Dylan - The Greatest Remasters Ever

There are times when I realise why I have bothered to spend so much time honing my system and spending money I don’t really have on it.
It happened yesterday as I spent about 5 hours listening through most of the 15 Bob Dylan SACD hybrid remasters.
I was in a state of bliss as the music that I have loved over an 18-year period unfolded in aural detail I had never heard before.
The following comments will not take into account SACD replay nor indeed the multi-channel performance that exists on 5 of these discs.
I’ll start off with some words on the man.
If you hate or don’t get Dylan read on I might be able to change your mind or at least make you think if you are any kind of music fan at least some of this music has to be owned.
Bob Dylan-so much has been written about him that most of what is known about him and his music has descended into cliché and indeed Rock/Pop mythology.
With Dylan you have to look at the whole picture and not get caught up in the clichés-protest singer, poet, Christian Rock, folk singer going electric.
It’s about the music and the music talks for itself in a way nobody can capture.
Clearly most people’s problem with Dylan is his singing voice.
The Voice?
I’m not going to try and convince anybody that hates Dylan’s vocals that he is a great singer.
I would argue though he has a great voice and at his best can produce great vocals.
The tone and delivery cannot be to everybody tastes.
If you’ve ever tried to sing some Dylan songs yourself using acoustic guitar you may have found they aren’t as easy to capture or sing as you might think.
His voice though in my mind fits perfectly the music; it’s music with roots, steeped in tradition.
It’s also a voice that grew in a remarkable manner and indeed was capable of different styles as the folk/country vocals of John Wesley Harding and the out and out country of Nashville Skyline proved.
Before that he moved from a folk style into Blues and indeed the first true elements of what would become Rock music as we know it.
I prefer to hear Dylan sing Dylan songs but hey a lot of folks don’t.
If you are in the world of perfection, smooth aesthetics indeed technical perfection then Dylan might not be for you.
His is a voice that carries a truth and relates the journey of a very young man who would single handedly change popular music.
In short Dylan rewrote the rules on what a song could achieve.
Whilst you should never lose sight that Dylan was indeed a songwriter not a poet what he did manage with his lyrics was take high culture and fuse it into popular culture in seamless fashion.
As for types of songs, he’s written every kind you can think of and invented new styles along the way.
Of course he isn’t perfect-the gaps in this 15 set to a large extent mirror the gap in Dylan’s powers and indeed the problem he grew to have capturing his songs in the studio during his career.
This collection by and large though does represent the best of Dylan’s original work although I would personally liked to have seen the original Bootleg 3CD set featured too.
Firstly a disclaimer I am not an audiophile and perhaps more astute ears will find other issues with these releases.
I was perhaps approaching these releases with a fear of slight disappointment.
I was wrong, by and large they are stunning.
As Dylan’s sound develops from his early albums into a band formation the improvements become more and more clear.
Whilst the original albums are mostly vocals and guitar the new releases clearly take you closer to the sound of the original tapes.
As Dylan moves into full band mode these remasters reproduce more detail than on any previous incarnations.
A good example would be Blonde On Blonde probably Dylan’s most re-released record, this release provides detail and a cohesion of sound I have not previously heard.
Two releases do disappoint though to my ears.
John Wesley Harding-always sounded murky on CD and despite an improvement it doesn’t still fully escape this problem.
Indeed the effect of the drums only coming out of the right channel becomes waring after a while.
Street Legal sounds a bit forced and compressed to my ears.
Other highlights in the series to my ears are Desire-a fantastic record always slated for it’s production-now at least the full sound can be heard on instruments and backing vocals in a way previously unheard.
Planet Waves-patchy as it is fully shows off the musicianship of the Band and all their little licks and tricks.

Dylan releases are unlikely to be heralded I guess for their audio qualities and yet despite the flaws that sometimes exist in Dylan’s output and recording process these releases really do show what a difference the remastering process can have.
Simply put it takes you closer to the music and for me this is what it is all about.
Now finally my comments on each Dylan release.

The first classic Dylan release showing a myriad of styles beyond his protest singer label and the brilliant humour that was always evident in Dylan’s music.
To clarify a famous “lie” A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall was written before the Cuban missile crisis therefore it cannot be about that although the cold war tension may have played a part in Dylan writing it.
Like the best of his songs it works on levels beyond its well-know analysis.

The first sign of Dylan moving into more abstract areas that he would perfect later.
Not perfect but features key highlights in his developing talent such as My Back Pages, Chimes Of Freedom and It Ain’t Me Babe.
Personal favourite here is the beautiful To Ramona.

