Brunette on Blonde on Blonde

In which I record the stats

So amidst all the Pet Sounds ballyhoo I forgot that I should also commemorate the 55th anniversary of the release of the album I literally just called my favorite of Dylan’s. Which happens to be today.

Among other reasons (its sense of humor, its drum parts), it’s my favorite because it has 14 tracks—a little unhinged given the length of some of them, but it means there’s always something to rediscover. Here’s an overview of what it means to me, in data.

Age at which I first encountered the record in full: 15

Age at which I got more into it than is probably healthy: 16

Age at which I will stop enjoying it and/or it will stop reminding me of that time in my life: TBD

Season with which I most associate it: Summer (what a stretch)

Time of day with which I most associate it: Late night (11 p.m.-4 a.m.)

Song I knew best going in: “I Want You”

Song that surprised me: “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)”

Song that is so underrated it is a Crime(TM): “Absolutely Sweet Marie”

Songs I’ve had fun listening to recently: “Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine),” “Obviously Five Believers”

Song I love covering on the ukulele: “Just Like a Woman”

Song I’ve referenced most often, usually in contexts where the reference goes unappreciated: “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”

Song that never ever gets old: “4th Time Around”

Song with the best backstory: also “4th Time Around”

Song that proved this guy was the only one who stood a chance of outwitting John Lennon: “4th! Time! Around!!!!”

Song with the most impressive breath control: “Pledging My Time” (very long harmonica notes)

Song I mistook for something else at first: “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”

Song where he is actually not even trying and it still sounds great: “Temporary Like Achilles”

Song whose arrangement I love most for some reason even though instrumentally speaking all the songs are basically the same: “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”

Song with the best title: “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” again

Song that I definitely do not know all the words to, which annoys me because I have essentially mastered all his other lyrics of this era, but doesn’t annoy me enough to induce me to do anything about it: “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”

Song that has elicited the widest range of reactions from me over time: “Visions of Johanna”

Times I’ve promised myself to shut up about this record and about Dylan: 56+

Times I’ve kept that promise: ?????????

Image: released 20 June 1966 on Columbia Records

Published by Cecilia Gigliotti

Cecilia Gigliotti is a freelance writer/editor/musician/podcaster based in Berlin with a beloved ukulele named Uke Skywalker. Her free time goes toward dancing, reading books new and old, drawing cartoons, trying to finish her Netflix queue, and devoting too much thought to the foibles of her artist-heroes. Connect with her on Twitter (@CeciliaGelato) and Instagram (@c_m_giglio).

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