Ranking all 39 Bob Dylan Studio Albums- #4: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan  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.