Back to the Country
DOI link for Back to the Country
Back to the Country book
The individually distinctive songs on Blonde on Blonde were more directly personal than those on Highway 61 Revisited. Highway 61 has a very raw edge to it, because half the people involved were studio musicians, and half weren’t, so it’s got that rough thing which Bob Dylan loves. ’Keith Negus’ perceptive description of Dylan’s ‘It’s Alright, Ma’, as a song that condensed ‘social critique and existential anxiety’ into its memorable, aphoristic lines, applies, too, to the song content of Highway 61 Revisited. Dylan himself, so often an implacable critic of his own work, also appeared impressed by the end-result of Highway 61 Revisited. In terms of the lyrical content of Highway 61 Revisited, Dylan as a songwriter was, as Nigel Williamson has noted, ‘adopting the position of the artist as an outsider looking in on an increasingly absurdist world’, in the face of which ‘his weapons are no longer protest and righteousness but mockery and wit’.