[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bdylan_highway61.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: ''"Something is happening here but you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?"'']]

''Highway 61 Revisited'' is the sixth studio album by Music/BobDylan, released in 1965. It is best known for the hits and fan favourites "Like a Rolling Stone", "Ballad of a Thin Man", "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Desolation Row".

Many fans and rock historians consider it to be one of his masterpieces. ''Magazine/RollingStone''s list of the [[Music/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime 500 Greatest Albums of All Time]] ranks it at number four. ''Magazine/TimeMagazine'' included the album in its list of [[TimeAllTime100Albums 100 timeless and essential recordings]].

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!! Tracklist:

[[AC: Side One]]

# "Like a Rolling Stone" (6:13)
# "Tombstone Blues" (6:00)
# "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry" (4:09)
# "From a Buick 6" (3:19)
# "Ballad of a Thin Man" (5:58)

[[AC: Side Two]]

# "Queen Jane Approximately" (5:31)
# "Highway 61 Revisited" (3:30)
# "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" (5:32)
# "Desolation Row" (11:21)

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!! Tropes with ''no direction home''

* AlbumTitleDrop:
--> ''Abe said: "Where do you want this killing done?''
--> ''And God said: "Just go down there to Highway 61."''
** Also provides one for an album by an entirely different artist: Music/SteelyDan's ''Can't Buy a Thrill'', taken from a line in "It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry:.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: God and Abraham are mentioned in "Highway 61 Revisited"; Cain, Abel, and the Good Samaritan in "Desolation Row"; and Jezebel, John the Baptist, the Philistine King, and Delilah in "Tombstone Blues".
* BalladOfX: "Ballad of a Thin Man"
* BodyHorror: "Ballad of a Thin Man"
--> ''Well, the sword swallower, he comes up to you''
--> ''And then he kneels''
--> ''He crosses himself''
--> ''And then he clicks his high heels''
--> ''And without further notice''
--> ''He asks you how it feels''
--> ''And he says: "Here is your throat back; thanks for the loan"''
* CircusOfFear: "Ballad of a Thin Man", if we would take the lyrics literally, takes places at a creepy carnival circus.
* ClingyMacGuffin: Mack the Finger who, in the song "Highway 61 Revisited" claims to have "forty red white and blue shoe strings and a thousand telephones that don't ring" and desperately tries to get rid of them.
* CallBack and ContinuityNod: On Dylan's debut, ''Music/BobDylanAlbum'' from 1962 he covered a track called "Highway 51". In that sense "Highway 61 Revisited" is a ContinuityNod.
* CoolBike: Subtly invoked by the partly-obscured but still visible Triumph t-shirt Dylan wears on the cover.
* CoverVersion: Music/PJHarvey covered "Highway 61 Revisited" on her album ''Music/RidOfMe'' from 1993.
** It's a fairly safe bet that every single song on the album has dozens, if not hundreds, of cover versions.
* {{Cyclops}}: The one-eyed midget in "Ballad of a Thin Man".
--> ''Now you see this one-eyed midget shouting the word: "Now"''
* TheDitz: The clueless Mr. Jones in "Ballad of a Thin Man".
--> ''And you know something is happening''
--> ''But you don't know what it is''
--> ''Do you, Mister Jones?''
* DrunkenSong: "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" : it has a kind of drunken vibe from the very beginning, but the final verse confirms it:
--> ''I started out on burgundy \\
But soon hit the harder stuff \\
Everybody said they'd stand behind me \\
When the game got rough \\
But the joke was on me \\
There was nobody even there to bluff \\
I'm going back to UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity \\
I do believe I've had enough.''
* EpicRocking: Four of the nine songs are over six minutes, with the 11:21 "Desolation Row" being the ultimate example. At the time, "Like a Rolling Stone" (6:13) was the longest song ever issued as a single.
* FaceOnTheCover: Dylan, posing for the camera.
* HypocriticalHumor: "And you're sick of all this repetition" in the third verse of the repetitive "Queen Jane Approximately".
* InTheEndYouAreOnYourOwn: The central message of "Like A Rolling Stone".
