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 Post subject: What about Biograph ?
PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 22:29 GMT 
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I've been owning it for a few weeks and I just begin to wonder how the hell it happens to be so unknown and, in my opinion, seriously underrated. I mean, after all, it's Dylan's best box-set, if not one of the best in the history of music. It doesn't only consist of a weird best-of with both masterpieces and secret gems (and I don't even mention live and alternative versions), it's also a unique clever living thing which avoids the boredom of chronological order and reveals thematics, inspirations, betrayals, power, weakness and schizophrenia of one of the most important artists of our time. Everything he was in 1985 is here, in this small box. A brilliant selfportrait, I almost start to think it's the best "album" he ever released, and I like to imagine it could be his main legacy to the world.

What do you think :?:


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 23:09 GMT 
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20thCenturyBoy wrote:
I've been owning it for a few weeks and I just begin to wonder how the hell it happens to be so unknown

Unknown to who? Those that haven't heard of it? Biograph helped re-kick start and awaken another wave of Bobbers. A brilliant Marketing move by Dylan, Inc. one of the first, if not THE first, box sets with almost half the material previously unreleased. I pounced on this one in vinyl the day it was released and never regretted it. Have bought it twice again, since. No regrets and HIGHLY recommended as good value for the investment. I think I'll put it on now...


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 23:14 GMT 
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It is a great box set...who would have believed at the time how woefully incomplete it would turn out to be? No worries, they can always do Biograph 2.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 23:17 GMT 
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One of the first Dylan albums I owned. Pretty sure I wore out disc two. I might have worn it out just from "isis" alone. Visions and Big girl now got a lot of attention too i remember, and Quinn the Eskimo. Not sure if it will be his "main legacy to the world" (everyone's knows that will be Hard Rain :wink: ), but it is damn good. As good as it thought I think i prefer another three disc album of his, The Bootleg Ser. Vol. 1-3. But that one's basically perfect so it would be hard to match, and just about impossible to top.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 23:21 GMT 
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Oh and how could I forget my favorite song on the album, "i'll keep it with mine".


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 23:22 GMT 
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the best dylan multi-disc collection is Masterpieces or Bootleg Series 1-3. BUT - Biograph, i believe, was the FIRST boxed set ever! It was pretty highly revered when it was released, and if it's not discussed now, it's probably because it's been lost in the shuffle of a half dozen other 'career' collections...

don't forget the incredible liner notes and photos!

if you have it on vinyl - each side of a disk is pretty thematically oriented. check out the vinyl poll series:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69285&hilit=+voting+vinyl

for my first 14 years as a dylan fan, i was pretty content with: the greatest hits series, biograph, desire, new morning, time out of mind and world gone wrong (and dylan & the dead). that's all i owned until No Direction Home came out. kept me pretty satisfied, and because of biograph, i learned to be pretty tolerant of just about every phase dylan went through. I STILL cannot get myself to enjoy Caribbean Wind though, i don't know what's wrong with me.

the first song i instantly liked, once i encountered the post-electric voices was Time Passes Slowly -that is still my most favorite voice....


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 02:57 GMT 
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Flawed but great collection. Only official release of Abandoned Love -- that alone makes it worth the buy. Nice, reasonably full-bodied, warm mix for a CD too.

Caribbean Wind sounds better in its other studio incarnation, except for that weak chorus.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 10:47 GMT 
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If I were to listen to Dylan's '60s music, Biograph is the way to go. Not being chronological helps but some of the arrangememnts (as I recall) aren't half bad. I've not listened to it in a couple of years. One drawback is it was released before my favorite works but I guess the Official Bootleg Series can cover that.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 12:04 GMT 
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Still Go Barefoot wrote:
Unknown to who? Those that haven't heard of it? Biograph helped re-kick start and awaken another wave of Bobbers.


True, but you can't argue with the fact that today it's relatively forgotten.

Troubadour64 wrote:
don't forget the incredible liner notes and photos!
I STILL cannot get myself to enjoy Caribbean Wind though, i don't know what's wrong with me.


Yeah, the notes are a big deal. The song I still am reluctant to listen is On A Night Like This, Biograph is not perfect but hey, neither is Dylan.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 12:06 GMT 
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I also bought Biograph a few weeks ago for my growing Dylan shelf. Love the booklet!

Great box set if you ask me. I never listen to it all the way through, but the song selections are very nice.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 12:39 GMT 
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Biograph is ace. Great idea to not do it in order.

You couldnt do a set like that now though, with the mixed up chronology. Imagine going from a mid 60s track into something from Christmas In The Heart! Oh man....


