Certain Songs #85: Bob Dylan – “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)”


Album: Blonde on Blonde
Year: 1966

Whenever I read any story about Bob Dylan which references his famous quote about the music he hears in his head, this is the song that I think of.

“It’s that thin, that wild mercury sound. It’s metallic and bright gold with whatever that conjures up. That’s my particular sound.”

Two guitars, bass, drums, harmonica, organ and piano. That’s the sound of Blonde on Blonde, the sound of 3:00am, and it is never more fully realized than on this song. Its also so difficult to balance that outside of Bob, the only person who’s been able to do anything with it for any serious length of time is late 70’s Bruce Springsteen.

To me, that thin wild mercury sound is one of the most beautiful sounds in the universe – and a primary reason why I love mid-60s Dylan so damn much. There’s always something new going on in this song whether it’s a organ swell, piano fill, drum build or guitar lead, but it never even comes close to falling about.

When I was a teenager, I was told that the only true way to understand Blonde on Blonde was to listen to it on acid. So the one time I tried acid – at age 29 – I dutifully listened to it. It just sounded like Blonde on Blonde to me. Like I’d internalized it so much that not even LSD could change that.

“One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)”

My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist:

Every “Certain Song” Ever

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