Stark, Austere, Acoustic Record Dylan's First With All-Original Material
Title Track, ''The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,'' ''With God on Our Side'' Establish Dylan as Voice of Social Consciousness
The Bard Addresses Issues Such as Equality, Racism, and Poverty and Helps Ignite 1960s Political Movements
Faithful to the Source: Information-Rich 45RPM Pressing Brings the Simple Sounds of Dylan's Voice, Acoustic Guitar, and Harmonica into Lifelike Perspective
Every Seminal Bob Dylan Album from the 1960s and 70s Available from Mobile Fidelity on LP
Immediately distinguished by the you're-either-with-us-or-against-us messages of the landmark title track, Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A Changin' sounds an unmistakable clarion call on behalf of progress and its unstoppable advancement. One of the Bard's trademark songs, it remains a timeless anthem with a clear sense of common purpose, a musical line in the sand that helped unite various social movements and multiple generations. The reverential 1964 record feeds off the opening tune and its unmistakable sentiments, marching forward to confront racism, poverty, injustice, and upheaval in a stark, immediate manner like few albums before or since.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed on 180g LP at RTI, this restored 45RPM analog version delivers the landscape-shifting music in reference-quality sound that practically transports you to Columbia's Studio A. Reflecting the austerity of the topics and Dylan's mood, the sonics are direct and unadorned - each word hitting with weight, each phrase lingering until it pulls you under, each storyline echoing as fact. The hollow body of Dylan's guitar, internal mechanisms of his harmonica, and graininess of his throat come across in full-on detail. Wider grooves mean more information reaches your ears.
Marking a shift from the looseness and comedy that pepper the preceding The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin' skirts any attempt at humor, sarcasm, or goofiness in favor of utmost seriousness and severity. Seemingly anticipating the dark events surrounding President Kennedy's assassination and the turmoil that followed, Dylan eliminates with conjecture and disguise. Akin to dispatches from the typewriter of literary icons John Steinbeck and William Faulkner, his songs give voices to the voiceless, challenge cultural precepts, upend traditional beliefs with rapier wit and truths, and underline tragedies swept under the rug.
In doing so, Dylan creates stinging protest music that rallies against unchecked authority, discrimination, brutality, and division. A testament to the power of great art, The Times They Are A Changin' is a righteous assault on ignorance and agent for sweeping action, a necessary impetus for transformation and enlightenment. Via bold originals such as the nonfiction ''The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,'' assertive ''Restless Farewell,'' and semi-autobiographical ''North Country Blues,'' Dylan casts hardships, greed, and victimization in such relatable terms it's impossible to turn away and ignore their implications.
As correctly relayed by Dylan expert and cultural critic Greil Marcus, ''[The record] forever fixed Bob Dylan in the popular imagination: the protest singer, the young man 'able to see through metal' (again, from Chronicles), to see through the lie and find the truth, then to hammer the truth into words and send them out with a voice that would never break.''
Dylan's circle on this album remains unbroken, more than 50 years later.
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Ballad of Hollis Brown
With God on Our Side
One Too Many Mornings
North Country Blues
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Boots of Spanish Leather
When the Ship Comes In
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll