Dylan’s back into storytelling mode, laying out over two sides of a 7” single the story (or a Dylanized version of it, at least) of Rubin Carter’s arrest and conviction. The lyrics are as direct and cutting as anything else he’d done in some time, but his sympathy for a coulda-been “champion of the world” ends up less affecting than earlier songs about nameless hobos and working stiffs. Beyond the celeb aspect, part of that is due to the damn violin-and-conga backing that places the song firmly in mid-’70s sleeksville – it’s easy to imagine a Mellencamp recording such a song ten years later. Old Bob’s in good voice, though, and the brisk tempo keeps things moving along nicely. So I dunno… call it socially-conscious wallpaper. Sure.