Bob Dylan, Desire: Enduringly Awesome

Like all girls if given the choice (I think?!), I’d def want to be living in Greenwich Village in the 1960s traipsing around on the arm of Bob Dylan. How could you NOT be enthralled by the magnetism of his rock genius? Plus, he’s the kind of storyteller I most aspire to be. Masterful poetry. Quiet intelligence. And a penchant for minding his own damn business.

As you may know, there’s like a hundred magnificent Dylan songs, and they’re all remarkable for different reasons. However, when it comes to albums in their entirety, my very favorite is Desire.

Released in 1976 right on the heels of Blood On The Tracks (my number-two fave!), Desire isn’t a war protest album or even an introspective, embittered heartbreak album. It’s just a bunch of wild tales about outlaws and their lovers, underdogs wrongly accused, and gangsters with integrity. You’re immediately whisked away to the canyons of Durango, to the sun-blasted beaches of Mozambique, to the turf wars of 1950s Little Italy. It’s all very exciting—and translated with complete, arresting beauty.

Perhaps my favorite song of all, ever, is “One More Cup Of Coffee”—a duet with Emmy Lou Harris about a man’s deep, unrequited love for a strange gypsy woman. It soars with haunting violins, Middle Eastern rhythms, and exotic imagery.

In an era when we no longer really think about music in terms of albums but rather mp3s, Desire still shines as a something that’s a whole—to be listened to all at once on a dark, starry night when you’re imagination’s running wild.

 

 photo via retrospinalgroove.com

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