Bob Dylan - Highway 61 revisited - 1965

Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" (1965)

Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" is a seminal album released in 1965, marking a significant shift in Dylan's music from folk to rock. This album is not only a milestone in Dylan's career but also a pivotal moment in the history of popular music. The title track, "Highway 61 Revisited," is known for its engaging narrative and symbolic lyrics, reflecting Dylan's unique songwriting style.

Background and Influence

The Transition from Folk to Rock

  1. Dylan's shift from acoustic to electric guitar stirred controversy among folk purists.
  2. This transition was a major event at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.

Cultural and Historical Significance

  1. "Highway 61 Revisited" is often seen as a reflection of the social changes during the 1960s.
  2. The album's influence extends beyond music, impacting culture, politics, and literature.

The Music

Analysis of "Highway 61 Revisited"

  1. The song uses Highway 61, an iconic American road, as a metaphor.
  2. Its lyrics are rich in allusions and allegorical references.

Musical Style and Production

  1. The album combines elements of rock, blues, and folk.
  2. Dylan collaborated with notable musicians and producers, including Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What was the initial reaction to Bob Dylan's shift from acoustic to electric guitar? (Controversy among folk purists) (!Universal acclaim) (!Indifference) (!Immediate commercial success)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What festival in 1965 was significant for Bob Dylan's transition to electric guitar? (Newport Folk Festival) (!Woodstock) (!Monterey Pop Festival) (!Isle of Wight Festival)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What does Highway 61 symbolize in the song "Highway 61 Revisited"? (A metaphor for freedom and escape) (!A specific historical event) (!A personal love story) (!A road trip)


Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited
1965 Transition to Rock Music
Newport Folk Festival Electric Guitar Controversy
Folk, Rock, and Blues Musical Influences
American Road Symbolism of Highway 61

Open Tasks


  1. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs that were influenced by Dylan’s shift to rock.
  2. Write a Poem: Write a poem inspired by the themes in "Highway 61 Revisited."
  3. Road Trip Plan: Plan a fictional road trip along Highway 61, inspired by the song.


  1. Interview Fans: Interview people who lived during the 60s about their reaction to Dylan's shift.
  2. Analysis Essay: Write an essay analyzing the symbolism in the lyrics of "Highway 61 Revisited."
  3. Music Comparison: Compare and contrast "Highway 61 Revisited" with another Dylan folk song.


  1. Research Paper: Research the impact of Dylan's music on 1960s American culture.
  2. Create a Documentary: Make a short documentary about the Newport Folk Festival of 1965.
  3. Songwriting: Compose a song that incorporates elements of Dylan's musical style.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Impact: How did "Highway 61 Revisited" influence other musicians and genres?
  2. Interpret the Lyrics: What are the allegorical elements in "Highway 61 Revisited"?
  3. Cultural Analysis: How does the album reflect the social and cultural changes of the 1960s?
  4. Musical Evolution: Discuss the evolution of Dylan's music before and after "Highway 61 Revisited."
  5. Historical Context: How did the historical context of the 1960s shape the album?

OERs on the Topic


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