Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)

As I continue digesting downloaded snippets from the soon-to-be-released Bob Dylan record Modern Times (which was “leaked” by Sony on Friday), I got to digging through the old stuff. Thought I’d pass along the occasional thought until Dylan’s first CD in five years is officially distributed on Aug. 29 …

Taken of a piece, there are few who can match the pure artistry of his career – whether folk is your bag or not.

“It’s important,” Dylan once said, “to come to the bottom of this legend thing, which has no reality at all. What’s important isn’t the legend, but the art, the work.”

We’ll start, where else?, in the 1960s:

“THE FREEWHEELIN’ BOB DYLAN,” 1963

From the loopy title to the goofy picture of Bob and his girlfriend Suze Rotolo on West Fourth in New York City, Dylan’s second LP reveals something you don’t see much anymore — save for the Wilbury projects about 15 years back: Dylan’s humor. Even the liner notes are funny: “Anything I can sing,” Dylan writes, “I call a song. Anything I can’t sing, I call a poem.”

Nick’s Picks: The serious songs – especially “Don’t Think Twice” and “Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” written during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.