Arriving after the twin peaks of Blood on the Tracks
, Street Legal
features a set of songs with no connecting themes, and Bob Dylan replaced the sprawl of the Rolling Thunder Revue with a slick, professional big band featuring a horn section and several backing vocalists. The interesting thing about this 1978 release is that, despite the music and slick production, the songs are as dense as anything Dylan had written since before his motorcycle accident. So, Street Legal
becomes an interesting dichotomy: although the arrangements might discourage close listening, the album is filled with songs that deserve attention. And Street Legal
is fascinating for just that reason -- in another setting, these are songs that would have been hailed as near-masterpieces. Consequentially, it's not surprising that, while some consider Street Legal
a missed opportunity, there are factions of Dylanphiles that find the album worth the time.