The 1979 album Oh Mercy maybe my favorite Bob Dylan record:
It’s heresy I know, there’s no way that an album from this area can be held up to his earlier recordings.
I have many of those recordings and although the offerings Oh Mercy may not hold up head to head with some of the best 60s stuff there’s just something about this record that I really enjoy.
I’m going to give most of the credit to the production of Daniel Lanois:
I’ve read that many critics were unhappy with the treatment Lanois gave to this collection of songs, but the atmospheric overproduction lends itself well to my ear… but I also really liked some of the other Lanois produced records of the era from Peter Gabriel and U2.
In particular the end of side one and beginning of side two, the tracks Man In A Long Black Coat and Most Of The Time are standouts.
This record was seen as kind of a comeback album for Dylan. A couple of his previous, post conversion, records had not performed so well, and were being planned as sloppy and disconnected. Here, the poet returns with some knock your socks off lyrics.
And it continues! Next up was Under A Red Sky followed by Good As I Been To You, World Gone Wrong and Time Out Of Mind… this run of albums does hold up with his earlier recordings!