Unusually, most of the songs were co-written with Jacques Levy. It consists of mainly story songs, including two controversial numbers. One, the 11-minute Joey, which critics claimed glorified the mafiosi Crazy Joe Gallo who Dylan presented as a gangster with morals.
Two, Hurricane told the story of the wrongful allegations of triple murder against black boxer Rubin Carter. This was a return to political grandstanding, but the power of the song makes it essential listening. British choreographer Christopher Bruce used it to build a dance on.
Isis has been called a ‘symbolic travelogue’ about love and deception; One More Cup Of Coffee is about a girl from a family of drifters/gypsies and loyalty in love in harmonic minor scale. The Mexican feel to Romance In Durango and the panama hat and colonial feel of Black Island Bayagain show Dylan at his most lyrically creative with violin, bellzouki and accordian supplementing expected musicians.
Sara is clearly a display of his private life with his wife, during separation. It’s a love song, a simple structure with quadrophonic sound mix, backing vocals and an admission that he wrote Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands for her in New York’s Chelsea Hotel. Mozambique was believed to have started as a game, to see how many words rhyming with ‘ique’ they could find!