Biograph is a box set compilation spanning the career of Bob Dylan, released on November 7, 1985 by Columbia Records. Consisting of 53 released and unreleased tracks from 1962 to 1981, the box set was released as both a five-LP set and a three-compact disc set. Biograph reached #33 on the Billboard 200 in the US and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. I first got the vinyl box-set in 85, since then I’ve sold the vinyl box and got the cd box set.
Biograph is widely considered to be the first modern box set. Even if I think I had a Springsteen 12inch collection on vinyl before Biograph. That set lacked the scope and packaging of the Dylan set, and Biograph kind of set the standard for box sets to come.
“I couldn’t quite grasp what [‘Caribbean Wind’] was about, after I finished it. Sometimes you write something to be very inspired, and you won’t quite finish it for one reason or another. Then you’ll go back and try and pick it up, and the inspiration is just gone. Either you get it all, and you can leave a few little pieces to fill in, or you’re trying always to finish it off. Then it’s a struggle. The inspiration’s gone and you can’t remember why you started it in the first place. Frustration sets in.”
– Dylan, to Cameron Crowe
..He spoke of one song he was particularly proud of, that he’d written “a while back,” that successfully functioned on the level of complexity of his mid-sixties material, taking the listener outside of time.. He said the song was called “Caribbean Wind”.
~Bob Dylan (to Paul Williams Nov 1980)
@ #35 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. We got 3 versions of this brilliant song.. the best is the live versions he played on November 12, 1980.
Recorded 30 April 1981 @ Clover Recorders – Los Angeles, California
I never wanted to write topical songs,…. Have you heard my last two records, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61? It’s all there. That’s the real Dylan.
~Bob Dylan (Frances Taylor Interview, Aug. 1965)
50 years ago – 13 January 1965 – Bob Dylan entered Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios, NYC for the first of three seminal days in the studio… It was time to show the “real” Dylan on record.
Bringing It All Back Home is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in March 1965 by Columbia Records. The album is divided into an electric and an acoustic side. On side one of the original LP, Dylan is backed by an electric rock and roll band—a move that further alienated him from some of his former peers in the folk song community. Likewise, on the acoustic second side of the album, he distanced himself from the protest songs with which he had become closely identified (such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”), as his lyrics continued their trend towards the abstract and personal.
The album reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart, the first of Dylan’s LPs to break into the US top 10. It also topped the UK charts later that Spring. The lead-off track, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, became Dylan’s first single to chart in the US, peaking at #39.
I’m going out of my mind, oh, oh
With a pain that stops and starts
Like a corkscrew to my heart
Ever since we’ve been apart
~Bob Dylan (You’re A Big Girl Now)
You’re Big Girl Now” is startling in the originality of its musical structure as well as in the raw power of Dylan’s lyrics and the way he sings them. Each verse of this song is a separate monolog, as if Dylan were an actor stepping to the back of the stage and then coming forward again as he thinks of something else he wants to say to the lady.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)
..‘You’re a Big Girl Now’ presses on still further with the unsparing examination of whether a decaying relationship can withstand the strains of time and other lovers
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)