Greatest Hits Volume 3 (1994)


 
1. Tangled Up in Blue 2. Changing of the Guards 3. The Groom's Still Waiting at the Alter 4. Hurricane 5. Forever Young 6. Jokerman 7. Dignity 8. Silvio 9. Ring Them Bells 10.Gotta Serve Somebody 11.Series of Dreams 12.Brownsville Girl 13.Under the Red Sky 14.Knockin' on Heaven's Door

 

Ahhhhh......a greatest hits volume three. When was the last time you saw a greatest hits volume 3? Probably a long, long time ago. Around the new millennium, record companies became desperate for liquid cash, so they would release oodles of "different, but basically the same" greatest hits packages by the same artists (Dylan was no exception). But there was a time, dear reader, when the only time such compilations were released was when they were actually necessary. After a "greatest hits" album would be released, another one wouldn't be released until the artist compiled enough decent material worthy of the monicker.

Which brings us to this particular release. Dylan's first Greatest Hits album came out in 1967, about five years after he started recording. His second came out four years after that. Around that time, Dylan slagged in popularity, and although he always maintained his "legend" status, people just weren't buying his records in droves nor was radio playing his songs much. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that his third greatest hits package arrives on the scene a whopping 23 years after the last one. He does a great job with the track selection. Again, I'm not sure if the majority of these songs were ever "hits", but he manages to pull no more than one song of each album (and some albums are skipped), including the recent Bootleg box set, so, yes, he has been busy in the last 23 years.

So if there is to be criticism of such a package, it's that the styles in Dylan's music have fluctuated tremendously throughout his history, and being that this record isn't chronological, it can be a bit overwhelming to the novice not familiar with Dylan, but maybe wants to learn more about the man and musician. And after all, who else would really buy such a thing? But once you get past the shock of fluctuation, the songs themselves sound as they should, and all deserve to be here. This, if anything, serves as a great 77 minute sampler of the history of the man for the last almost quarter century.

The one new song Dignity is pretty good, too.

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