Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

4. Bob DylanDesire

It’s not necessarily the best Bob Dylan album, but it’s the one I fell in love with first. The first time you fall in love with a musician, sometimes no matter how good the other records are, there’s nothing that can take the place of the first album. It was just I think the melodies of the viola and the harmonies, it appealed to my melodic sensibilities in a way that Freewheelin’ or his early, folkier stuff didn’t pull me in as much.

It’s the prettiest Bob Dylan record musically in terms of the instrumentation and the harmonies and the melodies, and that was kind of my entry point. As a kid I was hung up on his voice, I started to play guitar and had a big Bob Dylan songbook, that’s how I learned to play and sing at the same time. My first songs were ‘Visions of Johanna’ and stuff like that. It’s his poppiest record with the biggest choruses, so as a younger person it appealed to me. There’s a lot of ‘story songs’ on this record, there’s Joey and Hurricane, which are both masterpiece of the story-song. In terms of setting the bar high, it’s a great example of songwriting.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Cat Power
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