Bob Dylan

Love Minus Zero/No Limit

Song Review by

"Love Minus Zero/No Limit" was one of the songs on the "electric" side of Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home LP, which had acoustic folk arrangements on the other side. It's one of the lesser-discussed numbers off that record, but is also one of the more tuneful and accessible tracks. While much of his early rock music had basic, even functional bluesy melodies, "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" has an attractively tuneful melody, the principal catch being a descending series of three chords. There's a vaguely Latin/Mexican feel to the rhythm and the tune, particularly in that descending guitar figure. Dylan's songs about women in the mid-'60s tended to be either vicious putdowns or odes to goddesses. This composition falls in the latter camp, the songwriter evoking the image of a somewhat remote but desirable, mysterious, and wise figure, who knows too much to argue or to judge, and who can't be bought by valentines. As was the case with many Dylan songs of the time, the surrealistic title does not actually appear in the lyrics, leaving it up to anyone's guess as to what if anything it might really mean. Quite a few people have covered "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" over the years, ranging from Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Rick Nelson, to the Walker Brothers. It appeared right before Dylan became extremely fashionable to cover as part of the folk-rock boom, which led to 1965 rock covers by early California folk-rock bands the Leaves and the Turtles.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Bringing It All Back Home 1965 Columbia / Legacy 2:51
Don't Look Back 1967 Docurama
No Image 1994 spank
Masterpieces 1998 Columbia 2:53
Bringing It All Back Home/Highway 61 Revisited/Blonde on Blonde 2002 Sony Music Distribution
Masked and Anonymous 2003 Columbia 0:00
Bob Dylan [Limited Edition Hybrid SACD Set] 2003 Legacy 2:51
The Collection: Another Side of Bob Dylan/Bringing It All Back Home/Highway 61 Revisited 2009 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 2:51
This Is Us: Songs from Where You Live 2009
Various Artists
Hear Music 2:51
The Original Mono Recordings 2010 Columbia / Sony Music 2:51
The Complete Album Collection, Vol. 1 2013 Columbia Records / Sony Music 3:58