Bob Dylan’s 5 Worst Albums

This might not be the best idea for a list, I know. We here @ JV don’t write about music we don’t like. But this is different, this is my fav artist..by far, and the 5 worst Bob Dylan albums still contains much great music. A bad Dylan album might still be a good album.

It’s always easy to write negative critique, but I chose not to comment on the 5 albums on the list… except highlighting the best song/songs.

To set the record strait: on my “all time greatest albums” list I have 3 Dylan records @ top 3:

  1. Blonde On Blonde
  2. Highway 61 Revisited
  3. Blood On The Tracks
  4. Exile on Main St. – The Rolling Stones
  5. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen

 

My rules:  I’ve excluded Greatest Hits/Best of albums, but bootleg series & live albums are in. And Christmas in the Heart is also excluded from this “competition”, it’s not really a Dylan album after all.

Then we are down to 52 albums.. and here are the worst:

  1. Down In The Groove

    Released May 30, 1988
    Recorded 1983–1987
    Genre Rock
    Length 32:10
    Label Columbia
    Producer unlisted

    Best song: Silvio

  2. Dylan

    Released November 19, 1973
    Recorded April 24, 1969 – June 4, 1970
    Genre Rock, folk rock
    Length 33:22
    Label Columbia
    Producer Bob Johnston

     Best Song: Mr.Bojangles

  3. Dylan & The Dead
    Released February 6, 1989
    Recorded July 1987
    Genre Rock
    Length 43:07
    Label Columbia
    Producer Jerry Garcia
    John Cutler

    Best Song: Queen Jane Approximately

  4. Self Portrait
     

    Released June 8, 1970
    Recorded April 24, 1969 – March 30, 1970
    Genre Country rock, rock
    Length 73:15
    Label Columbia
    Producer Bob Johnston

    Best Songs: Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight), Days of’ 49, Early Mornin’ Rain, Let It Be Me & Living The Blues

  5. Real Live
    Released November 29, 1984
    Recorded Summer 1984
    Genre Hard rock
    Length 50:15
    Label Columbia
    Producer Glyn Johns

     Best Songs: Highway 61 Revisited, Masters of War & Tombstone Blues

Here is a spotify playlist with the best songs from the worst albums:
(PS – I did not find “Dylan” on spotify… hence the missing “Mr. Bojangles”)

4 runners up:

  • Knocked Out Loaded (1986)
    remove Brownsville Girl and it might be the very worst
  • Bob Dylan at Budokan (1979)
    ok in small portions and contains a great Is Your Love In Vain 
  • Saved (1980)
    the tame & toothless sound nearly kills it off, still it contains some really good songs: Saved, Solid Rock, In The Garden,..
  • Empire Burlesque (1985)
    with typical bad 80’s production (horrible drum sound), and leaving best versions of key songs in the studio. This one also have some strong songs: Emotionally Yours, Dark Eyes & Tight Connection To My Heart
-Egil
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