Another Side of Bob Dylan is the fourth studio album by American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, released on August 8, 1964 by Columbia Records.
The album deviates from the more socially conscious style which Dylan had developed with his previous LP, The Times They Are A-Changin’. The change prompted criticism from some influential figures in the folk community – Sing Out! editor Irwin Silber complained that Dylan had “somehow lost touch with people” and was caught up in “the paraphernalia of fame”.
Despite the album’s thematic shift, Dylan performed the entirety of Another Side of Bob Dylan as he had previous records – solo. In addition to his usual acoustic guitar and harmonica, Dylan provides piano on one selection, “Black Crow Blues”. Another Side of Bob Dylan reached No. 43 in the US (although it eventually went gold), and peaked at No. 8 on the UK charts in 1965.
With Dylan’s commercial profile on the rise, Columbia was now urging Dylan to release a steady stream of recordings. Upon Dylan’s return to New York, studio time was quickly scheduled, with Tom Wilson back as producer.
The first (and only) session was held on June 9 at Columbia’s Studio A in New York. According to Heylin, “while polishing off a couple of bottles of Beaujolais”, Dylan recorded fourteen original compositions that night, eleven of which were chosen for the final album. The three that were ultimately rejected were “Denise Denise”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and “Mama, You Been on My Mind”.
Nat Hentoff’s The New Yorker article in late October 1964 on Dylan includes remarkable descriptions of the June 1964 recording session. Hentoff describes in considerable detail the atmosphere in the CBS recording studio and Dylan’s own asides and banter with his friends in the studio, with the session’s producers, and Hentoff himself.
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott was present during part of this session, and Dylan asked him to perform on “Mr. Tambourine Man”. “He invited me to sing on it with him,” recalls Elliott, “but I didn’t know the words ‘cept for the chorus, so I just harmonized with him on the chorus.” Only one complete take was recorded, with Dylan stumbling on some of the lyrics. Though the recording was ultimately rejected, Dylan would return to the song for his next album.
By the time Dylan recorded what was ultimately the master take of “My Back Pages”, it was 1:30 in the morning. Master takes were selected, and after some minor editing, a final album was soon sequenced. (by wikipedia)
The other side of Bob Dylan referred to in the title is presumably his romantic, absurdist, and whimsical one — anything that wasn’t featured on the staunchly folky, protest-heavy Times They Are a-Changin’, really. Because of this, Another Side of Bob Dylan is a more varied record and it’s more successful, too, since it captures Dylan expanding his music, turning in imaginative, poetic performances on love songs and protest tunes alike. This has an equal number of classics to its predecessor, actually, with “All I Really Want to Do,” “Chimes of Freedom,” “My Back Pages,” “I Don’t’ Believe You,” and “It Ain’t Me Babe” standing among his standards, but the key to the record’s success is the album tracks, which are graceful, poetic, and layered. Both the lyrics and music have gotten deeper and Dylan’s trying more things — this, in its construction and attitude, is hardly strictly folk, as it encompasses far more than that. The result is one of his very best records, a lovely intimate affair. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Bob Dylan (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica)
01. All I Really Want To Do 4.02
02. Black Crow Blues 3.12
03. Spanish Harlem Incident 2.22
04. Chimes Of Freedom 7.09
05. I Shall Be Free No. 10 4.45
06. To Ramona 3.50
07. Motorpsycho Nitemare 4.31
08. My Back Pages 4.20
09. I Don’t Believe You 4.20
10. Ballad In Plain D 8.15
11. It Ain’t Me Babe 3.30
All songs written by Bob Dylan