AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Number 6 – Bob Dylan “Blonde on Blonde”

Columbia Records 1966

As we reach the end of our first week running down our top 10 americana albums ever, we inevitably feature one Robert Zimmerman, as his 1966 album makes it to Number 6 in our list. Some readers may scratch their head and wonder how Dylan can be classified as ‘americana’. AUK writer Ljubinko Zivkovic is thankfully here to set the record straight.

You can opendebate about practically any Bob Dylan album. From its ranking within Dylan’s opus to its contribution to any specific modern musical form or lack of it. ‘Blonde on Blonde’ is certainly no exception to that.

While many would debate how high it is on the list of his best works (and it should be quite close to the top, no matter what), there is one place where its contribution should not raise much dispute, and that is its contribution to the development of americana as a musical genre. But then, as is the case with anything connected to Dylan, there is an open debate about that too.

Nevertheless, Dylan’s connection to what is now called ‘americana’ or ‘roots’, or whatever name or names such music had in the sixties, stems right from his musical beginnings and influences. In many ways, ‘Blonde on Blonde’ is the fruition of all of the music Dylan created in the sixties, from his folksy beginnings to the so-called electric phase. In many of its aspects, it also announced much of the music (and lyrics) he would create from then on. In retrospect, it is some sort of a Dylan watershed.

At the same time, ‘Blonde on Blonde’ can in many ways be seen (and heard) as one of americana’s starting points as a genre, the participation of seasoned Nashville musicians in its creation being just one of the elements there. However, the key to it being a masterpiece still mainly lies with Dylan himself.

About Clint West 316 Articles
From buying my first record aged 10 and attending my first gig at 14, music has been a lifelong obsession. A proud native of Suffolk, I have lived in and around Manchester for the best part of 30 years. My idea of a perfect day would be a new record arriving in the post in the morning, watching Ipswich Town win in the afternoon followed by a gig and a pint with my mates at night,
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