The legendary Bob Dylan, best known for his political anthems of the early 1960s, outraged the folk scene with the release of Bringing It All Back Home on March 27, 1965. Beginning with the upbeat and exciting Subterranean Homesick Blues, the first side of Bringing It All Back Home went far from home for Dylan as he changed drastically from folk to rock ‘n’ roll. But he did it perfectly.
Overall, the album is an accurate representation of Dylan’s career throughout the 1960s. On the original vinyl album, the first side was filled with rock ‘n’ roll, blues and country inspired songs like Outlaw Blues, She Belongs to Me and Love Minus Zero/No Limit, which I consider the perfect love songs, and the nonsensical Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream telling an absurd story of the discovery of America with all of the typical Dylan humor and social commentary. The second side returned to his acoustic roots, but still strayed from his folk beginnings. The lyrics to these songs are far more introspective and poetic than his former topical protest songs.
The second to last song on the album, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), is probably my favorite of Dylan’s due to terrific lyrics like: “He not busy being born is busy dying,” “To keep it in your mind and not forget that it is not he or she or them or it that you belong to,” and “While one who sings with his tongue on fire gargles in the rat race choir bent out of shape from society’s pliers cares not to come up any higher but rather get you down in the hole that he’s in.” I know this is just raving about how great Bob Dylan is, but this song is perfect.
If my life depended on it, I might choose this as my favorite Bob Dylan album. It’s a wonderful mixture of rock ‘n’ roll and blues and folk and everything I love about music. It has great musicianship and great lyrics. But of course. It’s by one of the greatest performers of all time.
Look into it.