Bob Dylan (LP)

Part three of the DYLAN VINYL collection which is a brand-new collection of every single Bob Dylan album on high-quality 180-gram vinyl plus a collectors’ magazine

The debut album primarily features folk standards, but also includes two original compositions, “Talkin’ New York” and “Song to Woody”. The latter was an ode to Woody Guthrie, a major influence in Dylan’s early career.

The album did not initially receive much attention, but it achieved some popularity following the growth of Dylan’s career, charting in the UK three years after its release, reaching #13.

Side 1
You’re No Good
Talkin’ New York
In My Time of Dyin’
Man of Constant Sorrow
Fixin’ to Die
Pretty Peggy-O
Highway 51

Side 2
Gospel Plow
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
House of the Risin’ Sun
Freight Train Blues
Song to Woody
See That My Grave is Kept Clean

My Top Three

1) Song to Woody
The song conveys Dylan’s appreciation of American folk legend Woody Guthrie. The tune uses the melody from Guthrie’s song “1913 Massacre” and one stanza ends with the lines “I’m a-singin’ you this song, but I can’t sing enough / ‘Cause there’s not many men that done the things that you’ve done.” The penultimate stanza of “Song To Woody” pays tribute to Guthrie folk contemporaries Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry and Lead Belly and “all the good people that traveled with you”. The line “that come with the dust and are gone with the wind”[2] paraphrases the line “we come with the dust and we go with the wind” in Guthrie’s “Pastures of Plenty”, a song about people displaced by the dust storms and drought which swept Oklahoma, Texas and other states in the 1930s during The Great Depression.

2) Talkin’ New York
The song describes his feelings on arriving in New York City from Minnesota, his time playing coffee houses in Greenwich Village, and his life as a folksinger without a record deal. The lyrics express the apparent difficulty he had finding gigs as a result of his unique sound, with a character in the song telling Dylan: “You sound like a hillbilly; We want folk singers here.”

3) Freight Train Blues
“Freight Train Blues” is an early American hillbilly-style country music song written by John Lair. He wrote it for Red Foley, who recorded the song with the title “I Got the Freight Train Blues” in 1934. This just pips “House of the Risin’ Sun” and picked because I work in the industry and have Freight Train Blues almost every day.

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