Dylan’s collection available from beginning to end

By Jake Saunder

Columbia Records released a complete album collection of Bob Dylan’s work Nov. 5, allowing listeners to venture back into the art of Bob Allen Zimmerman.

The musician has actively pursued musical endeavors for the last 50 years and taken many genres into his own nature and completely and radically intensified them. Take, for example, his eponymous release of 1962, “Bob Dylan.” Every song, with the exception of two original compositions, clearly exemplify the aforementioned statement wherein he took every piece of the traditional arrangements and molded them to his own unique harmony.

The songs “Talkin’ New York” and “Song to Woody,” those of his own creation, flow seamlessly between the renditions of songs from other artists, such as Eric Von Schmidt and Blind Lemon Jefferson, without flaw.


Naturally, and undeniably, it has been by and large his early albums that solidified his name for listeners. These albums allow us to clearly see his influence from musicians such as Woody Guthrie.

“The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” shares common goals with his first album, and its picture alone, if one has ever seen a Dylan album, is undoubtedly recognized as iconic. The song “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” bleeds his acoustic intricacies and simplicities accompanied gently and gracefully by his harmonica effect and calming enunciated vocal pattern.

Roaming into “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and following the title track, we find Dylan sticking his groove whole-heartedly vocalizing his concerns for countercultures. His guitar, his voice, his harmonica play out pace faster and bolder, erupting in polyphonic accord.

Dylan’s life began shaking certain expectancies and so, perhaps in an even more daring and clever statement, we find releases from 1964 to 1966, with the former holding kin to his first albums with notable tracks like “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” with the latter producing rock tunes “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.”

Dylan then began finding alternative genres to focus on, departing from the folk and rock compilations of his early years. Shall we speak of the music on behalf of his dark days in the light? No, we break onward to Infidels, or an outtake recorded from the same time rather, “Nobody Can Sing the Blues like Blind Willie McTell.” Regarded as a part of what would be something of a comeback for Dylan, from his gospel albums that is; This song focused on secular concepts, the life of blues musician Blind Willie McTell, and will be included in the Bootleg Series in the Box Set.

Along with other outtakes and previously unreleased and unfinished songs and albums, there are as many as what would be considered futile to even try to mention.

With this complete box set, we find 35 studio albums, some of which are re-mastered with additional songs, along with several live albums, such as the rare Bootleg Series, forging a total of 43 compact discs in one set.


Follow his variations from one genre to the next and his incredible life through the box set that concludes itself with his 2012 release, “Tempest.” For $300, this might seem out of reach, but it’s a good reminder to look up Dylan’s music on programs such as Spotify or sites like YouTube.