By now, it’s old news to say that Bob Dylan is frequently hailed as America’s greatest singer/songwriter. Undoubtedly, on every countdown, Dylan and his work are rated among the very highest. For five decades this guy has been making great music, and yet with this one album, Highway 61 Revisited, all of Bob Dylan’s talent is exhibited. After really listening to Highway 61 Revisited and reading the lyrics, it is pretty clear that the highly revered titles given to the singer have been rightfully earned. This album’s lyrics are very original and the new, different method of songwriting really works.
The first and most striking aspect of Bob Dylan’s lyrics is that they are neither predictable nor typical. In so many songs today, especially popular music, there is a definite conventional formula that is followed and I do not think Bob Dylan ever fell victim to the prescribed formula. However, despite his songs’ originality, they are all still very catchy and gained mainstream success. Dylan is the perfect example of a genuinely talented individual who has fairly earned his title.
Another part of Dylan’s appeal is that the audience can actually feel his brain churning and creating all sorts of innovative and interesting phrases. After reading the lyrics to the album, it undeniable that this is a crazy talented artist and for me, it is difficult not to get caught up in his thought process. In Ballad of a Thin Man, he incorporates “F. Scott Fitzgerald” into the lyrics. Even if Dylan’s lyrics were completely meaningless and unenjoyable, I think people would have still taken note of him, simply because of his novel writing style. Not only does Highway 61 Revisited take on a completely inventive, unpredictable new formula of music writing, but that new formula is amazingly good.