I was listening to the song Joey by Bob Dylan the other day and I thought, “You know what?
“I reckon Desire is a better album than Blood On The Tracks.”
Then I think of the songs If You See Her Say Hello and Lily, Rosemary and Idiot Wind and for a second I give my head a wobble.
There is a good reason why every subsequent album is considered his “best since Blood On The Tracks but my God Desire really is something else.
I loved Blood On The Tracks when it came out.
I played it continually, incessantly and 43 years later I still can sing along to every song.
It is a masterpiece in songwriting.
Withstanding Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts it is basically a break-up album. Then again the great sweeping song that is Lily may also be a break-up song.
That baffling rambling brilliant piece of work, it could be anything.
No Blood On The Tracks is phenomenal but Desire ain’t too far behind.
And as I get older I tend to head its way more and more often.
It is a fuller and bigger album than its predecessor; there are backing vocals and the Rolling Thunder band don’t half let loose.
It is political – Hurricane, controversial – Joey – and drop-dead fucking gorgeous – Sara.
It ebbs and flows like all great albums, there is no filler and it is truly epic stuff.
Barring Hurricane it was recorded over (just) five days and forty plus years later it is still as bright, lively and downright heartbreaking as it ever was.
Bob Dylan is a master at work, a great writer, a poet and a performer.
On Desire he’s a fucking great rock and roll star.
It might not be quite as good Blood On The Tracks but just consider – within a year he’s released two quite, quite incredible records.
And for that Robert Zimmerman we will raise a glass or three.