From The Vault: Bob Dylan – “Bob Dylan” (1962)

March 19, 2017

From The Vault: Bob Dylan – “Bob Dylan” (1962)

Dear Mom & Dad,

Got myself a record deal with Columbia, it ain’t all that much, but it will help payin’ the rent, and you needn’t worry about me eating. Things are goin’ pretty good these days. New York seemed big at first, but it’s really just a bunch of small towns all strung out together. Woody and I have been spending alot of time together, he really digs my tunes. I’m enclosing a copy of my record for you, though there’s no need for you to play it, just thought you’d like the picture is all. Bob

This is probably one of my least favorite albums by Dylan, though his interpretation of several standard folk songs are very good; with his rendition of “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down” probably being the strongest track on the record. For me, this record seems like it could almost be part of one of those Bootleg Series that folks are making such a huge fuss over, songs that were left on the cutting room floor, or material he wanted to keep around for future consideration and exploration … yet never did.
The release wasn’t hugely successful either. Columbia seriously thought about dropping Bob from their label, and this during a time when record companies nurtured their artists, helping to bring them along, allowing them the time to find their footing. Fortuity for us, someone had the vision to allow this young man to ramble on, to ramble on and become the most venerated and recognizable voices in music of all time.
Like his Bootleg Series, this is fun to listen to, but you won’t be playing it much, even back in ‘62 we didn’t play it much … it was one of those records most people found by walking the cat backwards, discovering it only after Dylan was already famous.
– Jenell Kesler
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One Comment
  1. Anonymous

    I sort of rediscovered Bob later in life so I've definitely "walked the cat backwards". Same with a lot of artists. It's fun to discover some new old stuff that you somehow let slip by.

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