Dylan’s doorway from his past into his future featuring both styles of music he would become famous for.
Subterranean Homesick Blues and It’s All Over Now Baby Blue begin and end this work of genius.
Dylan had become a superhuman cultural sponge that would produce in 18 months a trio of records that would largely define his talent.

Now Dylan had passed into the world of Rock.
Like A Rolling Stone stretched the limits of the single and the pop charts.
Blues based rockers and a nod to the chaos of his mind in Desolation Row.

A double record that closed the door to the madness of fame and the rock and roll lifestyle that had gripped Dylan in his explosive rise.
The thin wild mercury sound never sounded better than on this new version.
Finishes with his epic love song to his new wife Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands.

The Beatles had just released Sgt. Pepper-Dylan replied to that with a plaintive acoustic based album that would become the template for alt-country.
Arguably a reaction to both the excesses of his previous lifestyle, his new domestic bliss and his thinking that popular music was losing it’s way with the emphasis on studio effects.
Contains a few classic including All Along The Watchtower but imho is more effective for it’s tone than it’s overall quality.

A playful Dylan produces a country album in a new singing voice that confuses his fans.
Mostly lightweight but fun with three classics in Lay Lady Lay, I Threw It All Away and Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You

After the early years of raising a family and seemingly completely losing his way (Self-Portrait and Dylan were released) Dylan returned to work with The Band.
To me this now sounds quite an experimental work but Forever Young, You Angel You, Never Say Goodbye and Wedding Song make it a worthwhile and strangely unique Dylan album.

Dylan achieved the impossible by producing a record that arguably eclipsed his previous classics.
Sparsely recorded, highly emotional and a very rare expose that is clearly purely only about Dylan called Idiot Wind.
He later denied this record was only about his marriage break up.
10 tracks that prove Dylan wasn’t paralysed by his past.

A great great record sadly shadowed by his previous release.
Features an exotic feel and a largely missed fact that with songs like Hurricane and Isis Dylan had enhanced the range of his songwriting.
Unusually Dylan co-writes on this record with Jacques Levy.

One that splits fans.
A very good to great record that was the end of road for Dylan in certain aspects as he approached 40.
Senor is a personal favourite.
The production is a bit all over the place but it has great songs.

Dylan became a born-again Christian and created a furore.
A good record but has the odd clunker messing up Dylan’s new vision.
The music mostly works outwith the parameters that are focused on by the critics.
As for the fall-out from this record, I could write about that all day but I merely say that since Dylan’s life was in turmoil, looking outwardly wasn’t such a strange thing in my opinion to do.

Deciding that he believed in god but he was indeed a Jew Dylan returned to mostly secular matters (started on Shot Of Love) after his religious trio of records.
This is a great collection of songs despite Dylan arguably not nailing the sound he had in his head for them.
Whilst this was always a problem, in the 80’s Dylan disappeared into a world of bad production choices and mostly lost his powers of quality control.
Jokerman and I&I are two songs worthy of inclusion amongst his very best work.
This is a record famous amongst Dylan fans for the songs he left off.
Still well worth having and overall is underrated in the Dylan canon.

After the shambles of his Live Aid performance and a run of records that were savagely destoyed by the critics Dylan’s stock was at an all time low.
The involvement of Daniel Lanois was a master stroke but more importantly the collection of songs had were particularly strong.
As the 80’s ended this marvelously atmospheric record put Dylan back on the map.
Sounding fantastic in this new version it struck me that Shooting Star may well be about his relationship with his father.

If you haven’t heard the wear in Dylan’s voice over the years the approach this record with caution.
Critically acclaimed it’s a fantastic collection of songs.
Some are vary reminiscent of 40’s and 50’s popular songwriting which might not be to everybody’s taste.
It’s a great record and Mississipi, High Water and Sugar Baby prove Dylan is still valid.
At 60 Dylan produced a record like nothing he’d ever released before.

Splendid review Ben.
Well done. I must admit that I am not the biggest Bob Dylan fan in the world, but I have seen him live a number of times. "Blood On The Tracks" and "Desire" spend a lot of time on my turntable. Your review is going to have me looking further back and forward into his repetoire. Thanks for sharing those thoughts with everyone.
Being a Dylan fan you review will entice me to revisit my library one more time. Lately I have been hung up on his 1997 release “Time Out Of Mind”, produced by Daniel Lanois.

