback -possibly the biggest comeback in music history. As far as ranking the two albums- it was difficult to put one ahead of the other. They are both strong albums- I ended up giving Time Out Of Mind the slight edge because it was the first in Dylan’s comeback-which continues to this day. Another roots rock, Americana album. As with most Dylan albums it was recorded quickly- in mid-May of 2001. The albums dozen songs clock in at over 57 minutes. Many reviewers gave ‘Love And Theft’ higher grades than they gave Time Out Of Mind. ‘Love And Theft’ went to #5 in the Billboard album chart. One of the songs ‘Love And Theft’- “Mississippi” was recorded first by Sheryl Crow. ‘Mississippi’ is considered by some Dylan fanatics as one of his greatest songs. I agree. Possibly the greatest Dylan song of the past 30 plus years.

‘Love And Theft’ in the latest Rolling Stone Album ranking came in at #411. It was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year back in 2002. A Mount Rushmore of Songs- from Love and Theft- ‘Mississippi’, ‘Summer Days’, ‘High Water [for Charley Patton’] and ‘Po’Boy.’ Not a bad song on the album.


  1. Since reading this review I went back and replayed the record. I haven’t listened to it in years. I don’t think I gave it more than a few listens. Now I cannot stop playing it. What a brilliant album “Po’ Boy” is my new favorite Dylan song.

Comments are closed.