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July 14, 2016

Bob Dylan – Street Legal (1978) – Lp

by Record Facts

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest, although Dylan repudiated suggestions from journalists that he was a spokesman for his generation.

bob dylan - street legal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Bob Dylan
Title:  Street Legal
Year:  1978
Format:  LP
Label:  CBS Records
Catalog#  86067

Street-Legal is the eighteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on June 15, 1978 by Columbia Records. The album was a serious musical departure for Dylan, who uses a large pop-rock band—complete with female backing vocalists—for the first time

Arriving after the twin peaks of Blood on the Tracks and Desire, Street Legal seemed like a disappointment upon its 1978 release, and it still seems a little subpar years after its release. Perhaps that’s because Bob Dylan was uncertain himself, not just writing a set of songs with no connecting themes, but replacing the sprawl of the Rolling Thunder Revue with a slick, professional big band, featuring a horn section and several backing vocalists. The interesting thing about this is that the music and slick production don’t jibe with the songs, which are as dense as anything Dylan had written since before his motorcycle accident. So, Street Legal becomes an interesting dichotomy, filled with songs that deserve close attention but recorded in arrangements that discourage such listening. As such, Street Legal is fascinating just for that reason — in another setting, these are songs that would have been hailed as near-masterpieces, but covered in gloss, they seem strange. Consequently, it’s not surprising that there are factions of Dylanphiles that find this worth the time, while just as many consider it a missed opportunity.

Themes of note are the subtly religious and somewhat apocalyptic overtones found throughout, especially in “Changing of the Guards“, “No Time to Think” and “Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat)”. Although the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) had always influenced Dylan’s work, the proximity of this album to the beginning of his gospel tour (early 1979) raises the possibility that some songs may have been written with more Christian intent than previous ones.

 

Side one
1.  Changing of the Guards  (7:04)
2.  New Pony  (4:28)
3.  No Time to Think  (8:19)
4.  Baby, Stop Crying  (5:19)

Side two
1.  Is Your Love in Vain?  (4:30)
2.  Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)  (5:42)
3.  True Love Tends to Forget  (4:14)
4.  We Better Talk This Over  (4:04)
5.  Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat)  (6:16)

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