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Bob Dylan albums - Itunes vs. everything else.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Dear all,

 

I am trying to buy the Bob Dylan complete album collection, and there are many sources to get them. So many, that I actually would prefer that his albums were treated as the beatles albums: few releases, few options, good quality.

 

I will start with Blonde on Blonde: I first bought the Itunes versions, then I listen to the CD version available on Quobuz, and prefer the Itunes version.

 

Then, with Highway 61 revisited, I would say, the same. HDTracks vs Itunes: Itunes better.

 

I have only those two to compare, and my question are:

 

1) Do you have the same experience as me? Itunes being better as CD or HDTracks, on any of those two albums?

2) Do you have a similar experience as me? Itunes being better as CD or HDTracks, on any other Bob Dylan album?

3) If for 1 or 2 the answer is Yes, or if you have a good idea of what I mean, could you please explain me why a lossy format sounds better than the CD or Highres format, in the case of those Bob Dylan albums?

 

Thanks,

 

Daniel 


Edited by daniel0407 - 3/10/14 at 12:41pm
post #2 of 19

I don't use iTunes, so I can't help you with that.

 

I have various versions of most Dylan albums. I have them all in FLAC and I have some of them ripped from the 2003 SACDs in 88.2 / 24.

 

A lot of Dylan's albums were remastered for SACD in 2003. If you can find those, they are very good. However, they still aren't all equal. Some of them are better than others.

post #3 of 19
If you want the best sound I would go with the Mono box set and the new MFSL SACDs. I prefer mono for most of the early albums due to crappy stereo mixes. The MFSL SACDs are not nearly as bright as the 2003 SACDs. Some of those 2003 SACDs are hard to listen to with headphones because the harmonica is shrill.

For Blonde on Blonde, Mono is my go to version. 2nd would be MFSL SACD. The 2003 SACD is way too bright for my liking. Both SACDs use a stereo remix.

For Highway 61 I like stereo better. My go to is the old DCC gold cd.
post #4 of 19

Well, it's a mish-mash. That's why I have so many copies of Dylan. It's not consistent from one release to another. For example, the 2003 SACD of "Infidels" is fantastic... I just try to collect 'em all... :smile:

post #5 of 19
I agree. I like the later albums SACDs. Oh Mercy, Infidels, Slow Train Coming, Street-legal and Love and Theft sound very good. The MFSL SACDs of Desire and Blood on the Tracks sound much better than the 2003 SACDs IMO.

I am also very happy with the 2003 Nashville Skyline SACD. I doubt Mofi will make that one sound too much better. On the other hand the John Wesley Harding SACD is almost unlistenable because it's so bright.

Knowing the strength of the Dylan catalog, I would recommend to the OP just getting the Complete Album Collection on CD and calling it a day. It's the gift that will keep giving for years to come.
Edited by Radioking59 - 3/11/14 at 3:32am
post #6 of 19

Well, my friend, I agree with you.

 

And the nicest thing is that we have one thing in common...

 

We are both listening to some of the greatest records ever made!

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by StratocasterMan View Post

Well, my friend, I agree with you.

And the nicest thing is that we have one thing in common...

We are both listening to some of the greatest records ever made!

Exactly! What makes Dylan one of the best of all time is the lyrics. They're the same on every version ever released.
Edited by Radioking59 - 3/11/14 at 3:47am
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking59 View Post


Exactly! What makes Dylan one of the best of all time is the lyrics. They're the same on every version ever released.


No so fast - one Dylan song that good old Bob likes to (slightly) change the lyrics on is "Tangled Up In Blue". Check this link for full details:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangled_Up_in_Blue

post #9 of 19

Truth be told the vinyl of "Blond on Blond" is probably the best version. Don't agree with the post about the mono version. The stereo version has more depth and body IMO.

Also, check out the Bootleg series 1 -3 if you haven't already. Some of Bob's finest work on those 3 CD's. It's not a live show (like some of the other Bootleg series releases) but is songs left off of those early albums. "Blind Willie McTell" is on there. Some say Bobs finest song (certainly one of the most atmospheric if not the best).

