Vol. 2-Greatest Hits SACD
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Limited double 24kt gold SACD pressing. Bob Dylan agreed to release a second "greatest hits" compilation, provided he could compile it himself, issue it as a double album, and include several older compositions which he had written but never issued. Greatest Hits Volume ll is close to perfection. There are sentimental romantic ballads ("Lay Lady Lay," "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You") and wordy rants ("Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"). There are angry political rants ("Maggie's Farm," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall") and spiritually uplifting songs ("I Shall Be Released," "When I Paint My Masterpiece"). The big draw, however, are the previously unavailable tracks unique to this edition: "Watching the River Flow," "When I Paint My Masterpiece," and "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" don't appear anywhere else and "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and "Down In The Flood" are different takes than heard on The Basement Tapes.
This time selected and programmed by the man himself, the two-disc second installment in Dylan's Greatest Hits series comes off as much more idiosyncratic than its brother, famed songs ("Lay Lady Lay," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall") notwithstanding. An even richer cut-by-cut listen than the earlier best-of, this 1971 set masterfully casts the classics into new light and adds previously non-LP singles (the smashing "Watching the River Flow," with the Amazon.com fave line "People disagreein' just about everywhere you look / Makes you wanna stop and read a book; let's have lunch, Bob"), a then-unheard live 1963 "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," and new, stunning, off-the-cuff takes of "I Shall Be Released," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," and "Down in the Flood." --Rickey Wright --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
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The very notion of "greatest hits" almost seems beneath Dylan's standards. A Dylan "hit" is not necessarily a song that topped the charts; each of these songs is a hit because of the incredible writing and singing that gave it life. Some of these tracks weren't even popularized by Bob Dylan: All Along the Watchtower, for example, immediately brings to mind Jimi Hendrix.Read more ›
Then of course there is the long winded but strong lyrical epic Stuck Inside A Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again. Gosh even that title is long. But the words are so so cool with Bobby Boy getting his eyelids smoked and cigarette punched.
So many other gems on this near masterpiece. How about When I Paint My Masterpiece with searing vocals. Down In The Flood is another tune loaded with spunk and verve. The key to the value of this recording is balance as one can surely get a picture of Bob Dylan's vivid imagery.
Like I said before, this is a good place to start for newbies. However, established fans of the man who want a extensive summary of his quality years can do little wrong with this collection.
One of my favorite songs "Tomorrow is a Long Time" has it's great spoken intro restored/retained. Some of the best sounding Dylan you'll find.
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As Amazon notes, this is a much more idiosyncratic approach to Dylan's catalogue than GREATEST HITS VOL I. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2012 by Mike London