Review of Bob Dylan's Song Visions of Joanna

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Kelly Carver
March 21, 2010
Essay #4
Visions of Johanna

“Visions of Joanna” from Dylan’s 1966 Blonde on Blonde album was recorded between October 5, 1965 to March 10, 1966 at the CBS studios in Nashville, Tennessee. This was Dylan’s seventh album, which included a lot more folk rock, blues- rock, and rock. The songs “Visions of Johanna was considered one of Dylan’s best works as an artist and his personal favorite song on the album. He said, “It captured the wild, thin, mercury sound.” “Visions of Johanna”, presented Dylan’s drug use and reference in many of the songs on the album and how it affected his life in such a profound way.

At this point in Dylan’s career Blonde on Blonde was his third album since switching to electric; he was living in Woodstock, New York at this point he was into hard drugs and in reflected in many of his songs on this album. His drug use which was very evident in many of his songs, during this time in his life he became overwhelmed with the usage of pot, and other hard drugs. However, this album was also released months before his motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966 where after that due to the accident took eight years off after to just be a husband and a father to his kids.

“Visions of Joanna” has a lot of possible individuals that the song may have been written about. One of the individuals is suggested to be Van Gogh’s sister in law Johanna Gezina Van Gogh. The story of Johanna moved Dylan Greatly by her transformation from a possible suicide victim to a successful artist. Another possibility of whom the song was about is Sara, Dylan’s first wife and Joan Baez love triangle and the difficulty he had choosing between the Baez whom he was with at the time and Sara Dylan’s first wife that he was falling in love with at the time that the song was written. Experts believe that the song “Visions of Johanna” had a lot of referencing to drugs. I feel that throughout the entire song is in a context that he is describing...
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