Thanks for a great review, it’s nice to see a passionate post about the music.
i rarely post but i really liked your review.
i love to read posts from those who have a
passion for music and you surely do.
thanks again,

Dylan's new voice on "Nashville Skyline" is rumoured to be the result of injuries suffered in a near fatal bike crash. I use the term "rumoured" as I have never seen the incident reported in print even though I heard details of the accident @ the time.

My favortite Dylan record is "Bob Dylan, Melbourne Australia, The Enigmatic Story of a Boy and His Dog", which is of a live concert @ Festival on Hall April 19, 1966 (recorded from radio broadcast). This concert took place following the famous UK concert that later became a double live album.

His OZ musical character was not of the edgy know-it-all twit (the one portrayed in the earlier UK interviews), but instead was of a more relaxed nature, which really makes this performance stand out.
Dekay-the motorcycle accident happened shortly after his 66 World Tour.
He was injured although the details are sketchy but it's widely accepted his injuries were minor and to his back and neck.
It's covered in most Dylan biographies.
The theory doesn't hold up since he recorded John Wesley Harding before Nashville Skyline.
I already own Blood on the tracks and Desire on cd and vinyl and but it looks like a trip to Best Buy is in order for a few more SACD'S.
Thanks, Ben. I've always been a Dylan fan but came into the picture a little late in the game, age-wise (I'll be turning 41 next week), so your comments have been quite helpful. Like you, I preordered this 15 disc set and am told that they are now waiting for me in Florida. I'll be picking them up next weekend and will post my impressions as I smile my way through them!
Thanks for the fab review. Good to see there are still some Dylan fans around. The first record I ever bought was Highway 61 Revisited. I've always preferred the vinyl versions of Dylan's recordings but I'll be picking up the SACD versions now. Great job!

Not certain which LP was the one following the accident though seem to recall it was Skyline (sounds like it per his voice). Do they have recording dates on JW Harding? It is possible that the tracks were in the can prior to the incident.

The first time this info supposedly came from an LA record company executive (per a local musician who happened to be my guitar instructor). The second time (approx. 10 years later) I heard pretty much the same story @ a 1979 party with some of his close friends and one ex-family member present. It's also possible that they were discussing rumor/legend and not fact as I was not paying close attention to the conversation, which was not new news to me.
splendid review Ben
maks me want to run out and buy an sacd player
and I have a dvd-a player already

my three faves
blonde on blonde, blood on tracks, oh mercy

have two thirds of his work on cd and most on vinyl
finally caught him on the TIme Out Of Mind tour

I just bought his box set on vinyl for $25!! pristine!
Dekay I appreciate your comments and the other kind words so far.
Everything I've written up to this point has been off the top of my head-I've (sadly)read more books about Dylan than I care to remember (probably about 40).
Now I'm checking the exact dates with some further personal comments.
Date of accident 29th July 1966-cracked vertebra is the minor injury.
It is widely reported that Dylan was suffering serious burn out after his World tour and it's excesses.
Apparently he used his accident as a lever with his record company to get an extended break.
1967 October to November sees Dylan record John Wesley Harding.
February and April 1969 sees Dylan record Nashville Skyline.
The vocal change on Nashville Skyline-I haven't bothered to check totally but apparently Dylan merely changed his tone to fit the music,it is a remarkable change from his grittier voice.
The whole period during both these albums reflected a major change in Dylan's life,domestic bliss and a refuge away from the crazy world of his fireball years.
He had also just lost his father just prior to recording NS.
Another theory I think I read about his NS voice was he had cut back on the smoking.
He also recorded The Basement Tapes in 1967 although these weren't official released to just prior to Blood On The Tracks.
Audiotomb the good news is that the CD remastering is excellent.
Therefore you'll hear the difference anyway without SACD.
Ben, I enjoyed the review. You touched on many of my favorite LPs. Many of the LPs you liked were for differnt songs, or reasons than my own, but it's fun to see others opinions.

I have recently bought some of the Simply Vinyl reissues and found them to be amazing. Now I have to start over with the SACD!?!

I still think LPs sound better, but it should be interesting to see what Columbia does with the old familiar tunes.

Of the later work, I think "Oh Mercy" is a masterpiece close in quality to the "Blood on the Tracks" but with a decidedly different focus. "Desire" is another great LP but it isn't helped by "Hurricane." I understand why the song is there, but it's no "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol!" The cause was just, but it doesn't make the song great. "Black Diamond Bay" is a real gem.

Dylans comments about his own songs almost always seem to be disengenuous. Kinda like he doesn't want to admit what they are about out of fear that someone might understand them. I refer to his comments about "Neigborhood Bully" and some of the others from Infidels.

