's second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
(Columbia, 1963), was one of his most groundbreaking efforts. It could be held responsible for putting Dylan on the map in the first place.
Blowin' in the Wind
Girl from the North Country
Masters of War
Down the Highway
Bob Dylan's Blues
A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Bob Dylan's Dream
Talkin' World War III Blues
Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
I Shall Be Free
Protest and Love Songs
Bob Dylan Live in Concertphoto: Frank Micelotta / Getty Images
, Bob Dylan
seemed to have catapulted past the Woody Guthrie-lite of his Columbia debut, and shone himself as the groundbreaking singer-songwriter he has since proven to be.
This album includes some of his most timeless tunes, like "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "Masters of War." On the other hand, there are some terrific classic-style folk songs like "Corrina, Corrina" and "Girl From the North Country," as well as Dylan's charming wit on tunes like "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance."
"Blowin' in the Wind"—One of Dylan's Best Songs
The whole thing kicks off with what could arguably be called Dylan's best song. Considering an artist with a catalog of work the size and breadth of Bob Dylan's, picking out a couple of best songs is not always easy. But, "Blowin' in the Wind"
has been covered by artists from Joan Baez
to Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and, perhaps most famously, Peter, Paul and Mary
Calling to mind the issues of the time, including opposition to the Vietnam War and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, the song raises a series of questions that cannot go unanswered. As a result, it helped inspire a generation to action and, ultimately, change.
Another notable tune that could have been an early indication of what Dylan would come to accomplish was "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright." Again, this tune has been covered, as many of Dylan's compositions have, by numerous artists. With the very first line—"It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe, if you don't know by now"—Dylan manages to put into less than a sentence a sentiment toward which so many of his songs reach.
When all's said and done, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan kickstarted the career of one of the most gifted, unmatchable American songwriters. The songs on this disc have inspired numerous songwriters and artists in just about every genre.
(Lyrics to songs from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)