* LongTitle: "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"
* LyricalDissonance: "Like a Rolling Stone" is sung in an energetic tone that contrasts with the lyrics about scrounging for your next meal, living on the streets without knowing how to survive, and having everything stolen from you. The dissonance seems to make the same points the lyrics do, that all these seemingly terrible things are for the better.
* MagicalSeventhSon: Briefly mentioned in "Highway 61 Revisited".
--> ''But the second mother was with the seventh son''
--> ''And they were both out on Highway 61.''
* [[MeaningfulName Meaningful Title]]: Highway 61 runs from Dylan's childhood home in Minnesota to the home of the {{Blues}} in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans and the Mississippi river.
* MindScrew: Most of the lyrics.
* MoralityBallad: "Like a Rolling Stone" is about how losing everything one cherishes can ultimately be liberating.
--> ''When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose''
--> ''You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal''
* OdeToIntoxication: An ambiguous one in "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues;" there's a lot of drunkenness in that song, and it's not entirely negative or positive.
* OneManSong: "Ballad of a Thin Man".
* OneWomanSong: "Queen Jane Approximately"
* PerpetualPoverty: Georgia Sam in "Highway 61 Revisited".
--> ''Well Georgia Sam he had a bloody nose''
--> ''Welfare Department they wouldn't give him no clothes''
* PrincessInRags: "Like a Rolling Stone" is about a Miss Lonely, a wealthy woman who once was rich enough to hang out with diplomats and never worry about to future, only to be forced to hunt for meals and pawn off her diamond ring for money. Dylan's narrator sings happily about all this, finding the sudden humility of Miss Lonely a good thing.
* PublicExecution: The first line of "Desolation Row" establishes that public hangings are so essential to the Row that they sell postcards of them, implying quite a bit of demand.
* ReasoningWithGod: Abraham and God in "Highway 61 Revisited".
* ReferenceOverdosed:
** UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte in "Like a Rolling Stone".
--> ''You used to be so amused at Napoleon in rags and the language that he used''
** Paul Revere, Belle Starr, Jezebel, UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper, John the Baptist, the Philistine King, UsefulNotes/GalileoGalilei, Delilah, Creator/CecilBDeMille, Music/MaRainey, Music/LudwigVanBeethoven, and Gypsy Davy (a song by Music/WoodyGuthrie) in "Tombstone Blues".
--> ''The city fathers they're trying to endorse the reincarnation of Paul Revere's horse''
--> ''(...) The ghost of Belle Starr, she hands down her wits''
--> ''To Jezebel the nun she violently knits a bald wig for UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper (...)''
--> ''(...) Well, John the Baptist after torturing a thief''
--> ''Looks up at his hero the Commander-in-Chief (...)''
--> ''(...) The king of the Philistines his soldiers to save''
--> ''But jawbones on their tombstones and flatters their graves''
--> ''(...) Gypsy Davey with a blowtorch he bums out their camps''
--> ''(...) The geometry of innocence flesh on the bone''
--> ''Causes Galileo's math book to get thrown''
--> ''At Delilah who sit worthlessly alone''
--> ''But the tears on her cheeks are from laughter''
--> ''(...) Then send out for some pillars and Creator/CecilBDeMille''
--> ''When Ma Rainey and Beethoven once unwrapped their bed roll''
** Music/BoDiddley in "From a Buick 6".
--> ''She walks like Bo Diddley and she don't need no crutch''
** Creator/FScottFitzgerald in "Ballad of a Thin Man".
--> ''You've been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books''
--> ''You're very well read; it's well known''
