Planet Waves came out after Self Portrait, New Morning and Dylan, three of the man’s least understood and appreciated albums. And it was followed up by Blood on the Tracks, The Basement Tapes and Desire, three of his best.
Planet Waves is the first album I’ve played of the five I bought in preparation for these Dylan Weekends and I hope its quality is indicative of what I can expect of the rest. It’s fun to hear “new” music from an artist I’ve been listening to for more than 20 years.
Planet Waves certainly doesn’t crack my top tier of Dylan albums, and it would probably struggle to find a spot in the tier just below that, but it already sits comfortably alongside a group of albums in the good-to-great category (assume the top tier are “classics” and the second tier are “great to excellent”… yes, I’ll eventually get around to ranking all of these albums in order… and yes, I’m a total nerd… let’s move on).
When I started this Dylan Weekend series and decided to dedicate posts to each of Bob Dylan’s albums chronologically, I knew I was going in somewhat ill-prepared. I own more albums by Dylan than by any other single artist or band in my collection (Elvis Costello is a close second) but I don’t own them all.
Already I’ve covered three of the albums I don’t own — Self Portrait, Dylan and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. But one of those is a soundtrack and the other two are notoriously mediocre, and primarily cover albums besides. So I don’t feel all that bad glossing over them on the blog.