I'm always baffled when people talk about this album like it's just a warm-up to Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde. IMO it's significantly better than the former and pn par with BoB, which has more great songs but also has more filler/crap due to its being a double. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is of course one of the most significant songs of his career and the more Garage Rock/Blues Rock songs like "Maggie's Farm" are far better than the likes of "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Tombstone Blues." Then there are the largely acoustic numbers like "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Gates of Eden," which are far superior lyrically to almost anything on Highway 61. For me his five best records are John Wesley Harding, Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, Love and Theft and this one. The Basement Tapes is as good or better than most of those five but I don't consider it to be a Dylan record since The Band share equal billing. Anyway, this is essential. Buy it.
It's funny to think that Dylan released this and Highway 61 in under six months and the quality is top notch. Today's artist's need 2-4 years to make an album and they don't even come close to Dylan's level.
If I had a record player that could scrobble I'd have way more plays off this. How can you describe an album where Mr. Tambourine Man isn't even one of the best tracks? Take any song off this and it holds up to anything else he ever did.