** "Desolation Row," the place and the song, is inhabited with a variety of public domain characters that seem to symbolize separate aspects of humanity. The characters include Literature/{{Cinderella}}, Creator/BetteDavis, [[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet Romeo]], [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Ophelia]], CainAndAbel, Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame, UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein, [[JustLikeRobinHood Robin Hood]], Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera, [[TheCasanova Giacomo Casanova]], the UsefulNotes/RMSTitanic, Creator/EzraPound, and Creator/TSEliot.
** Literature/TomThumb is mentioned in the title of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues".
** Dylan's liner notes for the album reference artist Paul Sargent, [[Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame Quasimodo]] (also referenced in "Desolation Row"), Creator/FriedrichNietzsche, Music/GeorgeGershwin's "Summertime", Music/AntonioVivaldi, and musician and photographer Music/JohnCohen, who took some of the best-known images of Dylan after his arrival in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity.
* RefrainFromAssuming: "Ballad of a Thin Man" is not called "Do You, Mr. Jones?"
* RichesToRags: "Like a Rolling Stone": in the first verse the woman who once "dressed so fine" and "threw the bums a dime" is now "scrounging for your next meal".
* RomanAClef: "Desolation Row" hints that the entire album is one, prompting much WildMassGuessing about who's who.
--> ''All these people that you mention... yes, I know them; they're quite lame''
--> ''I had to rearrange their faces and [[CaptainErsatz give them all another name]]''
* SadClown: The subject of "Like A Rolling Stone" ignored the fact that all the "clowns" who entertained her were frowning and miserable until she couldn't afford to.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"
--> ''I'm going back to UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, I do believe I've had enough.''
* SecondPersonNarration: Three songs on this album: "Like a Rolling Stone," "Ballad of a Thin Man," and "Queen Jane Approximately".
* ShoutOut:
** In Music/TheBeatles' song "Yer Blues" on ''Music/TheWhiteAlbum'' (1968), Music/JohnLennon sings "I feel so suicidal/just like Dylan's "Mr. Jones", which is a reference to the title character in "Ballad of a Thin Man".
** The image of Dylan on the album cover was also used as a cut-out on the upper far right of Music/TheBeatles' cover of ''Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand''. See [[ReferencedBy/BobDylan here for a comparison.]]
** A stanza of "Highway 61 Revisited" is narrated in ''Film/TheHunted'' from 2003 by Music/JohnnyCash at the beginning and at the end of the movie.
** The title ''Literature/FromABuick8'' was an obvious tip-of-the-hat by Creator/StephenKing to "From a Buick 6".
** Music/TheRollingStones covered "Like a Rolling Stone", as was to be expected one day, on their live album ''Stripped'' from 1995.
** Creator/MartinScorsese named his 2005 documentary about Dylan: ''No Direction Home'', after the phrase from "Like a Rolling Stone".
** Music/SteelyDan's début album is named after a line from "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry".
* ShoutOutToShakespeare: "Desolation Row" refers to both Romeo from ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and Ophelia from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.
* SomethingBlues: "Tombstone Blues" and "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues".
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: In "Desolation Row," the moon and stars are disappearing at the same time a fortune teller is retreating into her home, hinting either at a coming darkness or an unpredictable future.
%%* SuperSpeed: The famous siren whistle sound that kicks of the song "Highway 61 Revisited" and reappears at various moments throughout the song.
* TheTeamWannabe: Al Kooper's organ riff on "Like a Rolling Stone" is one of the most recognisable in music history. Despite the fact that he didn't know how to play the organ and wasn't supposed to be on the record at all, but basically walked into the studio, sat down at the organ and started fooling about because nobody explicitly told him ''not'' to. Dylan liked it and [[ThrowItIn kept it]].
* TitleTrack: "Highway 61 Revisited''
* TrainSong: "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"
--> ''Well, I ride on a mail-train, babe''
--> ''Can't buy a thrill''
--> ''Well, I've been up all night''
--> ''Leanin' on the window sill''
--> ''Well, if I die on top of the hill''
--> ''And if I don't make it''
--> ''You know my baby will''
* WorldWarThree: "Highway 61 Revisited"
--> ''The rovin' gambler, he was very bored''
--> ''trying to create a next world war''

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