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Street Legal [Original recording remastered]

Bob Dylan Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.91
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Street Legal + Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid + Nashville Skyline
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Product Description


The last album released before Dylan's late '70s/early '80s three-album foray into Christian music, Street Legal is both fascinating and flawed. At the time, Dylan was enthralled with the slick stage presentation of Neil Diamond, which he clumsily attempted to re-create on this 1978 collection. Say what you will about Diamond, but he ran a tight ship; the clunky drumming and rudimentary brass that mar these nine tracks reflect a misbegotten attempt to make Dylan's wing-it studio approach work for an underrehearsed 12-member backing group. Songwise, Street Legal is a mixed bag. Despite a few missteps ("Is Your Love in Vain?" is embarrassingly... well, vain), the wordsmith navigates dense terrain in the masterful "Senior" and the open wound of a closer, "Where Are You Tonight?" --Steven Stolder

Product Description

Japanese only Blu-Spec CD Pressing. The Blue Spec format takes Blu-ray disc technology to create CD's which are compatible with normal CD players but provides ultra high quality sound. Sony. 2009.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob got soul July 22 2006
Format:Audio CD
This 1979 album opens with the lilting ballad Changing Of The Guards. The female backing vocals lend a soulful tone to the music here and throughout the album. This R&B feel is what sets Street Legal apart from Dylan's more familiar spectrum of styles.

New Pony has an even more authentic R&B air about it, whilst the beautifully tuneful No Time To Think is more in his folk-rock vein, but still embellished by the soulful backing voices. It is my favourite and a definite highlight of the album.

Baby Stop Crying is a rock ballad with tempo variation and stirring organ, Is Your Love In Vain? is a tender love ballad with a melancholy undertone and Senor is a slow, meandering folk number. The next track sounds the most like early Dylan with those characteristic vocal inflections; True Love Tends To Forget is a mournful lament with an impressive arrangement.

The theme remains mistrust and lost love, but We Better Talk This Over is a very catchy pop song with a hypnotic appeal. The album concludes with a tour de force: Where Are You Tonight?, a flowing uptempo ballad with gripping imagery and an exquisite arrangement.

This album is way underrated in Dylan's body of work. There is no weak track and there are many memorable songs like the aforementioned No Time To Think, Is Your Love In Vain?, True Love Tends To Forget and the final track.