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphp@optonline View Post


No so fast - one Dylan song that good old Bob likes to (slightly) change the lyrics on is "Tangled Up In Blue". Check this link for full details:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangled_Up_in_Blue

I meant what makes his albums so good are the lyrics and those are the same no matter what CD, record or download you buy. I'm sure Dylan has changed words to a lot of songs when playing them live.



Part of the reason I prefer the mono has to do with that's the way Dylan intended it to be heard when he was making the album. The story goes he stayed around and was involved in mixing the Blonde on Blonde for mono. The stereo mix was done without him.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking59 View Post


I meant what makes his albums so good are the lyrics and those are the same no matter what CD, record or download you buy. I'm sure Dylan has changed words to a lot of songs when playing them live.

True about the live versus album versions of the lyrics but now that there are a wealth of "official" Dylan bootlegs out there we can also see that Dylan often revised the lyrics for many of his songs throughout the recording process and often from take to take. "Tangled Up In Blue" is just the most well known example of Dylan's sometimes fluid lyrics.

 

As for mono versus stereo mixes - I grew up listening to the stereo mixes so they remain the ones I'm most comfortable with. Same thing applies to the mono versus stereo mixes of the Beatles and Miles Davis. And since this a headphone forum I'll add that I really do not enjoy listening to mono through headphones, but, hey that's just me :L3000:

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking59 View Post

If you want the best sound I would go with the Mono box set and the new MFSL SACDs. I prefer mono for most of the early albums due to crappy stereo mixes. The MFSL SACDs are not nearly as bright as the 2003 SACDs. Some of those 2003 SACDs are hard to listen to with headphones because the harmonica is shrill.

For Blonde on Blonde, Mono is my go to version. 2nd would be MFSL SACD. The 2003 SACD is way too bright for my liking. Both SACDs use a stereo remix.

For Highway 61 I like stereo better. My go to is the old DCC gold cd.

This is pretty much exactly what I would've typed. The mono mixes are fantastic, and I would readily take all of them over their stereo counterparts except for Blonde on Blonde, which is a toss-up to me, equally comfortable with the mono and the MFSL. Outside the mono box, if MFSL has released it, that's the way to go.

post #13 of 19

I really enjoy everyone's comments about Dylan because it helps me evaluate the best versions of the early stuff.

 

However, it seems everyone is just focused on the early Dylan stuff. Granted, many folks consider that to be his "golden era," but there is so much more to explore about Dylan.

 

I actually adore some of his later stuff. For example, I think "Love & Theft," "Time Out Of Mind," and "Modern Times" stand up to his earlier albums.

 

All of the old-school Dylan fans seem to dismiss those three, but I don't agree.

 

I think they are three of his best records.

 

I don't think the more recent Dylan stuff ever gets the respect it deserves. Just because "Highway 61 Revisted" was soooo great, it doesn't diminish from "Love & Theft" for me at all.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by StratocasterMan View Post
 

I really enjoy everyone's comments about Dylan because it helps me evaluate the best versions of the early stuff.

 

However, it seems everyone is just focused on the early Dylan stuff. Granted, many folks consider that to be his "golden era," but there is so much more to explore about Dylan.

 

I actually adore some of his later stuff. For example, I think "Love & Theft," "Time Out Of Mind," and "Modern Times" stand up to his earlier albums.

 

All of the old-school Dylan fans seem to dismiss those three, but I don't agree.

 

I think they are three of his best records.

 

I don't think the more recent Dylan stuff ever gets the respect it deserves. Just because "Highway 61 Revisted" was soooo great, it doesn't diminish from "Love & Theft" for me at all.


While I don't think that Dylan's more recent work is quite up to the level of his mid 1960s masterpieces I do agree that these recordings do not get the respect they very much deserve. For example, "High Water" is one of Dylan's greatest songs and "Love & Theft" is one of his best albums. Unfortunately "Love & Theft" was released on September 11th, 2001 so it's quite easy to see why this recording has always been somewhat overlooked.

post #15 of 19

Agreed. It can never be '63 again, but some of Dylan's more recent records are extremely good.


Edited by StratocasterMan - 3/15/14 at 5:52am
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