RANKING ALL 39 BOB DYLAN STUDIO ALBUMS: #4 – THE FREEWHEELIN’ BOB DYLAN [1963]

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan's album cover. Wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans, a man walks along a snowy street. A woman wearing a long green coat and black pants holds onto his arm and walks alongside him. The words "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" frame the man's head, and the names of songs contained within the album are listed in small print in the bottom left and right of the image.

Ranking all 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #4: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan [1963] A+ Bob Dylan’s 2nd studio album. Released on May 27, 1963.

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. #8- ‘Love And Theft’ #7 Time Out Of Mind 1997. 6- The Times They Are A- Changin’ 5- Bringing It All Back Home 1966.

Bob Dylan’s first album with the exception of two promising Dylan written tunes -was a covers album. A good solid debut but hardly a debut that signaled the beginning of one of the most notable music careers of the century. A little over a year later- Dylan dropped his fantastic sophomore album- The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan with 13 Dylan compositions and no covers. This may have been the most important album of his career. The debut was a flop commercially – earning Dylan the nickname Hammond’s Folly among Columbia record executives [in reference to John Hammond who ‘discovered’ and produced the debut album.

The timing was right with this album- to make Dylan the ‘voice of his generation’- not necessarily a tag he would enjoy having. With change coming- with the Civil Rights Movement and American involvement increasing in Vietnam- and six months later the assassination of President Kennedy- songs like “Blowin’ In The Wind’, “Masters of War’ and ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ – hit the mark. Other classics on the album include “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ and “Girl From The North Country’ A couple other tunes ‘Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance’ and “Talkin’ World War III Blues’- are silly Dylan fun. There are a few mediocre songs on the album- but I’ve always felt the highlights on the album and the importance of the album to Dylan’s career- rise it to the Mount Rushmore- at #4. This album raised the stakes- and Dylan would consistently deliver- at least for the rest of the decade. Now I have to get in order the Top 3- in my mind a case could be made for all three of them as being Dylan’s best. Remaining are in chronological order- Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde and Blood On The Tracks.

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