All in all it's a good lot of music. I recently read a book about dylan, and played the LPs while reading about the particular portion of his life being mentioned. It added to the meaning of a lot of the tracks.

I guess I'll have to spend some more money and it's all your fault!!!
Nrchy of course you are right Dylan has most of his career been playing a game with the press.
From the early days where he denied his background until now he has given them the run around.
It's been misleading at times other times it's been hilarious particularly during the 60's.
We disagree about Hurricane but hey so what.
Infidels is a very interesting album where Dylan made some very "interesting" observations....linked very much from his short period as a Christain back into his Jewish faith.
Hang onto the music because that's what it's about despite your comments I agree with Dylan it's not about totally about what Dylan meant with the song but as much what the songs mean to you.
Such is the beauty of music.....

When you listen to NS you should notice a consistant crack in his voice on certain notes. This is part of what fed the rumor/fact, whatever it really is.

I have always been a fan of Dylan's music, but he also gets my respect for raising normal kids considering who he is, what he does for a living, plus the divorce. I have known a number of lesser musicians/actors/personalities who seemed to use their careers as an excuse for being lousy fathers/husbands. Even lost a few old friends by eventually telling them how F'd up I thought they were.
Dekay I need to listen again to NS but perhaps the "crack" is more down to Dylan struggling to maintain his tone,maybe not.
I wouldn't want to turn Dylan into a saint I think it's very probable he has made major mistakes along the way but I agree he's handled his fame (over all) pretty well especially as you point out with regards to his kids.
I think he understood very early on what the media was all about-he was probably way ahead of his time in that sense.
Ben, are you listening to these in SACD or, CD?
Hi Ben:

I consider him to be well below "sainthood" level, LOL, but yes I agree that he was sharp enough to sidestep the obvious problems/obstacles of his chosen work (which is a still quite a triumph, IMO).

Also, I was once told that the OZ recording I have is a boot, but upon digging it out it seems to have copywrite statements on it (in Italian I think).

Does anyone else have this recording and care to comment with additional info?
Audiohorn only CD so far, my system's SACD replay doesn't stand up to my CD replay-see my system for details.
Dekay-that's a bootleg definitely-sounds like it's from Italy and they are notorious amongst some other European countries for making bootleg releases look official.
Yup, I just noticed that a Cowboy Junkies (Live Europe) CD has what looks to be copyright info on it also (Italian). This one is definately a boot (sounds like it was recorded off a car stereo:-).

The OZ CD however sounds pretty good.
A quick word on the packaging-pretty good.
All the CD's come in a digi-pack,they recreate the original vinyl packaging-so where sleeeve notes were more extensive (usually the earlier ones)there are little booklets.
Some of the other discs are more basic.
They are finished to a good standard.
And there are some rare photographs also.
In the States the whole 15 CD's are available as a limited edition Box-set.
Being a skeptic of sorts when it comes to superior audio claims by manufacturers, I approached the Dylan reissues with "cautious optimism," as our politicians like to say. However, being one of the world's biggest Dylan fans (and Ben must number among them, too!), I couldn't help but pick up one title yesterday (Highway 61).

I have a redbook CDP (Arcam) and was wondering what improvement I might actually hear. When I got home, I played the original CD release, noting the now-famous drum thwack that opens LARS.... perhaps the shot heard round the rock world? It was great. Then, forwarded to "Desolation Row" for something acoustic. Also quite nice.

OK, so out with the new SACD. Pop it in the Arcam. That familiar drum thwack was now a crack, a rifle shot. Holy crap! I literally jumped! I could hear details that were either missing or obscured previously. Dylan's inhaling and exhaling, subtle noises in the background, the plectra clearly against guitar strings. In "Desolation Row" in particular, Dylan was there in my living room. Amazing. So many layers of grime have been washed away.

The 180gm vinyl version is a tad better, but if this is what SACD can do, even on a redbook player, then I'm going to be one happy camper!

So, now I have to pony up for the boxed set!!

