Continuing my look at 1975, first by counting down my own top albums of that year.
#1 – Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
I once named Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks my favorite album of the 70s, so it follows that it would be the best album of 1975. No surprise here.
First, though, I want to give an honorable mention to another great Bob Dylan album that came out the same year. The Basement Tapes, recorded in 1967 with The Band after Dylan’s motorcycle accident, was released eight years later. This double album is a gloriously laid back collection of roots rock ramblings. It likely would have cracked my top five but I figured I’d spread the love and note it here instead.
As for Blood on the Tracks, what can I say? This is Dylan’s greatest album and the best breakup album ever recorded. It is popularly believed to be about the dissolution of Dylan’s marriage, though he claims the songs aren’t autobiographical. Of course, Dylan claims a lot of things.
Whatever the inspiration, these are mostly songs about broken hearts and lost souls. But despite the subject matter, it isn’t a tough listen. The music — famously re-recorded after Dylan was convinced that earlier acoustic versions were lacking — is rich and warm, and the songs feature some of the best vocals of his career.
The 70s is considered the golden age of rock music, and this 1975 list backs that up. Imagine receiving career-highlight albums from the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, and Pink Floyd all within a matter of months. And those are just the ones I know about. Over the next few weeks I’ll see what other great work came out that year.
If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangier
She left here last early Spring, is livin’ there, I hear
Say for me that I’m all right though things get kind of slow
She might think that I’ve forgotten her, don’t tell her it isn’t so
We had a falling out, like lovers often will
And to think of how she left that night, it still brings me a chill
And though our separation, it pierced me to the heart
She still lives inside of me, we’ve never been apart
If you get close to her, kiss her once for me
Always have respected her for doing what she did and gettin’ free
Oh, whatever makes her happy, I won’t stand in the way
Though the bitter taste still lingers on from the night I tried to make her stay
I see a lot of people as I make the rounds
And I hear her name here and there as I go from town to town
And I’ve never gotten used to it, I’ve just learned to turn it off
Either I’m too sensitive or else I’m gettin’ soft
Sundown, yellow moon, I replay the past
I know every scene by heart, they all went by so fast
If she’s passin’ back this way, I’m not that hard to find
Tell her she can look me up if she’s got the time
That’s it! I’m ready to declare 1975 as the strongest year in rock album history! No wonder why the band 1975 chose this year for its name.
Rob was right! 😜