I Want You (1966) – Bob Dylan

When I was playing Pool with friends in Canberra back in 1994, we would replay this song to death on the jukebox. That’s when bars had jukeboxes where you entered coin change, perhaps they still do. I don’t know. Our avuncular companion Keith (who I have written about before in the Puccini – E Lucevan Le Stelle article) brought his harmonica to replicate the harmonica playing in today’s featured song. He was proud of his efforts as we were. The lyrics, instrumentals and Dylan’s delivery of I Want You encapsulate why Blonde on Blonde is so admired. Dylan described the record as ‘That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound‘.

The guilty undertaker sighs
The lonesome organ grinder cries
The silver saxophones say I should refuse you
The cracked bells and washed-out horns
Blow into my face with scorn
But it’s not that way
I wasn’t born to lose you

I want you, I want you
I want you, so bad
Honey, I want you

When I read his lyrics, even today, I remain in awe and perplexed how Dylan achieved that level of sophistication in his poetry. If you could not understand the language, you might distill the song as just a catchy, groovy love song, but what sets I Want You apart from those songs are the words and how everything coalesces as aforementioned to form a stupendous piece of great art. As Dylan said in a 66 interview: “It’s not just pretty words to a tune or putting tunes to words.”
To me Dylan is brimming at the edge with creative / nervous / explosive energy. It boggles my mind, and it never grows old. This is one of Dylan’s most animated songs on the surface.

I Want You was recorded in the early morning hours of March 10, 1966, and the song was the last one recorded for Dylan’s double-album Blonde on Blonde. Obviously, many songs will appear from Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde – so stay tuned. Thank you for reading.

1. I Want You (Bob Dylan Song) – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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16 comments on “I Want You (1966) – Bob Dylan
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Love this song Matt. The lyrics of course and the way he phrases everything.

    • Hey Max, musically and lyrically things don’t get much better. He performed kind of a miracle.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I love this period of him…after Blonde on Blonde he changed…his songs became more…controlled? It was more maturity… but I totally get into this Dylan.

      • I like all shades of Dylan. To me, he is the modern prophet without getting too hoodoo.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        lol…. Oh I like all periods but this one is the one that drew me in.
        Springsteen did the same thing after the second album…he kinda reeled it in.

      • Yeh, most people would say that that period was the bees-knees of his career. To me I think the Blood on The Tracks to Street Legal was his best because he was suffering to get start again. Street Legal as a standalone record is the one I like most to listen to along with Mike Batt’s Tarot Suite made about the same time. I remember going to see Dylan in Melbourne in 2007 if I remember rightly – I saw him two nights in a row (both in in front 5 rows) and an older colleague from work who saw him also said he sucked because he didn’t sound like Blonde-on-Blonde Dylan or from that era. Those fans piss me off no-end.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Yea those fans should know better. I saw him in 89 the first time with Steve Earle opening up. I’ve seen him more than anyone else.
        Those were great seats you had!

      • Steve Earle nice. I’ve seen him 5 times. Second time in Sydney Dylan won the Oscar the night after seeing him and in Melbourne Glen Hansard from The Frames who opened for him a little later won the Oscar for Once. If I lived in the US it would be a lot higher lol.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I would like to see Dylan again soon. I saw him in 2016… you saw Dylan in a special time.

  2. Jai3044 says:

    This song is in my top 10 Dylan songs which is a hard list to decide

  3. Jai3044 says:

    Cool I’ll have a look.

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