But first, one question for Ben and others: does the SACD sound seem a tad bright, or should one expect more light to come in once the windows have been washed?
Cp you've got me a bit confused.
You are listening to CD right?
Your Arcam doesn't do SACD does it?
To clarify the SACD part of the disc is on a different layer you are listening to the CD layer I think.
You need a dedicated SACD player to hear the SACD layer-on which I've did a very quick A/B but the results are the same as usual my Ayre destoys the Sony as you would expect.
I haven't found the discs bright (possibly Street Legal,need to hear it again)but they are quite loud.
I'm a Dylan fan going back to the 60's and have seen him in concert approximately 10 times. I haven't been inclined to read much about him except what is included in books about other artists. Please don't get offended by my opinion. Most of the Dylan "mystique" was by his own design. Contrary to the traveling troubador, a la Woodie Guthrie, reputation that he invented while beginning his career in Greenich Village, he was simply Bobby Zimmerman, a South Dakota small town boy. Hey, I don't condemn what he did, but he isn't known for living the truth. Anything that could be said about the man that puts him in a negative light will NEVER detract from his uncanny ability to put into words and song what was/is wrong with this world.

My opinion regarding his vocal changes through the years is based on the experiences I've had listening to him live. I believe he changes his voice like some change their hair and has little to do with smoking, motorcycle accidents or such. I've seen the man twice within the last twelve months. One year ago almost every song he sang was as if the original albums were being played. It was the most wonderful concert of them all to my ears. This last summer he gave us his most gravel-ly voice ever and didn't even play the guitar, opting to play keyboards the entire concert. Even the keyboard playing was accompanied by the myth that he was suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

I love the guy but believe he IS the goofball that so many claim he is. Certainly, with the staying power he has enjoyed and the status he so richly deserves, he no longer needs to add to the mystique. I wish he would allow an authorized biography to be written about him that is as revealing as Neil Young's "Shakey".
Patrick-Dylan allegedly is working on his autobiography although the release date gets ever further away-wether this is another part of his own smoke screen who can say?
I agree largely that Dylan has added to his own myth however that's been largely debunked since the real story of his life broke in the mid 60's.
I'm not sure you allude to this point Patrick but it does raise the point was he serious about the music he wrote?
I think undoubtly he was and the fact he realised early on that the protest angle or causes would quickly put him in a cage he couldn't get out of-in fact he took major flak from the folk fraternity when he returned to his first love -rock and roll.
I believe his career twists and turns are that of a genuine artist-in real terms his longevity is due to his reputation.
He hasn't always backed up his success with major sales that you would expect from a man who's been recording for 40 years.
What is interesting that unlike any other major pop/rock artist very little is written about his private life-this is mainly due to both the high esteem he is held in and the acedemic approach that most authors take.
Recently Howard Souness wrote a book revealing much more about Dylan's private life (he has been married again and has a 13 year old daughter),his wealth etc.
Dylan himself has the best quote (as usual)on the subject.
"I'm a mystery only to those who haven't felt the same things I have"

I'm certain that Dylan believed in his many messages. If he didn't, then I would think much less of him. I know I didn't address the "outing" of his real life as you mention but figured it was such common knowledge that it wasn't necessary. The criticism he received for going amplified was a joke, IMHO. The artist can do whatever suits his artisitic leanings. My hero, Neil Young, has always done it his way and I respect him more for it, as I do Dylan. Like Young, I respect Dylan for being a family man even with the broken marriage. I hold Bob Dylan in the highest regard even if I don't agree with some of his musical statements. He became the troubador he set out to be as well as a poet, social activist and whipping post. Who else has shoved a mirror in the face of society and made it look at the ugly side as successfully as him? While I don't believe the societal changes were a result of his efforts I do believe that he helped galvanize the youthful part and therefore brought about change sooner rather than later. I would like to know his IQ. I suspect he isn't just an artistic genius but rather a genius in the scientific sense as well. With the recent passing of Johnny Cash I reflect more on the good fortune I've had in experiencing, first hand, the gift of such talent. I only wish I could pass on what I've received.

I was once told by a guy from Minnesota that Dylan was from and grew up in his home town (I lived in Iowa @ the time). Said he was a quiet nerd who played the piano (not the guitar).

It would be interesting to read an accurate biography (if one ever comes out).

I stopped paying attention to anything other than his music during/following the "Jews for Jesus" period. Had quite a few friends who went through a similar "Jesus Freak" phase (they were not much fun to be around @ the time and most ended up being there via bad acid trips).
Dekay-there are several biographies which seem to be reasonably accurate especially about Dylan's early life-the real gaps come post '66.
I would still highly recommend Robert Shelton's No Direction Home biography probably the best book on Dylan up until 1966-it's weak post that era since Shelton was no longer close to Dylan.
It's well documented Dylan started off mainly on piano and as a harp player.
As regards Dylan's Christain period I'll avoid a flame war and say you could have chosen your words better.....
Sorry about the error. Yes, his home town is Hibbing, Minnesota. It might as well be South Dakota since it's a pretty bleak place. I drove past the exit, turned around for a peek and wished I would have just kept going the first time. I saw one of his concerts during his religous period. It too was pretty bleak.

