Recommend Albums by a Particular Artist

I was just going to ask which Bob Dylan albums I should get, but then I decided to make the thread so people can ask the same question about other musicians.

So, which Bob Dylan albums should I get? He’s got a lot. I have Highway 61 Revisited and like it a lot. Like A Rolling Stone is my favorite song on it.
I also have the recent bootlegs collection, No Direction Home. I prefer the first disc because some of the electric songs are too long and bluesish, as with Highway 61 Revisited. I don’t have anything against the blues, but I don’t like electric blues that go on for a long time. It starts to wear me down.
I like his early stuff, so it’s fine if anyone wants to recommend those albums, but right now I guess what I’m primarily interested in is something that’s smart and catchy, such as Like A Rolling Stone.

Blonde on Blonde

Correct. Then get Blood On The Tracks.

I think you should sample stuff from each era of Dylan. The pre-Highway 61 albums might be a little less musically complete than you might want- often just Bob on his guitar and sometimes a harmonica. If you’re not really into lyrics you might save these for later.

Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde are two masterpieces and no collection is complete without them.

Depending on if you like The Band or not, Before the Flood and Planet Waves may or may not be for you. I happen to like The Band and love these two.

Blood on the Tracks and Desire are the best of the mid-70s Dylan in my view. Desire might be more of what you’re after than anything else.

I’m the only one, but I love Street Legal.

Knocked Out Loaded would be the most recent thing that I really like, from this point on it seems like he’s just phoning them in.

For the lighter side of Dylan, get the Traveling Wilburys albums, if you can find them.

If I could have only one Dylan album it would be “Blood on the Tracks”. The other recommendations are very good though.

What one Springsteen album would folks recommend?

Live 1975-1985 would be the big one.

For Springsteen, I’d go with “The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle.”

I agree with Highway 61, Blonde on Blonde, and Blood on the Tracks.

Bringing it All Back Home, the first half electric album, is right up there also. It has Maggies Farm, Mr. Tambourine Man, and some very funny songs also.

Freewheelin Bob Dylan, his second and the first success, is a must have. It is all acoustic, but I much prefer these to the later ones. Hard Rain is still magnificent today, and it has Talkin’ World War III blues, one of my favorites. I find Another Side and Times they Are a Changin’ depressing.

I like the last two new ones, Love and Theft and Time Out of Mind, but that might be because it is so great to have him back and writing great songs again. They may not be good to start out with.


I’m the only one, but I love Street Legal.

No sir, you are not. It’s one of my very favourites. I might be the only one, but I’m a bit meh on Blonde on Blonde. Probably familiarity breeding contempt.

For my 2c, Highway 61 Revisited is the one to get if you’re only going to get one of Bob’s - there isn’t a dull track on it, it’s fun, funny. thrilling has some awesome playing on it and you can send me a postcard when you work out “Desolation Row”. The next one to buy would be Another Side - his singing is lousy on it but gee, “Chimes of Freedom” is just so beautiful…

I’ll throw in my two cents and recommend Freewheelin’ solely for his rendition of Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.

I have to echo those who mentioned Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 as well.

Born to Run is a no-brainer… imho you could listen to that album without the title track and it would still be a classic.

I was born in 1961, and throughout my childhood, I hated Bob Dylan, largely because hi was the type of music uncool adults tried to play to show us kids how cool they were. It was dull, preachy pap (trust me, hippe-wannabe nuns singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” at folk Mass is mighty lame!).

It was only when I got a little older and heard “Desire” that I started to understand Dylan’s greatness.

So, I nominate “Desire” as Dylan’s best album ever. No one track on it is as great as “Tangled Up in Blue,” but it’s way better than "Blood on the Tracks as a whole, in my opinion.

Other “If You Listen to Only One Album” choices:

Beatles: “Revolver”
Byrds: “The Notorious Byrd Brothers”
Kinks: “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society”
Electric Light Orchestra: “A New World Record”
Deep Purple: “In Rock”
Aerosmith: “Rocks”
Van Halen: “Van Halen II”
Cream: “Disraeli Gears”
Led Zeppelin: “Physical Graffiti”

Hell, picking even five Springsteen albums would be tough for me. *Born to Run * and *Darkness on the Edge of Town * seem essential, as does The Wild, The Innocent to get his early period in there. After that, I personally would have to have The River, but do you shut out *Born in the USA * in favor of *Nebraska, * or vice versa?

I think **Lute Skywatcher ** had the right ideer.
Some of my one cd picks

Queen- *Jazz * (most would say Night at the Opera, but. . . always felt that one was a little more frills than rock)
Elvis Costello- *My Aim is True * (picking one EC is **really ** tough)
Cheap Trick - Dream Police
Simon and Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Whew- I’m spent. Playing onesies is hard!

For Dylan, I’m going off the tracks here and recommending three completely different albums: Bob Dylan (his first. Essentially a bunch of folk covers, but excellent, and it really gives you the perfect introduction into what he’s really all about,) John Wesley Harding, and Nashville Skyline.

Quirky funkiness? The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle; Welcome to Asbury Park, New Jersey

Rock out with some melancholy thrown in? Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River

Lots of Melancholy? Nebraska

Mainstream rock/pop? Born in the USA, Tunnel of Love

Slower folkier stuff I’ve lost track of? Anything after 1990 :wink:

Overall introduction to the classics? Live 75-85

I got Blonde on Blonde yesterday before reading the responses here, and I’m really happy with it. I think I like it better than Highway 61 Revisited. It’s nice and diverse throughout.

No Direction Home actually has a lot of the great early songs on it. They’re different versions, but they are good. I don’t know how they compare to the originals. Well, I guess Allmusic says that the best takes are on the original albums. I might give them a listen.

The Zombies - Oddesey & Oracle
The Pixies - Surfer Rosa
David Bowie - Hunky Dory

Now that’s a tough choice. I’d go with Ziggy Stardust or Station to Station.

But but but … Desire has “Joey” on it. :eek: