Heralding Bob Dylan's Return to Secular Music with "Jokerman"
I didn't become a disciple of Bob Dylan until 1983, when he released "Infidels." Until then, I was simply a devoted fan.
I heard "Jokerman" on the local FM radio station and I was hooked. Three of his four previous albums, "Shot of Love," "Saved," and "Slow Train Coming," had been a trip down gospel lane. I wasn't the least bit interested. I'm still not, but I do like "Gotta Serve Somebody."
Between "Slow Train Coming" and "Saved" he snuck in "At Budokan," a double-live album that also remains one of my
Before, "Infidels," I had the essential "Greatest Hits," and "Greatest Hits Vol. II." Who didn't?
As a result, I began to collect his entire catalog in chronological order, like I'd done with a number of artists I'd admired since college. The love of music had led me to pursue a degree in radio broadcasting.
Artists such as Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers, whom he would later tour with and join Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynn as part of the Traveling Wilburys.
It took a while to complete the 23-album collection, but at least most of his catalog was being sold for the "Nice Price." I couldn't afford to run out and buy the entire collection in one fell swoop. After all, I was married with children. As of today, Dylan's released 37 studio albums, 11 live albums, 12 albums comprising the "Bootleg Series," and numerous compilation albums. My collection consists of all but a few of the obscure compilations.
In the midst of backtracking, "Real Live" and "Empire Burlesque" were released, each with its Dylanesque appeal. "Real Live," as the title suggests, is also a live album. However, I didn't find it very appealing.