10: BOB DLYAN – ‘BLOOD ON THE TRACKS’

His fifteenth studio album, Blood on the Tracks marked a return to form for Bob Dylan. Many critics claim the power of the album comes from the autobiographical nature of the songs–Dylan’s heartbreak after splitting-up with his wife Sara. However, Dylan claimed they were based on tales by Checkov, though his son Jakob, has been quoted as saying, ‘The songs are my parents talking.’

Wendy James: ‘In my life, it starts and ends with Dylan. There is something in the tone of his voice that soothes me, calms me, resets my whole body back into position, re-aligns my soul, makes me complete. That’s not to mention the epic content and extreme talent and wisdom and emotion of his lyrics, nor his skill at writing a tune, nor his never ending ability, after having been so famous for so long, to still be humble, nor the incredible performances, world changing performances he has given over the years. All the musicians on this page have changed culture and lives, but Bob helped change on a whole other level. Whether going electric at Newport, or singing and marching along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through to covering his face in pan stick on the Rolling Thunder Tour (which is one of my favorite moments – when he sings Isis on the Rolling Thunder/Desire Tour) singing and petitioning to get Hurricane Carter released from the illegitimate prison sentence he was serving. Every song of Dylans’ has been used not only for the pleasure of listening but also in pursuance of change in unjust situations in many areas of many lives around the world. And don’t even get me started on how attractive he is as “Alias” in Pat Garret and Billy the Kid. I always thought that one day I’d meet Bob, our eyes would lock and he would fall in love with me and that would be it… Well I’ve had a few Dylan moments in my life now, but the first was with my friend and Dylan’s friend Van Morrison. We had gone to see Dylan play somewhere, Finsbury Park maybe… and we were watching from the side of the stage, and the set finishes and Dylan walks off and I’m thinking ‘”this is it” and he spots Van and comes over and says he’ll do an encore and then shall we all go out for dinner, and he turns to me, and Van has his arm around me in a neck lock virtually, and Bob says “Yeah, and bring some more chicks with you” Like Fuck! The total opposite of my teenage dream! It just goes to show you, you never can tell! Anyway… The song I choose from Blood On The Tracks is “Tangled Up In Blue”. I remember being completely broke, on the dole, starting Transvision Vamp, and listening to this on cassette in the middle of the night with the rain coming down outside and thinking ‘It’s all going to be Ok”.’

Favourite Track: “Tangled Up In Blue”

Back to number 1 in Wendy James list of top 10 favourite albums please click here

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