Home / The Friday Morning Listen: Bob Dylan Remastered

The Friday Morning Listen: Bob Dylan Remastered

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This has been a week saturated with Bob Dylan. Last weekend, the Dylan remasters box set that I ordered showed up at my local store. Yessir. Remastered, repackaged, hybrid SACD format. This set is now known at the house as The Big Box Of Bob.

So TheWife and I listened to tons of Dylan on Saturday as we drove through the rain to do our errands (read: while we avoided work around the house). By the end of the day, during the drive home from having a nice Indian dinner, we’d made it all the way to Nashville Skyline (meaning that we’d listened to The Freewheeling Bob Dylan, Another Side Of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde, and John Wesley Harding).

At that point, I figured to bring the next few discs with me to work on Monday.

Except for one thing. We woke up on Sunday morning and it was sunny outside. Not a big deal if you live in San Diego, but up here in New England, we haven’t had a bright weekend in a long, long time.

So…we figured rather than doing housework, it’d be so much more fun to drive to the coast for a lobster roll and some sun. Of course, we were right. Along the way and back we enjoyed Planet Waves, Blood On The Tracks, Desire, and Street Legal. Fine music, and an indescribably great lobster roll.

During the week, I went back and revisited Desire (one of my favorites), and Street Legal. Because of various podcasts and actual work activities, Slow Train Coming was the only “new” disc I made it through.

Bringing us to Infidels.

This is the one Dylan record from the “Dylan Christian Era” that sort of throttles back on the message. There’s no mistaking that the message is there, but it doesn’t feel as forced as on albums like Saved.

Beyond that though, is the music itself, which is just absolutely gorgeous. Credit of course must be given to the beyond stellar backing band: Mark Knopfler and Mick Taylor on guitars, Alan Clark on keys, and the infamous rhythm duo of Sly & Robbie. The power and ease that group brings puts a relaxed spin on tunes like “Jokerman,” “I And I,” and “Man Of Peace.” Great stuff.

And, I’ve still got Oh Mercy and Love And Theft to go.

Bring on the weekend!

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About Mark Saleski

  • Here’s to a sunny weekend, a clean windshield, and a full tank of gas, then. It’s nice to know that there are still people in the world who have their priorities straight 🙂

  • damn straight! 😉

  • I don’t have the full box but did purchase a number of the individual hybrids. The Super Audio level is wondrous. I wish Dylan’s full catalog would get the hybrid treatment.

    Come to think of it, isn’t Bruce Springsteen on that same label as Dylan? How would some Springsteen hybrids sound? I would love to hear those early records in SACD format!

  • Infidels is indeed a gorgeous record, and ooh, that box! how beautiful it looks! but alas, the funds forbid anything of the like. i’ll make do with the ol’ CD versions, but still, an aching in the gut for that box!

    Slow Train Coming is marvellous also, and i’ve always had a fondness for Saved and Shot Of Love. The latter, in particular, is at least 60% astounding.

    Wonderful as ever, Sir Saleski!

  • Scott Butki

    I have a Friday morning listen request. It’s actually a story idea that I doubt I will get to anytime soon.
    The idea is to listen to Screamin Jay Hawkins I Put A Spell on You and then all the incarnations that followed, from club remixes to CCR to.. you get the idea.

    It’s one of the wildest songs ever and yet has more legs than a centipede

  • that’s a great idea scott…except that i don’ think i’ve got the Screamin’ Jay version.

    oh come on, you can get to this! 😉

  • Great write-up, Mark. Infidels is one of my favorites, and though I didn’t remember it as one of Dylan’s born-again albums, the stand-out track for me, “Jokerman,” does rattle off some Books of the Bible–Leviticus, Deuterotomy, etc., which I’m sure I’m misspelling here.

  • The Big Box O Bob requires a Bigger Box O Bucks than I’m currently able to spend so I’ve gotta make due with the original albums. Agree totally about Infidels…great record. Slow Train is also great. I think if you took the rockers from Saved (Solid Rock) and put some of the ballads from Shot Of Love (especially Every Grain of Sand) together on one record, you’d of had one great record.

    Pay attention to Street legal though Mark. That one’s been really overlooked over the years. Changing of The Guard, for my money, is one of Dylan’s best.

    Good read as always.


  • Gordon,

    Officially, “Infidels” is not part of the “Born Again” trilogy (Slow Train, Saved, Shot of Love) and by this time he was again incorporating his “secular material” back into his shows. But as you point out, the biblical themes were still cropping up…just less overtly.


  • Scott Butki

    I can email you the original version.
    Nice try to get out of it, though.


  • Although I’m not the biggest Dylan fan, generally preferring his 60s work, Desire is one of my fave albums. And Lester Bangs, as I think I said before, is one of my two favourite rock writers. It’s great to find Americana in common across the water, away from the pol section hurly burly! Thanks, Mark.