Dylan [1973]

Bob Dylan

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Dylan [1973] Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Commonly regarded as the worst album in Bob Dylan's catalog, Dylan is a collection of nine outtakes from the Self Portrait album Columbia assembled after the singer briefly jumped ship for David Geffen's fledgling Asylum Records. Dylan didn't want the record to be released, and it's easy to see why -- the album is a collection of covers that are poorly performed on purpose. Tackling both contemporary writers (Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," Jerry Jeff Walker's "Mr. Bojangles"), pop songs ("Can't Help Falling in Love," "A Fool Such as I"), and traditional numbers ("The Ballad of Ira Hayes," "Spanish Is the Loving Tongue"), Dylan attempts to sabotage each number, but none of the results is quite so shocking, or funny, as the deconstructions on Self Portrait. While Dylan is indeed a negligible album, it isn't unlistenable -- it has a pleasant pop/rock sheen and Dylan sings in his Nashville Skyline croon. Nevertheless, it adds nothing to his canon, and only die-hard fans with a perverse sense of humor will find the record worth a listen.

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