Dylan once described Highway 61 Revisited as being "just too good". I honestly believe that is an understatement. Highway 61 Revisited is easily the my favourite Bob Dylan record, and is one of my top albums of all time.
It is a fine album to show off Dylan's brilliance as a lyricist. His lyrics are manic, absurd and yet, they tell a story that can be interpreted in many different ways, each interpretation being as correct as the last.
It isn't only his lyrics, but the rock band behind Dylan that makes the songs not only thought provocative, but also great fun to listen to. The album opens with 'Like A Rolling Stone', a song that is #1 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time, a position it rightly deserves. The rest of the album varies in mood and meaning. The fast paced 'Tombstone Blues' (My personal favourite on the album), is radically different from the chilling, piano driven 'Ballad Of A Thin Man'. The album takes a less serious turn with the song, 'Highway 61 Revisited', with the unusual screeching of a police whistle between verses. Finally, the album closes with the 11-minute 'Desolation Row', an acoustic song that lacks the roar of the rock band from the rest of the album. With its surreal lyrics, 'Desolation Row' isn't just one story, but many, crafted into a magnificent finale.
All in all, I think Highway 61 Revisited is unique in the fact that it is an album with no weak links in it, as in songs that make you think, "Hmm, it would have been better if he left that bit out". All the songs have a deserved place on album that deserves to be considered one of the best albums ever. As the Mona Lisa is a painting that everyone should see at some point, Highway 61 Revisited is an album that has to be listened to at some point.