Those are the words and/or exactly what the movement was named here in the US (I know "Jews for Jesus" to this day and that's what they call themselves), so I don't know what it is about my post that concerns you. My wife is Jewish and I am a Templer/Christian of sorts, for lack of a better name (though raised Methodist/Christian Science -w- a little Catholicism thrown in for good measure:-). I also get along fine with our J4J friends as long as they do not attempt to ram their beliefs down my throat (not that this came easy I suspect).

The "Jesus Freak" movement was just that (freaked out freaks who wanted their own title/shelter to call their own). I never considered it to be much of a religious movement for most, though some (a very small percentage from my experience) maintained their beliefs long enough to eventually join some of the more mainstream/similar religions.


Never even heard of Hibbing, though I have had the pleasure of traveling through the Dakotas. Once they finished the I-35 I rarely wandered off the track when traveling north through Minnesota.
Dekay my misunderstanding,I apologise for thinking you were being derogatory.
As for the Christian music Dylan produced,well it's not all bad-Slow Train Coming is a decent album,Saved is a donkey, an album which did him a lot of harm,Shot Of Love was partly Christian and again is worthwhile in parts.
However the belief in "god" and indeed Biblical influence has always been apparent in Dylan's songwriting.
Personally I think much of the hostility shown towards Dylan's conversion is pretty small minded.
If it's for the quality of the music fine but there's little doubt that such a "conservative" step by Dylan left his fans pretty confused.
Again I think that's partly down to the perception of what Dylan was about rather than the reality.
Hibbing is in northern Minnesots on the south west edge of the Mesabi iron range. If you have ever used U.S. steel, it came from the Hibbing area. Back during World War II the steel companies built huge ice arenas in every iron range town (about thirty) so the wives of the men who went off to war would enjoy High School hockey games while the men were fighting. Thus the beginning of the powerful norhtern Minnestota hockey talent (most of which made up the 1960 and 1980 gold medal Olympic teams)
Hibbing is the largest of these "range" towns. Today most of the mines are closed, the massive open pits have grown in with trees and lakes. It's rather like a small Grand Canyon in the forest. Most of the surrounding area is state and national forest leading north to the Boundry Waters National Park.
The people of Hibbing are far prouder of the hockey than Dylan. For years he would not acknowledge his northern Minnestota roots. It was as if he apeared from space at the Dinkytown pubs on the U of M's campus, no past was spoken by Bob.

I did not dislike his music during this period (though I also do not feel that it was his best effort), and instead I tended to just ignore the religious aspect and simply listened to some of the music. At this point in my life I was tired of these sorts of fanatical happenings (and hey, I did not even mention, bring up, the "Born Agains" in my above posts:-).

I , until recently, thought that my personal religion was based on the concept of "anything that more than 80 people in the world believe in is BS", but my wife being more learned than myself pointed out that my beliefs are not that disimilar from those of the Templers in regard to Mary, Jesus and the much declined role of women in religion since the Catholic church became such a powerful entity in our world.

Guess I'm not much of an original thinker afterall.

She has ordered books (both fact and fiction) on the subject for me to read. Should be interesting as I'm burning out on crime/gator books. We will be picking one up today as the library called to say that it is in.
BEN.... yes, I know that the SACD is a different layer, but even the "CD" layer is greatly improved. What I'm saying is that even w/o a SACD player, there are great aural benefits to be had.
Ben, I would be surprised if Dylan ever finished his autobiography ("Chronicles"). It started out as a series of liner notes for the reissues that inspired this thread of yours. However, there are neither new liner notes nor a book!

My suspicion is that his movie, "Masked and Anonymous" is about all he's going to say about who he is.
It is a pity if Dylan doesn't write something serious soon.
There's been a big change in his attitude to interviews since about 1998 and he seems much more honest and still has an amazing ability to analyse society and the world in general.
His liner notes to World Gone Wrong gave an indication of his writing skill-like some of his mid-sixties songs they seem abstract,true and unique.
Tarantula of course is pretty much unreadable and a project he tried best to leave in the can.
Time will tell perhaps he'll just leave us with the songs
"...perhaps he'll just leave us with the songs"

yes, and that is really a gift.
An outstanding review Ben. Arguably the greatest songwriter of the 20th century.An Icon in American History to be sure!