Bringing It All Back Home is a masterpiece.
In the spring of 1965 Dylan was moving forward without hesitation; distancing himself from the folk community he helped redefine by going electric (Judas!). The first half of the record, the “electric” side, shows an unchained Dylan excited in the new territory he was exploring. The lyrics were abstract and they were personal. The accompanying musicians (all top rate players) fill out the sound with edge and flavor. “Maggie’s Farm” is a spontaneous revolution, and it sounds like one too (the band only needed to play the song once; the first take made it onto the record). Gems like “She Belongs To Me” and “Love Minus Zero/No Limit Get” (a personal favorite) are timeless; kissed with that raw sincerity seldom heard.
The second half of the record, the “acoustic” side, is legendary. The artist has perfected his craft and is saying farewell, and not a moment too soon.
The sound of this Mobile Fidelity re-pressing is awesome; bringing all of the tube warmth and tape saturation back into the recording. Originally produced by Tom Wilson and recorded at Columbia’s NYC studios, this new pressing was wonderfully mastered from a “master tape” by Michael H. Brauer and Steve Berkowitz at Quad Studios (formerly Quadraphonic). Compared with the brighter sounding original, this LP has the warmth these songs so desperately crave. This LP also has improved tone and an expansive midrange — Dylan’s voice is as transparent as possible, and to great effect. Dynamics are present displaying a sound as fluid as it is natural.
Since the LPs are 45rpm, you are able to squeeze as much life as possible from the source material. But, spreading the album over two separate LPs takes away the startling effect (and intent) of the contrasting sides of the LP. The pressing quality done at RTI is first rate; the vinyl I received is quiet and the gatefold packaging is spectacular (detailed photos, thick jacket). There is no doubt in my mind that Mobile Fidelity just provided us with the best sounding version of this album on vinyl.
Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home
Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-380
45rpm 180g (2-LPs)
Produced by: Tom Wilson
Mixed by: Michael H. Bauer and Steve Berkowitz
Mastered by: Krieg Wunderlich on the Gain 2 Ultra Analog System