Bob Dylan is the debut studio album by Bob Dylan, released in 1962. It's almost entirely a Cover Album, save for two original compositions "Talkin' New York" and "Song To Woody". Produced and recorded at a very cheap budget it failed to make an impact at the time. Even when the singer broke to the mainstream with his Surprisingly Improved Sequel The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan the next year, Bob Dylan has never quite charted, sold or been acclaimed as high as his other albums. As a result Dylan pretty much dismissed his debut and wrote it out of canon.
- "You're No Good" (1:40)
- "Talkin' New York" (3:20)
- "In My Time Of Dyin'" (2:40)
- "Man Of Constant Sorrow" (3:10)
- "Fixin' To Die" (2:22)
- "Pretty Peggy-O" (3:23)
- "Highway 51" (2:52)
- "Gospel Plow" (1:47)
- "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" (2:37)
- "House Of The Risin' Sun" (5:20)
- "Freight Train Blues" (2:18)
- "Song To Woody" (2:42)
- "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" (2:43)
Tropin' New York:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: "Song To Woody"Hear paupers and peasants and princes and kings.
- Alliterative Title: "Pretty Peggy-O".
- As the Good Book Says...: "Gospel Plow"Mary, Mark, Luke and JohnAll these prophets so good and gone
- Continuity Nod: Dylan covers "Highway 51", a song he would later rework as "Highway 61 Revisited" on Highway 61 Revisited in 1965.
- Cover Album: Except for "Song To Woody" and "Talkin' New York" all material here are covers. "You're No Good" is a Jesse Fuller cover, "Fixin' To Die" was originally written by Bukka White, "Highway 61" by Curtis Jones and "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" is a Blind Lemon Jefferson adaptation. "In My Time Of Dyin'", "Man Of Constant Sorrow", "Pretty Peggy-O", "Gospel Plow", "Baby Let Me Follow You Down", "House Of The Risin' Sun" and "Freight Train Blues" are all traditionals.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Most of the songs here are covers. Dylan also imitates a lot of Guthrie's vocal mannerisms.
- Empty Fridge, Empty Life: "Talkin' New York"A lot of people don't have much food on their tableBut they got a lot of forks and knivesAnd they gotta cut something
- Face on the Cover: Dylan posing with his guitar. The photo was reversed so that the guitar wouldn't obstruct Columbia's logo.
- Grief Song:
''There's just one kind of favour I'll ask for you'You can see that my grave is kept clean.
- "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"
Well, in my time of dying don't want nobody to mournAll I want for you to do is take my body homeWell, well, well, so I can die easy
- "In My Time Of Dyin'"
Well, if I should die before my time should comeAnd if I should die before my time should come.Won't you bury my body out on the Highway 51?
- "Highway 51"
There's a black smoke rising, LordIt's rising up above my head, up above my headIt's rising up above my head, up above my headAnd tell Jesus make up my dying bed.I'm walking kind of funny, Lord''I believe I'm fixing to die, fixing to die
- "Fixin' To Die Blues"
- Homage: "Song To Woody" is a tribute to Woody Guthrie.Hey Woody Guthrie but I know that you knowAll the things that I'm saying and a many times moreI'm singing you the song but I can't you sing enough'Cause there's not many men that've done the things that you've done.
- Jacob Marley Warning: "The House Of The Rising Sun"Oh tell my baby sister not to do what I have doneBut shun that house in New Orleans they call the rising sun.
- One-Man Song: "Song To Woody" and "Man Of Constant Sorrow".
- One-Woman Song: "Pretty Peggy-O".
- The Quest: "Pretty Peggy-O"I've been around this whole countryBut I never yet found Fenneario.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "She's No Good"I helped you when you had no shoes on your feet, pretty mamaI helped you when you had no food to eatNow you're the kind of woman that just don't understandYou're taking all my money and give it to another man.
- Record Producer: John H. Hammond.
- Self-Titled Album: Name and surname.
Now a very great man once said: "That some people rob you with a fountain pen."
- "Song To Woody" is a homage to Dylan's big inspiration Woody Guthrie and based on the melody of his song "1913 Massacre". The line "that come with the dust and are gone with the wind" paraphrases a similar quote from Guthrie's "Pastures Of Plenty". On David Bowie's Hunky Doryfrom 1971, Bowie would in turn record a track "Song To Bob Dylan", paying tribute to his own musical guru.
- "Song To Woody" also name-drops blues and folk singers such as Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry and Lead Belly.
- "Talkin' New York" is closely based on Guthrie's song "Talking Dustbowl Blues" from Dust Bowl Ballads and also references "The Ballad Of Pretty Boy Floyd" from that same album:
- Something Blues: "Freight Train Blues".
- There's No Place Like Home: "Man Of Constant Sorrow"I'm going back to ColoradoThe place that I started fromIf I had known how bad you treat me honeyI never would have come.
- Train Song: "Freight Train Blues"Well, the only thing that makes me laugh againIs a southbound whistle on a southbound train
- Vocal Evolution: Dylan's voice sounds more like Woody Guthrie than the characteristic voice he would evolve into on his later albums.