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Music / Blonde on Blonde

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"An' I said, 'Oh, I didn't know that / But then again, there's only one I've met / An' he just smoked my eyelids / An' punched my cigarette'..."

Blonde on Blonde is the seventh studio album by Bob Dylan, released in 1966 through Columbia Records. It was the first double album in rock history, coming out just one week before Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention's Freak Out!. The record is seen as one of Dylan's best and contains the hits "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" (Trope Namer for Everybody Must Get Stoned), "I Want You", "Just Like a Woman" and "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands".


LP One

Side One
  1. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" (4:36)
  2. "Pledging My Time" (3:50)
  3. "Visions of Johanna" (7:33)
  4. "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" (4:54)

Side Two

  1. "I Want You" (3:07)
  2. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" (7:05)
  3. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" (3:58)
  4. "Just Like a Woman" (4:52)

LP Two

Side Three
  1. "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine" (3:30)
  2. "Temporary Like Achilles" (5:02)
  3. "Absolutely Sweet Marie" (4:57)
  4. "4th Time Around" (4:35)
  5. "Obviously 5 Believers" (3:35)

Side Four

  1. "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" (11:23)

Most CD reissues are on a single disc.

Rainy Day Tropes #12 & 35:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Sad Eyed Lady of the LowLands: "With your mercury mouth in the missionary times".
  • Alliterative Title: "Blonde on Blonde".
  • Answer Song: "4th Time Around" is a reaction to "Norwegian Wood" by The Beatles from Rubber Soul (1965). Lennon even felt it was a Pretender Diss.
    I never asked for your crutch
    Now don't ask for mine!
  • Beneath the Mask: "Just Like a Woman"
    Ah, you fake just like a woman, yes you do
    You make love just like a woman, yes you do
    Then you ache just like a woman
    But you break just like a little girl.
  • Break-Up Song:
    • "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine"
    You say you're sorry
    For tellin' stories
    That you know I believe are true
    You say ya got some
    Other kinda lover
    And yes, I believe you do
    You say my kisses are not like his
    But this time I'm not gonna tell you why that is
    I'm just gonna let you pass.
    • "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)"
    But sooner or later one of us must know
    But you just did what you're supposed to do
    Sooner or later one of us must know
    That I really did try to get close to you
    • "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"
    Well, I see you got a new boyfriend
    You know, I never seen him before
    Well, I saw him, makin' love to you
    You forgot to close the garage door
    You might think he loves you for your money
    But I know what he really loves you for
    It's your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
  • But Now I Must Go: "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine", where the protagonist and his former partner both go their own ways.
  • Call-Back: Years later the song "Sara" from Desire would have this line: "Stayin' up for days in the Chelsea Hotel/Writing 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands' for you"
  • Cradle of Loneliness:
    • "Absolutely Sweet Marie"
    Wond'ring where you are tonight, sweet Marie?
    • "Obviously Five Believers''
    Yes, I guess, I could make it without you
    If I just didn't feel so all alone
  • Epic Rocking: "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", which took up an entire album side and clocked in at 11:23. Additionally, "Visions of Johanna" ran for 7:33 and "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" ran for 7:05.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: Trope Namer in "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35".
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: According to the title.
  • Face on the Cover: Just Bob Dylan's face. The photo ended up being blurry because it was a cold day, and the photographer was shivering. Despite clearer pictures available, Dylan chose the cover photo we know today, and it has become iconic.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: "Temporary Like Achilles".
    Achilles is in your alleyway
    He don't want me here
    He does brag
    He's pointing to the sky
    And he's hungry, like a man in drag
    How come you get someone like him to be your guard ?
    You know I want your lovin'
    Honey, but you're so hard.
  • Insomnia Episode: Intentionally invoked with the sound of the entire album.
    These visions of Johanna kept me up past the dawn...
  • Intercourse with You: "I Want You"
    Open up the gate for you
    I want you, I want you
    Yes, I want you so bad
    Honey, I want you.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In his autobiography, Robbie Robertson claims that after throwing together a blues jam in the studio, the musicians were asked what the title of the song was. Seizing on one of the lines Dylan ad-libbed, Robertson remarked, "obviously, '5 Believers' ". Dylan just went ahead and used the whole phrase as the title.
  • Love Confession: "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands". No mention of the word love, no sappiness, and a prayer-like devotionnote  that just keeps rolling in constant crescendos and decrescendos.
  • Messy Hair: Dylan on the album cover.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: "Visions of Johanna"
    But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
    You can tell by the way she smiles
  • Mushroom Samba: According to some accounts, Dylan allegedly fired up a round of joints before recording "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" because he felt it was impossible to record that song with "sober people". That explains the hysterical laughter from the band, and the rather odd pacing of the music. "Everybody Must Get Stoned"? Indeed. That said, other accounts of the song's recording dispute this.
  • Non-Indicative Title: "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was named that way because Dylan knew nobody would give a song with the title "Everybody Must Get Stoned" any airplay. Coincidentally, 12 times 35 equals 420óbut the 420 trope didn't exist yet.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35", though it uses a Double Entendre of getting "physically stoned" in the biblical sense. And Dylan himself has always denied that he wrote a drug song.
    But I would not feel so all alone
    Everybody must get stoned
  • The One That Got Away: "Visions of Johanna", where the protagonist still thinks of Johanna after all those time.
  • One-Woman Song: "Just Like a Woman", "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands". "Visions of Johanna" is a bit of a subversion - the narrator is with one woman, thinking about another.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Country Music gets approvingly mentioned in "Visions of Johanna", three years before Dylan recorded Nashville Skyline (with many of the same musicians).
  • Shaped Like Itself: "The phony false alarm" in "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands".
  • Shout-Out: "Temporary Like Achilles" namedrops the Greek mythological hero Achilles.
  • Shout-Out: To Shakespeare: "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again"
    Well, Shakespeare he's in the alley
    With his pointed shoes and his bells
    Speaking to some French girl who says she knows me well
  • Snow Means Love: Averted with "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)", which depicts a break-up during a snowstorm.
  • Textless Album Cover: Most versions of the album cover have no text, although Dylanís name and the album title were added to some CD reissues.
  • Tyop on the Cover: The first pressing of the album sleeve in the US in 1966 listed the song's title as "Stuck Inside of Mobile with The"—cutting off the rest of it. For the first UK pressing, whoever typeset the cover correctly guessed that this was a mistake, but they didn't bother to check what the full title was, so it was listed as "Stuck Inside of Mobile with Thee".
  • Women Are Delicate: "Just Like a Woman"
    She aches just like a woman/ but she breaks just like a little girl