Saturday, November 08, 2014

THE SEVEN ETERNAL CIRCLES OF BOB DYLAN: RE-BOOTED/NO-LONGER BOOTED RE-VISITED

I, Richard Matthew Michael Joseph Millett IV created the ultimate, final, and above all else, perfect ranking of Bob Dylan's oeuvre a few months back.  Now, you'll remember as you basked in the warmth of my creation, that I said that if the Basement Tapes were ever properly released, I would revise the list.  And I, Richard Millett, am I man of my word!  Behold the newly updated list!

FIRST TIER: PERFECTION AS SMOOTH AS A RHAPSODY
1- The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete- Beyond masterpiece.  Along with Citizen Kane, Warhol's Soup Cans, and a good three or four Miles Davis albums, the greatest art any American created in the Twentieth Century
1a- Blonde On Blonde- Masterpiece (the symphony)
1b- Blood On The Tracks- Masterpiece (the opera)
2- Highway 61 Revisited- Masterpiece (the ultimate in pure get down)
3- John Wesley Harding- Masterpiece (the ultimate in pure owning up)

SECOND TIER: UNFUCKWITHABLE GREATNESS FOR THE AGES
4- Tempest- Goddamn Genius
5- Desire- Perfect
6- Bringing It All Back Home- Perfect
7- Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Live 1966, "Royal Albert Hall" Concert- Perfect- but why stop here?
8- “Love and Theft”- Near Perfect
9- Another Side Of Bob Dylan- Perfect
10- The Times They Are a-Changin’- Perfect
11- World Gone Wrong- Perfect
12- The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan- Near Perfect
13- Time Out Of Mind- Near Perfect
14- Modern Times- Near Perfect
15- Hard Rain- Those ducklings couldn't see the swan was beautiful
16- Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962–1964- Suspension of disbelief
17- Oh Mercy- Near Perfect, shame about Disease Of Conceit

THIRD TIER: U STILL CAN'T TOUCH THIS
18- Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Live 1964, Concert at Philharmonic Hall- Mask-erading
19- Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991- A comma not a period
20- Street Legal- Startling, Strange, Suffocating
21- New Morning- Placid, Peaceful, Pleasant
22- Together Through Life- BYOB
23- Infidels- Coulda been a contender
24- Planet Waves- Looking back with awe
25- In Concert - Brandeis University 1963- Tougher than nails
26- Biograph- A true musical joyride
27- Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II- The Chronicles of its time
28- Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Live 1975, Rolling Thunder Revue- 15 discs too short.  Bootlegs ahoy!
29- Before the Flood- The eternal battle of good vs. evil
30- Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs: Rare/Unreleased 1989–2006- Studying the stetson
31- Good As I Been To You- Saturdays
32- Slow Train Coming- Sundays
33- Shot Of Love- Monday

FOURTH TIER: U COULD CERTAINLY DO WORSE
34- Bob Dylan- Wheat vs. chafe
35- Nashville Skyline- Mint juleps vs. Michelob
36- Empire Burlesque- Nice cloth vs. bad tailoring
37- The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971)- Charmed, I'm sure
38- Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid- Ennio Eno
39- 'The Copyright Extension Collection Vol. I'- The truth shall set you free
40- Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack- This store is sorta cool

FIFTH TIER: ...AND YOU SAY YOUR NAME IS WEBERMAN?
41- Live at the Gaslight 1962- Bootlegs are better
42- Live at Carnegie Hall 1963- Bootlegs are better revisited
43- Live 1961–2000: Thirty-Nine Years of Great Concert Performances- Remember this one?
44- Masterpieces- Still necessary after all these years
45- Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988)- The Liquid lunch
46- Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 (1990)- The Afternoon Crash
47- Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits- It's been done

SIXTH TIER: TOO MUCH MIXED UP CONFUSION
48- Self Portrait- Shit can come out green?
49- Christmas in the Heart- Battery acid Bing
50- Real Live- Um, technically
51- Under The Red Sky- Lite'n'lively'n'scowling
52- MTV Unplugged- I thought that sign read "apple sauce"!
53- Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Volume 3- Grizzled, chained, drained, and gated (drums)
54- Bob Dylan at Budokan- Diamond Dylan.  As in Neil.
55- 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration- Bob Bored.  Sinead Booed.  Wood Not Good.
56- The Basement Tapes- Now that justice has been done, do you really need The Band outtakes?

SEVENTH TIER: ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE
57- Down In The Groove- Gets it over with
58- Saved- Doomed
59- Knocked Out Loaded- Martland's Syndrome
60- The Essential Bob Dylan- Talkin' 60's Fixation Blues
61- Dylan- What about Bob?
62- Blues- Biege
63- Dylan & the Dead- Horse shit vs. Dog shit

SPECIAL HONORARY MENTION PART ONE!
64- The Complete Album Collection Vol. 1- How the heck do you rank this thing?

DOUBLE SPECIAL HONORARY MENTION PART TWO!!
Bob really mangled what could have been three masterpieces- Shot Of Love, Infidels, and Oh Mercy.  Advanced studies of the bootlegs are strongly suggested.

No comments: