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  Columbia -
  CH 90324
  Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited
  "Highway 61 Revisited"

Bob Dylan
Track listing:
  1. Like a Rolling Stone
2. Tombstone Blues
3. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
4. From a Buick 6
5. Ballad of a Thin Man
6. Queen Jane Approximately
7. Highway 61 Revisited
8. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
9. Desolation Row
Recording type:
Recording info:
  See also CXH 90615

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Related titles: 18 show all

Reviews: 5 show all

Review by Beagle May 23, 2006 (14 of 19 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
While Robert Zimmerman was recording this (and alienating virtually all of his turtlenecked, ill-lit coffehaus-haunting fandom) I was 2 months out of high school on my first job, smoking my first pack of Pall Malls and shovelling red slop off a factory floor into 10 gallon tins labeled "Strawberries, Institutional-Use". And when I got to my first week of university, on a 'Work Scholarship' serving and washing-up after billionaire's sons, the 10 gallon tins were there in the cafeteria storage room, waiting....

What does this have to do with Highway 61? Just about everything. The poetry that Dylan wrote and shouted out on 45s was The Truth: painful, unfair, dirty, hypocritical and laughable -- same as the red slop I served on icecream to the scions of de Beers Diamonds, Mason Lines and Johnny Walker Whisky. Truth is a cool commodity anytime, and entirely new to pop music in 1965. And it was still totally cool in 1973 when news broke of US Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew's shame-faced resignation, and supercool DJ, Dave Pritchard of CHUM Toronto, played...

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

The bardic satires of Dylan are the stuff that civilisations are made of. Pity that the recordings are doomed to eternity to sound like AM radio. The bottom is bass-less, the top is tinnitis-inducing. The transfer to SACD is somewhere between a pointless joke worthy of the bard's own humour, and a cynical insult to the words.

I ordered this disc (1) because Dylan is Dylan and (2) as something to demo sacd with, to my non-classical musical friends. Forget about the latter, it won't sell.

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Review by Khorn September 21, 2003 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I just did a close "Back to Back" comparisson (DCC Gold and SACD) of two of my favourite tracks on '61 (Ballad Of A Thin Man and Just like Tom Thumb's Blues) just to confirm what I already really knew from previous listening.

Now, Steve's DCC '61 was one of my very favourite of his re-masterings but, sadly to say it will be up for sale soon.

IMHO the SACD kicks hell out of any previous commercial recording of this title. The timbre and reality of Dylan's voice stands out but what is immediately apparent is the "space positioning and definition" of all the backing instruments. Their clarity, positioning and the whole presentation is far more realistic. As has become the signature of good SACD, a veil has been lifted and a digital grunge removed from what could be previously heard.

I am so happy it turned out to be so good as it is one of my Dylan favourites. Now, you may or may not agree but this is what I hear. I can't see how anyone could possibly go wrong getting the SACD.

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Review by pvcmusiclover September 26, 2011 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Well I ride on a mill train baby. Can't buy a thrill..
Well I've been up all night, leanin' on the window sill...

Steve Hoffman mentioned in an interview that up until his 1998 DCC CD release, all versions of the album were release from the LP master tape, which was thin and gummy sounding. After much work, he finally dug out the original master and found that it hadn't been played since the album was recorded.

His transfer beat the pants of anything previously released.

This SACD, in a side by side comparison, beat out the DCC disc. For one, the bass is tighter and the treble is more extended, not to mention more low level detail.

The album is heavily bus compressed and may always be doomed to have a retro-loud sound, but this is about the best it can ever be.

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