The target audience for Columbia/Legacys new Dylan Hybrid CD/SACDs is primarily long-standing fans whove previously purchased these albums in standard CD format and audiophiles who believe their analog copies are superior to digital. Is the new format at least better than whats been on CD? The answer is an unqualified "Yes!" Theres simply more information here, some of which is revelatory, and the overall sound is much brighter. Additionally, the remastering provides greater presence and more detail than previous releases. Analogers will doubtless keep their vinyl, but should still find these reissues desirable.
Bringing It All Back Home was the first of Dylans electric triptych in 1965, and the two subsequent albums would deliver even better performances, recording and songs. This new remaster gives us the sheer joy of hearing the wildly energetic room sound on "Outlaw Blues" (not to mention a heretofore buried lead-guitar part), the much wider scan of the solo acoustic "Its Alright, Ma," and the sonic splendor, smoky ambiance and closer-to-the-ear Dylan vocal on "She Belongs To Me." The SACD allows us to hear fuller, brighter performances of this album than ever before. The enhanced listening experience of Blonde on Blonde and the other titles in this series probably results from SACDs greater sampling rate and the remastering, which Columbia notes is being done on a wide scale here for the first time.
Highway 61 Revisited displays tighter musicianship, better song construction and a deepening sense of drama. "Like A Rolling Stone" sounds fresh again, with richer imaging and detail, and a warmer organ sound. "From A Buick Six" displays a heretofore unheard guitar part and more organ. "Desolation Row," although drier than before, reveals previously obscured detail on Charlie McCoys second guitar. One simply hears more notes.
Few Dylan albums have achieved the masterpiece status of Blonde On Blonde, the album that cemented Dylans reputation as a genius. The songs, great as they still are, are almost secondary to the sound, which Dylan described as "that thin, that wild mercury sound." Apparently the result of Dylans artistic vision colliding with the muse of lysergic acid diethylamide, Blonde on Blonde retains its reputation as having no equal. "Absolutely Sweet Marie" features something percussive on the left channel that echoes the drummers licks on the right; "Temporary Like Achilles" brings out the left-channel guitar more completely; "I Want You" now reveals heretofore unheard interplay between lead guitar and keyboard; "Obviously Five Believers" breathes electricity, in every sense of the word. The entire album sounds like some wonderful cosmic dream.
These albums cannot be fully appreciated without SACD playback, but they are still wonderful to hear on standard CD players. These reissues show unquestioning improvement in digital audio technology.
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