Bob Dylan’s Greatest Albums: #5 Under the Red Sky

What are the five greatest Bob Dylan studio albums? The thing about Dylan’s career is that there are whole sections of his work, depending on your tastes, that you can eliminate when considering such a list. So,  here is FlickSided’s Five Greatest Bob Dylan albums.

Bob Dylan’s Five Greatest Albums


Under The Red Sky

The problem with critics is more often than not they are either stupid or wrong or, as is usually the case both. An artist, be he a director, novelist or singer is, not a machine. They suffer the slings and arrows of life like everyone else.  Judging every output by the artist’s zenith fails to comprehend the language that they are presenting to you at that moment. If you think Michelangelo was running around painting frescos on every roof he could find to follow up the Sistine Chapel, you are sadly mistaken.

In 1990, Bob Dylan was emerging from the haze, much like the rest of the world, that was the 1980s. The previous year, he released his first step forward in quite a few years with the album Oh Mercy. As a member of the super group The Traveling Wilburys, Dylan was able to see first hand the creative rebirth of George Harrison, his song Handle with Care the spark that birthed the Wilburys.

Dylan would follow up Oh Mercy with the greatly underrated and under-appreciated Under the Red Sky. The album, no doubt, continues to disorient and confound listeners. Here, we had Bob Dylan all figured out and he comes out with an album of short songs, which have simplistic lyrics that some called childlike.

Patient listening and the lyrical content has a charm all its own. They don’t have the manic, surreal swirl you come to expect from Bob Dylan but Under the Red Sky wasn’t telling that kind of story. Make no mistake, though. It is still very much Bob Dylan. The other disorienting thing about the album is the 35 minute length. After all, just seven years later, Dylan would pen the song Highlands, which by itself, is nearly half the length of Under the Red Sky.

When you get the opportunity, stick Under the Red Sky in the CD play and give it a listen. It’s not going to explode your conscious mind but that was never its intention.