The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan

The Freewheelin Bob Dylan
Cover of the album “The Freewheelin'

After , the album 36 of the list takes us to another monument of the music: Bob Dylan, the undisputed master of the text song, the Nobel Prize of the literature.

The year 1963 was a turning point for Bob Dylan. At the age of 22, he had already begun to make a name for himself in the New York music scene, but he had not yet achieved commercial success. “The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan”, critically acclaimed, launched his career.

In addition to the release of this iconic album, 1963 was a busy year for Dylan. He began the year touring with folk singer and also played clubs in New York's Greenwich Village, where he was discovered by producer John Hammond. It was Hammond who signed Dylan to Columbia Records and produced his self-titled debut album in 1962.

In the summer of 1963, Dylan also played at the Newport Folk Festival, where he performed “Blowin' in the Wind” for the first time, a song that would become an anthem of the civil rights struggle.

Suze Rotolo and Bob Dylan
and Bob Dylan

Despite the success of his musical career, Dylan's personal life was turbulent in 1963. He was in a relationship with Suze Rotolo, an artist and political activist who is featured on the album cover, but their relationship ended in 1964. Dylan was also involved in political controversies, including refusing to perform for the Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington DC.

Dylan was also very involved in the social movements of the time. He participated in civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, and his songs often reflected his political and social beliefs.

The album

The album is characterized by poetic and politically engaged lyrics and simple but effective folk melodies. It includes songs such as “Blowin' in the Wind,” “Masters of War,” “A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall” and “Don't Think Twice, It's All Right,” which are now classics in folk and rock music.

“Blowin' in the Wind” is perhaps the most famous song on the album and has become an anthem for the civil rights movement. The simple yet powerful lyrics, coupled with Dylan's voice and acoustic guitar, touched the hearts of many who were fighting for justice and equality.

“The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan” is an iconic album that influenced many artists and helped define the folk and rock music of the 1960s. The poetic and politically charged lyrics, coupled with Dylan's voice and acoustic guitar, created a sound and style that has stood the test of time. This album remains a must-have for music lovers and a powerful testament to Dylan's artistic involvement in the social movements of the time.

Blowin' in the Wind

“Blowin' in the Wind” is a song by Bob Dylan, released in 1963 on his second studio album, “The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan”. Since then, it has become a classic of folk and rock music, often considered one of the greatest protest songs of all time.

The song was written in the early 1960s, a time of deep social and political tension in the United States. Dylan was a young artist involved in the civil rights movement, opposition to the war and the fight against social inequality. “Blowin' in the Wind” was born out of this commitment, offering simple but poignant lyrics about issues of justice and freedom.

The song begins with the iconic question, “How many roads must a man walk down / Before you call him a man?” which is followed by a series of rhetorical questions about war, death, peace and freedom. The lyrics are simple, but they touch the hearts of many people who are looking for answers to these existential questions.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy

The song was a big hit for Dylan and was covered by many other artists, including Peter, Paul and Mary, who made it a hit in 1963. The song became an anthem for the civil rights movements and was associated with key moments in American history, including the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march.

The song inspired many protest artists, including , who recorded many of Dylan's songs, as well as the Beatles and , both of whom cited Dylan as an important influence.

The Master of War

The song's lyrics are a warning to the one Dylan calls the “Master of War,” the one who pulls the strings of war. Dylan denounces the violence and injustice of war, speaking directly to the one who is responsible for it. He describes the warlord as a callous and unfeeling person who takes advantage of the suffering of others for his own gain.

In the verses of the song, Dylan lists the various forms of violence that the warlord perpetuates. He describes the ravages of war on the bodies and minds of soldiers, as well as the suffering of civilians trapped in war. He also questions the motivations of the warlord, who seems willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands to achieve his goals.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy

The lyrics of “Master of War” were written at a time when the United States was deeply involved in the Vietnam War. The song has been interpreted as a direct criticism of the war policies of the U.S. administration at the time. However, the song's lyrics are universal in scope, denouncing war in general rather than any particular war.

The song continues to inspire today. covered it in 2013.

Dont' Think Twice It's All Right

The song's lyrics are both poignant and honest. Dylan sings to his former lover, telling her that he doesn't want her to feel bad about their breakup, that she should move on and not think twice about what happened. The song is a meditation on the pain of the breakup, but it is also full of optimism and hope for the future.

The lyrics of “Don't Think Twice, It's All Right” are full of simplicity and deep sincerity. Dylan uses simple, direct imagery to express his feelings, but he does so with such honesty and clarity that the song resonates deeply with anyone who has ever suffered a breakup.

And it ain't no use in turning on your light, babe
That light I never knew
And it ain't no use in turning on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road

The melody of the song is just as captivating as the lyrics. Dylan's guitar picking is fluid and delicate, but at the same time energetic and rhythmic, creating an intimate and warm atmosphere that perfectly suits the nature of the song.

Elvis would cover it on his 1973 album “Elvis”.

Where to listen to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan?

Useful links for Bob Dylan

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