This is Dylan gone pop. Bye-bye to the instrumental heaviness, vocal fire, and numbing length of preceding “sell-out” single “Like a Rolling Stone,” hello to cheerful organ-burble and a deceptively soothing croon spread over a sprightly 3:50 clock-time. There’s no proper chorus here, true, but the repeating musical phrases and warm midtempo mellowness leave plenty for radio listeners to latch onto – hence its deserved top-10 charting. And yet, the lyrics manage to out-nasty even “Rolling Stone,” climaxing with the rarely-topped knife-twist punchline of “I wish that for just one time / You could stand inside my shoes / You’d know what a drag it is to see you.” Ouch! So “Positively 4th Street” is a definite success as a single, both in terms of its commercial performance and Dylan’s demonstration of his popsmanship, but as a total package it can’t quite stand up next to the better album tracks from Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, its comparatively squishy band performance being inferior to the lean, tough playing on those records. This is all vinegar, no piss. Now, would the song’s contemptuous words be as jarring if the music had more of that edge to it? Perhaps not. Still… while I’d never trade the dead-perfect lyrics, gimme the instro bite of “From a Buick 6” (this single’s B-side) or any of Blonde on Blonde’s ragged, uptempo rockers if I want to hear Dylan actually fronting a rock ’n’ roll group.