|Mobile Fidelity/US Import
Release Date: 24 March 2014
Format: Boxed Set Vinyl
|Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde Limited Edition Numbered 180gram Vinyl 3LP Box Set
As part of its Bob Dylan catalog restoration series, Mobile Fidelity is thoroughly humbled to have the privilege of mastering the iconic LP from the original master tapes and pressing it on 45RPM LPs at RTI. The end result is the very finest, most transparent analog edition of Blonde on Blonde ever produced. Forever renowned for what the Bard deemed ''that thin, that wild mercury sound,'' the album's famed aural character lives and breathes on this superb version, with wider and deeper grooves affording playback of previously buried information and lifelike presentation of the studio sessions.
Forever prized for a unique sound that cultural critic Greil Marcus tagged ''the most glamorous record imaginable; listening you [can] see the checkered jester's suit Dylan had worn on stage for the nine previous, furious months,'' Blonde on Blonde is to music, production, prose, and performance as what hydrogen is to water. The secret to its inimitable aural character partially stems from Dylan's request in Nashville to producer Bob Johnston to remove the baffles from the studio room, allowing the musicians to interact as well as the music to assume a more organic quality that drifts from one microphone to another. Mobile Fidelity's reissue captures this ensemble ambience, with echoes, resonation, and some of the most natural timbres you'll ever hear in plain sight. The story of Blonde on Blonde is almost as compelling as the music within. Dylan, frustrated with how initial attempts fared in New York, relocating to Tennessee and pairing with Nashville's top session players as well as members of what would become the Band, feverishly chasing perfectionism while also arriving at an on-the-fly feel that remains a reference point for recorded music.
The Bard sweated over lyrics, demanded his band get the exact sounds he heard in his head, and limited most takes to a handful at most. A majority of songs were recorded long after midnight, the post-A.M. vibe reflected in the nocturnal aura, woozy optimism, inversion of intervals, and spiritual soulfulness of the playing. As for the tunes? Chapters of books and lengthy theses are dedicated to the sheer conscious-altering power, mythical weight, character cast, and convention-obscuring magnetism of the lyrics - to say nothing of the sophisticated albeit pure playing within, as arrangements touch upon gospel, R&B, pop, traditional and contemporary blues, vaudeville, folk, and more. Then there's Dylan's inventive phrasing, his manipulation of pitch and locution, helping the narratives to take on epic, inchoate, and cryptic meanings that continue to be deciphered to this day. Punch lines occur as frequently as romantic declarations, all delivered with salient references, traditional parallels, and elusive interpretations on par with those of Shakespeare. ''Visions of Johanna.'' ''I Want You. '' Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.'' ''Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.'' ''Absolutely Sweet Marie.'' We could go on. ''Essential'' doesn't even begin to cover the genius of this record that, now, sounds better than Dylan himself can imagine.
A1 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 4:35
A2 Pledging My Time 3:55
B1 Visions Of Johanna 7:30
B2 One Of Us Must Know 4:57
C1 I Want You 3:10
C2 Memphis Blues Again 7:07
C3 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat 3:50
D1 Just Like A Woman 4:52
D2 Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine 3:30
D3 Temporary Like Achilles 5:07
E1 Absolutely Sweet Marie 4:57
E2 4th Time Around 4:37
E3 Obviously 5 Believers 3:37
F1 Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands 11:20