Steve Kline Ages of Rock
March 19, 1962
Bob Dylan’s debut album, titled Bob Dylan, is released by Columbia in the U.S. It doesn’t sell well, and within the studio it’s called “Hammond’s Folly” — producer John Hammond had signed Dylan. Bob Dylan will not receive much acclaim until years later.
“These debut songs are essayed with differing degrees of conviction,” writes music critic Tim Riley, “[but] even when his reach exceeds his grasp, he never sounds like he knows he’s in over his head, or gushily patronizing … Like Elvis Presley, what Dylan can sing, he quickly masters; what he can’t, he twists to his own devices. And as with the Presley Sun sessions, the voice that leaps from Dylan’s first album is its most striking feature, a determined, iconoclastic baying that chews up influences, and spits out the odd mixed signal without half trying.” The LP has two songs written by Dylan, Talkin’ New York and Song to Woody.