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 13:26 GMT 
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I like box sets like Selected Works: 1972–1999 from Eagles where each disc has a certain niche, in the case of that set the first CD is dedicated to the early days and the fourth disc is a live one, etc. But in Bob's case I don't find chronology that important, unless you're a novice to his music.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 13:40 GMT 
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I beg to differ with the last two posts... chronology is very important... time effects and is important to us all, so we shouldn't meddle with the principles of it.

If time doesn't matter or is unimportant then why do we have it?

We should ensure that we follow and respect the laws of time, including chronological time... let us not forget that we are living in a chronologically based world!


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 13:43 GMT 
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Compilation albums like the three-disc Dylan are super-boring because they chronologically take one album, one song off of it, then the next one, one song off of that, etc.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 13:50 GMT 
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TheGunfighter wrote:
Compilation albums like the three-disc Dylan are super-boring because they chronologically take one album, one song off of it, then the next one, one song off of that, etc.


Yes, but without chronologicalismnesslessness we would have chaos... and that rule applies just as much to compilation albums as it does the laws of science!


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 13:58 GMT 

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FYI, there was an interesting discussion concerning Biograph about a year ago which you can find here.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 13:59 GMT 
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thickboy wrote:
TheGunfighter wrote:
Compilation albums like the three-disc Dylan are super-boring because they chronologically take one album, one song off of it, then the next one, one song off of that, etc.

Yes, but without chronologicalismnesslessness we would have chaos... and that rule applies just as much to compilation albums as it does the laws of science!

"I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me" - Bob Dylan :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 16:03 GMT 
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Bennyboy wrote:
Biograph is ace. Great idea to not do it in order.



That's one of the things I like about it the most.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 16:16 GMT 
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TheGunfighter wrote:
thickboy wrote:
Yes, but without chronologicalismnesslessness we would have chaos... and that rule applies just as much to compilation albums as it does the laws of science!

"I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me" - Bob Dylan :)


i suggest compromise, in the spirit of Bob's birthday month. Sequence the album chronologically, play on Shuffle.

Mr. Gunfighter...i looked in your closet, er, um, your collection. and i didn't see John Wesley Harding....please tell me you have this on an ipod, a vinyl, or have dedicated a separate room for it! :cry:

nice quote by the way, one of my fav's. Was thrilled to see it used and picked up in this book. (a read I highly recommend!)

Image

http://www.filestube.com/p/proust+pdf

in reading this thread and the other related thread - i am surprised people are willing to spend over 99 cents for an individual song in this day and age!


Last edited by Troubadour64 on Wed May 16th, 2012, 16:21 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 16:17 GMT 
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BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
Bennyboy wrote:
Biograph is ace. Great idea to not do it in order.



That's one of the things I like about it the most.


Biograph sequencing is great. Making a song like "Solid Rock" penultimate to the set is a daring choice and brings new ears to it, especially following AATW. I don't think its a schizophrenic listen at all, rather it accentuates the incredible breadth of already (1985) amazing body of work. Love it, top to bottom.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 16:20 GMT 
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Troubadour64 wrote:
Mr. Gunfighter...i looked in your closet, er, um, your collection. and i didn't see John Wesley Harding....please tell me you have this on an ipod, a vinyl, or have dedicated a separate room for it! :cry:

I have all his officially released recordings + a handful of bootlegs on my hard drive. Don't worry.

I don't even listen to CDs, just buy Dylan ones just for the sake of owning them.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 16:22 GMT 
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atta boy!


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 17:09 GMT 
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Troubadour64 wrote:
the best dylan multi-disc collection is Masterpieces or Bootleg Series 1-3. BUT - Biograph, i believe, was the FIRST boxed set ever!

Erm, not by a million miles was it the first, troub! :shock: Even ignoring hundreds of classical and opera box sets, I have a number of box sets which were issued many years before Biograph: The Complete Buddy Holly issued in 1979 and the Chess blues box set Genesis issued in 1972 come immediately to mind... but Biograph is, as others rightly say, a great collection, imaginatively sequenced and brilliantly annotated. Bravo, Columbia or Sony or whoever you were in '85! :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 17:14 GMT 
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supermabel1 wrote:
Troubadour64 wrote:
the best dylan multi-disc collection is Masterpieces or Bootleg Series 1-3. BUT - Biograph, i believe, was the FIRST boxed set ever!

Erm, not by a million miles was it the first, troub! :shock: Even ignoring hundreds of classical and opera box sets, I have a number of box sets which were issued many years before Biograph: The Complete Buddy Holly issued in 1979 and the Chess blues box set Genesis issued in 1972 come immediately to mind... but Biograph is, as others rightly say, a great collection, imaginatively sequenced and brilliantly annotated. Bravo, Columbia or Sony or whoever you were in '85! :D


It was one of the first major CD box sets I think, and may well have helped establish a market for them.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 17:19 GMT 
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Trev is correct.


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