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Reviews: Bob Dylan: Another Side of Bob Dylan

Reviews: 4

Review by sgb October 1, 2003 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I don't think there's anyone reading this review that doesn't know that this one ranks among the best of Dylan's early all-acoustic albums. What you have here is Dylan alone playing his mouth harp and strumming his guitar while he sings some of his most important compositions. So, what we need to discuss is the sound.

There is a saying that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and with that in mind I can tell you that I have been largely disappointed with the half-dozen titles I own out of the first 15 to be released in the Dylan reissue series. This will not be of much consequence to you if you never owned an original LP pressing from the Sixties.

Although I'm discussing "Another Side" here, my opinion of the sound quality of the other four is almost identical to this one.

By and large, the "Another Side" SACD appears to have a somewhat different tonal balance than the LP. It exaggerates the higher frequencies a little, sounds drier, and robs the recording of what little transparency in Dylan's voice one can hear on the original LP; nor is it as dynamic from a psycho-acoustic perspective. It does, however, offer some distinct advantages over its two previous digital reissues as a CD (comparisons of which would show that the differences between the original eighties and mid-nineties reissues were negligible at best). The DSD remaster is a bit smoother and offers slightly better inner detail.

None of this is to say, though, that I would not recommend this series of SACDs to anyone who is both an audiophile and an avid Dylan fan. They're certainly every bit as good as the Sundazed LPs (from what little I've heard of them).

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Review by FivePointOne May 17, 2005 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This was the fourth and final acoustic album Dylan made before he went electric with "Bringing it All Back Home." Many of the songs on this album were covered by other bands, including "All I Really Want to Do," "My Back Pages," & "It Ain't Me, Babe". That said, it really isn't one of his best. The songs aren't as up-tempo as they could have been, the often go on longer than they should, and the production is spare (Bob w/piano, Bob w/guitar, Bob w/guitar & harmonica). If you are interested in that phase of his development, then you may enjoy this. Otherwise, if you simply want something representative of his acoustic period, go get "Freewheelin'." The sonics aren't great, but they're better than "2-star" from my system.

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Review by danishdrummer August 18, 2006 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Very much in the same vein as "Freewheelin'", "Another Side" is a fine Dylan-album, and I'm glad to own the SACD. I bought the 15-disc box set, and I'm still a bit puzzled by the selection of albums in the box. I guess Sony tried to pick out albums from each of Dylan's eras to cover his career as best as they could.

But the albums chosen to be treated with surround-mix also puzzles me.
I mean, why include a surround mix on "Another Side"? When it all comes down, it is only a man, his guitar, his voice and his harmonica. Certainly, there's not many ways that this can benefit from a surround track.

And I WAS disappointed with this mix. I enjoyed "Freewheelin'" a lot. The stereo sound was sharp and crystal clear (which it is on this disc, as well), but there are other Dylan-albums that I would much rather experience in surround. What about Nashville Skyline with its numerous guest musicians?

I feel that a surround mix on music disc only benefits the music if there are many musicians or if there are a lot of ambient/atmoshperic sounds. But there isn't on "Another Side of Dylan". The surround mix is overkill.

By the way, I would have just loved to hear Time Out of Mind in surround. Talk about an atmospheric album that begs for a surround treatment! But no. Come on, Sony!

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Review by cooltype937 October 4, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I agree with the other reviewers. The Dylan series of SACDs is generally disappointing sonically. "Slow Train Coming" and "Love & Theft" are about the best of the lot. I would highly recommend the Dylan mono box which I believe finally nails the artist's intention. "Blonde on Blonde" in mono is a complete revelation.

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