The next day I hopped in the Jetta and hit Tower Records. Yes, remember when you could do that? Without hesitating, I picked up Highway 61 Revisited, John Wesley Harding, Bringing It All Back Home, Blood on the Tracks, Nashville Skyline, Oh Mercy, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and Infidels. Alright, I probably didn't buy them all that afternoon, but I eventually picked up those mentioned. After a manic run through Tower, I drove down El Camino and, filled with excitement, nearly crashed into Best Buy. A friend had told me to pick up a reasonably priced Pioneer and within a minute or two I was at the register.
As I wrapped up the installation I recalled him saying, "Start with Blood on the Tracks and then you might want to call me." I positioned the speakers perfectly, grabbed the remote and sat in the middle of the couch. I pressed play, sat back and was literally inside one of those classic 80's Maxell blank tape ads. This was the crispest sound I'd ever heard. Whenever I think of the greatest music moments caught on film, the first that comes to mind is Al Kooper talking about his spontaneous organ fills in the documentary No Direction Home. As I closed my eyes, I somehow felt transported to a Dylan studio session nine years after Kooper dropped his fingers to the organ fills that would turn "Like a Rolling Stone" into one of the most known rock n' roll songs ever recorded.
Tonight I arrived home from work and went back to that night. And man if the power of those sessions doesn't sit right on these discs. Of all the lps, 45s, rare CDs (bidding on Kelly Willis' Fading Fast ep starts at $32,750), these re-issues may take the cake. In the world of MP3s, iPhones, and immediate access to all media, we sometimes forget to sit and actually absorb the sound. These SACDs are a reminder.