21 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 1971 set, compiled by Bob Dylan, is rich with hits and overlooked album cuts, rarities, and essential, then-new recordings. The delights are many, such as the single-only blues rocker “Watching the River Flow,” the dusty, dobro-enhanced outtake of “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and the nimble love epistle “Tomorrow Is a Long Time.” Tunes re-recorded that year with folk singer Happy Traum—including Dylan’s ultimate song of reclamation, “I Shall Be Released,” and a singsong, banjo-stoked version of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”—sound even truer to Dylan’s ’60s gospel.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 1971 set, compiled by Bob Dylan, is rich with hits and overlooked album cuts, rarities, and essential, then-new recordings. The delights are many, such as the single-only blues rocker “Watching the River Flow,” the dusty, dobro-enhanced outtake of “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and the nimble love epistle “Tomorrow Is a Long Time.” Tunes re-recorded that year with folk singer Happy Traum—including Dylan’s ultimate song of reclamation, “I Shall Be Released,” and a singsong, banjo-stoked version of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”—sound even truer to Dylan’s ’60s gospel.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

mftalbot ,

Stunning Songs

This album really showcases the amazing breadth of Dylan's talent in his popular prime. There are treasures galore here - from the early virtuosity and lilt of "Don't think Twice," the disillusioned "My Back Pages" and the wonderfully bitter kiss-off, "Positively 4th Street"...One particular gem is the spare, lovely live recording of "Tomorrow is a Long Time", a stunningly personal, shell-shocked expression of the after-effects of love gone wrong, sung with harrowing, rough-sawn tenderness.

oldguyhazbin ,

Arguably Dylan's greatest collection from the glory years

Almost every song here is a gem. The top song, by far, is Watching the River Flow: Dylan rocks! (Or, rather, Leon Russell gets him to rock). And it's great fun to hear so many songs covered by the yrds here so as to argue forever about which version is better.

If the only Dylan you know is the croaking old guy, get this album to hear him at his best.

JC49-68 ,

Bob Dylan

This is a really great album that ranges from acoustic to rock band backing. It's a "must have" for Dylan fans. I already have Greatest Hits, but it's only 10 songs, which are probably more famous than greatest. This Vol. II has 21 songs and is more comprehensive of Dylan's earlier career. It's such a treat to hear Watching the River Flow, a 7 minute version of Memphis Blues, and even though it might be Jimi's song, the original All Along the Watchtower. Many of these songs you don't hear very often, or would have to search dozens of albums to find them, but they're all compiled on Vol. II.

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