Some Dylan fans and critics might have been prejudiced against the R&B sound but it most certainly works. Street Legal has definitely improved with age and I consider it to be amongst Dylan's Top 10 albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylans best Album Dec 28 2002
By "pimur"
Format:Audio CD
Every song on this album was very well done.
1. Changing of the Guards: was very uptempo and sung very well.
2. New Pony: was probally the least well done song on the album, but still good.
3. No Time to Think: Kept ya going for the whole 8 minutes!
4. Baby Stop Crying: Excellent song, tells of true friendship.
5. Is your Love in Vain: One of Dylans Best songs ever.
6. Senor: Starts of soft, then finishes with a bang!
7. True Love Tends to Forget: So True, excellent song.
8. We Better Talk this Over: Excellent upbeat song, flows well.
9. Where are you tonight: An emotional masterpiece of music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Bob Dylan's Classic. May 22 2003
Format:Audio CD
the last bob dylan's classic.
1963,the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
1964,The Times They Are A-Changin'
1964,Another Side of Bob Dylan
1965,Bringing It All Back Home
1965,Highway 61 Revisited
1966,Blonde on Blonde
1967,The Basement Tapes
1968,John Wesley Harding
1969,Nashville Skyline
1970,New Morning
1973,Planet Waves
1975,Blood on the Tracks
1978,Streel Legal
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not for casual Dylan fans June 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
A pretty odd album in Dylan's catalog, I almost want to call it a transitional album. The follow-up to DESIRE, once again Dylan has assembled a rather large ensemble, but a very different one. Dylan is going for a new sound, one that's more pop-oriented than his past records, and some say he was trying to emulate the retro-r&b revues of the 70's. It sounds more like the bands you hear on late period Frank Sinatra albums. Not the classic ones, but the ones from the late 60's or 70's where Sinatra sounds like he's trying to take on rock 'n' roll and r&b rather than continue his perfected style of 50's and early 60's swinging pop. For me, the sound doesn't gel on STREET LEGAL, even in this new mix which I admit is better. Part of it may be the songs, which seem interesting on paper, but listening to this album start to finish, they don't really grab me. I've grown to enjoy the album while I'm listening to it, but after it's over, it doesn't leave a strong impression, and I'm thinking of something else two minutes later.
"Changing Of The Guards" rides a nice groove with a cheesy little sax riff that did grow on me, and "Senor" is interesting if slow and a little flat, but this is a tough album to love. I can't see anyone except diehard Dylan fans hearing this album over and over again. If you already have a dozen Dylan CD's in your collection, not including compilations, than I think this is worth checking out, but if you're the kind of person who focuses more on his 60's work, and has at best two, three albums outside of the 60's, I'd hold off on this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How Can He Keep Doing It? June 2 2004
Format:Audio CD
For over forty years, Dylan has blessed this planet with his music - a special gift. It's amazing how one man can constantly reinvent himself, his music, and change so much just with his vocal inflection. Say what you will about Bob's voice - he's the only guy I've ever heard who can reinterpret a song (his own) and change everything based on his emphasis. Side commentary aside, this is about Street Legal - the hybrid SACD.
I've never listened to Street Legal in its previous incarnations - my first listen occurred with this new version. Some people have said the sound in previous versions was muddy - not the case here. The instrumentation makes the record a bit crowded (or you could call it a full sound) - but the CD and SACD layers both are very clear. They sound excellent (the SACD versions of all the Dylan works sound magnificent, by the way). Technically, a superb recording that sounds very, very good. Great remastering job.
As for the record, I really wish I hadn't taken so long to get it. It's one of the last Dylan records I've listened to (have yet to hear Knocked Out Loaded, Down in the Groove, or all of Empire Burlesque). I could say its one of the best - but the problem is that most all of Dylan's records can be one of his best for one reason or another. Each has a different sound and something very different to offer.
In 1978, Dylan was in the midst of a recording period that, I believe, is greatly underrated. As far as I'm concerned, the period that began with Planet Waves in 1974 and ended with Infidels in 1983 contains output that is better than what he did in the 60s (Bob Dylan to Nashville Skyline - Self-Portrait and New Morning were 1970, the latter was pretty good and the former had its moments).
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Dylan album from the late 1970s, rather obscure., June 15, 2001
If you believe the AMG (AllMusic Guide) review of this album, Dylan did yet another critical blunder with this proving to be something of a mixed bag, with the big band... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mike London
5.0 out of 5 stars The critics were wrong
Caveat: a huge Dylan fan. Own all but four; I think. This was a departure for Bob and may have caught many off-guard. Not a poor track to be found. Read more
Published on March 4 2012 by highparkdave
5.0 out of 5 stars #3 of the great 70s trilogy
There are three great 70s Dylan albums: Blood on the Tracks, Desire, and this one. All are equally good in their own ways. I won't say anything more!!
Published on July 2 2004 by K. Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars A terribly underrated work of genius
Negative reviews of this album led me to avoid it for the longest time. I'd heard (and been irritated by) the female backers on other Dylan releases, and "Street Legal"... Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by Steve
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best
I love bobs 70s albums but this one has too many weak tracks.
The first 2 tracks are awsome the 3rd track is ok but it dies from there.
Senor is a good song as well. Read more
Published on May 6 2004 by Bring_back_the_60s
5.0 out of 5 stars My last deal gone down
The recording is muddy. The imagery is mostly dark. The last album before the born again phase. The backup singers are annoying at times. Read more
Published on May 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars such a pleasent surprise!
This came as a complete surprise to me. The songs are great and the arrangements fulfil their mission: to portray a new Dylan yet again. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by "grutsfortea"
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of Dylan's "bloodiest" tracks
Upon its June 1978 release, Bob Dylan's "Street Legal" was dismissed by some critics as imitation Springsteen (Steve Douglas' saxophone was reminiscent of Clarence Clemons but only... Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Brian W. Fairbanks
4.0 out of 5 stars Learned to like it
This was a dylan album I had no interest in buying even when I tried to buy everything he owned. I had heard that it was strange and unfocused. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by Ben Cummins
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad... I underestimated this one.
Having thought for many years that this was Dylan's worst major album--in the sense that unlike, say, "Self-Portrait," he really seems to be trying here--I find myself... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by Brent White
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