In this Radio National podcast to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of Bob Dylan’s epic Blonde On Blonde double album, Dr Mark Sutton (who has a PhD in Dylanology from Sydney University) and Rod Quinn, the Late Night ABC broadcaster briefly discuss the context, meaning and musicality of each song from the album.
The commentary is immensely clear and “stupendously” insightful. Short segments of the songs follow the commentary, although 'Visions of Johanna' and 'Sad Lady of the Lowlands' were played in their entirety, although for copyright reasons they cannot be heard here.
Unsurprisingly, Sutton reckons, like others, that Dylan’s brilliant but abstract ‘Visions of Johanna’ is one of his best works and establishes him as a serious poet.
Find the song lyrics here on Dylan’s Official Site: http://bobdylan.com/songs/visions-johanna/
Sutton also considers important ‘Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’ which Dylan has previously explicitly mentioned is about his first wife and which comprises the entire side B of the second LP of the original album.
For what my opinion is worth, I love this album and have heard it hundreds of times, but perhaps marginally, Dylan’s ‘OH MERCY’ (1989) is more listenable and profound in its underlying messages.
Find the podcast here: http://www.abc.net.au/overnights/stories/s4466872.htm