Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits and Vol. ll
Originally released in 1967 and ’71, respectively, Columbia has reissued these two volumes of early Bob Dylan hits featuring sound upgraded by using the original tapes, re-mastering them with 24-Bit SBM process, and reverting back to the album graphics which had been eliminated in the early transfer to CD. But exactly how the average consumer will know any of this is beyond me.
The re-releases look exactly the same as the original versions, and for all the highfalutin tech talk, they sound about the same too. Those few consumers who pay close attention will notice minor cosmetic changes, but the outside graphics are generally identical to the old versions.
Musically, who can complain? These songs have literally changed the face of contemporary music. But Dylan isn’t an artist who can easily be compiled, and Best Of’s are not the way to understand his music. Additionally, Hits Vol. II could have been squeezed onto a single CD, but the original two disc configuration is used, even though disc one is only 35 minutes long. What’s with that?
If you have these discs already, don’t re-purchase them. If you don’t own them, and won’t spring for classic albums like Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61 Revisited , you’d do better to stick with the easily available Biograph three disc anthology. It includes almost everything here along with a terrific booklet (there are NO liner notes on either of these compilations) and lots more songs.