In your holiday guide to boxed sets ("Money for Something," Dec. 14), Robert Hilburn's "Dylan Option 2" is much better than the Columbia set of 15 discs, but it is hard to do without "John Wesley Harding."
I just happened to be listening to this album the day before I saw Hilburn's column. It has some great songs. If I were to select 15 discs for a "Customized Dylan Set," how could I leave off an album that has one of Dylan's best, "All Along the Watchtower," the Hendrix version of which is right at the top of my all-time-favorite rock songs?
Of course, what does one take off the list to keep it at 15? It would have to be "Slow Train Coming." And I could add on "New Morning," one of his least substantial but very listenable albums (15, 16, 17 -- who cares -- it's all arbitrary anyway).
As Hilburn said, let the arguments begin. Yes to the additions he recommended. In particular, "Time Out of Mind" is absolutely essential. One of Dylan's best. But also two of his best are "John Wesley Harding" and "Street Legal" (in the improved sonic version, though). "Infidels" could be dropped, but that is all. "John Wesley Harding"? An absolute masterpiece!