Format and Editions
''The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'' is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in May 1963 by Columbia Records. Whereas his debut album ''Bob Dylan'' had contained only two original songs, ''Freewheelin'' initiated the process of writing contemporary words to traditional melodies. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album are original compositions by Dylan. The album kicks off with "Blowin' in the Wind", which would become one of the anthems of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary soon after the release of ''Freewheelin''. The album featured several other songs which came to be regarded as amongst Dylan's best compositions and classics of the 1960s folk scene: "Girl from the North Country", "Masters of War", "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right".
Dylan's lyrics embraced stories ripped from the headlines about civil rights and he articulated anxieties about the fear of nuclear warfare. Balancing this political material were love songs, sometimes bitter and accusatory, and material that features surreal humor. ''Freewheelin showcased Dylan's songwriting talent for the first time, propelling him to national and international fame. The success of the album and Dylan's subsequent recognition led to his being named as "Spokesman of a Generation", a label Dylan came to resent.
''The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'' reached number 22 in the US (eventually going platinum), and later became a number one hit in the UK in 1964. In 2003, the album was ranked number 97 on ''Rolling Stone'' magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2002, ''Freewheelin was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. - Wikipedia