Song of the Day #1,454: ‘She Belongs to Me’ – Bob Dylan

Best Albums of the 60s – #7
Bringing It All Back Home – Bob Dylan (1965)

I discovered Bob Dylan during my sophomore year of high school. I’d heard of him before, and was familiar with his greatest hits through my parents (when I was a kid, they’d played that album on a reel-to-reel player — the iPod of its day), but I’d never listened to any of his albums in full.

I started my collection on vinyl, buying whichever records I could find for a good price at the Tower Records in nearby Washington, D.C. And of those records, it was Bringing it all Back Home that truly opened my mind to Dylan’s genius.

I suspect the impact this album had on me 23 years after it was released was similar to the impact it had on listeners in 1965. This was the record where Dylan shifted to electric music, with the album’s first half recorded with a rock band and the second half in his traditional acoustic mode. It marked a shift in his sound as well as the focus of his songs.

Bringing it all Back Home is packed with classic tracks, from ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues,’ ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’ and ‘Maggie’s Farm’ on the electric side to ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ on the acoustic side. Every track explodes with thought-provoking imagery — sounds and visions that opened a 15-year-old’s mind to the possibilities of art.

She’s got everything she needs
She’s an artist, she don’t look back
She’s got everything she needs
She’s an artist, she don’t look back
She can take the dark out of the nighttime
And paint the daytime black

You will start out standing
Proud to steal her anything she sees
You will start out standing
Proud to steal her anything she sees
But you will wind up peeking through her keyhole
Down upon your knees

She never stumbles
She’s got no place to fall
She never stumbles
She’s got no place to fall
She’s nobody’s child
The Law can’t touch her at all

She wears an Egyptian ring
That sparkles before she speaks
She wears an Egyptian ring
That sparkles before she speaks
She’s a hypnotist collector
You are a walking antique

Bow down to her on Sunday
Salute her when her birthday comes
Bow down to her on Sunday
Salute her when her birthday comes
For Halloween give her a trumpet
And for Christmas, buy her a drum

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,454: ‘She Belongs to Me’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana says:

    I think you meant to say electric rather than electronic sound. Could you imagine the fans’ shock if the first half of this record sounded like David Guetta?:)

    Anyway, I am familiar with the “hits,” really more like classics, from this album though I’ve never heard the whole record through. Though clearly a great album, I wonder if it ranks so highly on your list (above Rubber Soul!) because it was your gateway album into Dylan?

  2. Clay says:

    Thanks for the catch. Dylan goes electronica… now that would be interesting!

  3. Shawn says:

    Looking back over his long career this may be Dylan’s best album, overall, but that is an incredibly difficult statement to commit to because there is so much great music. My first Bob Dylan album was Freewheelin’ (back in ’85) and I have always been partial to acoustic Dylan. He was an original from the start but Bringing It All Back Home was fantastically original (as far as that goes), artistic, entertaining, funny, serious, imaginative, produced beautifully, and touches the acoustic and electric sides of Dylan. Someone new to him should start here (other than the greatest hits) and then decide to move backward a couple of albums or ahead the same.

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