I thought with the upcoming release of a new studio Bob Dylan album (now looking like September, from what i've read here) it might be an interesting thread to talk about the first album you heard upon release (or, if applicable, maybe even a few weeks before the official date?)
For me, I remember songs from Blood on the Tracks and Desire being on the radio when those albums were new, but the first album-I bought on the first day of release (or perhaps the day after) was "Street Legal" from 1978. I remember at the time that that was the same week (must have been about June?) that I graduated from high school, and somehow looking back those events feel linked- that idea of 'ok, the usual moorings are gone now, and here's the new'. "Street Legal" was a very new sound for him, of course, having the r & b style backup singers, the larger band, the dense arrangements, etc. I remember particularly liking the opening track 'changing of the guard', as well as 'senor' and the last track 'where are you tonight (journey thru dark heat), but thinking this was a new and strange sound for him...
other recordings i remember going to the record store (remember those?) on the day of release where i remember something notable include shot of love (first thought- cheeziest cover of all time!- but somehow a friend of a friend had gotten ahold of the album before release, and , improbably, called me up and read me what he had written down of the lyrics, so I had some idea of what was coming), Infidels (first heard some of the outtakes actually before the record came out, i think?) .... hmm, what eles? the dissapointment (other then 'brownsville girl') of 'knocked out loaded', the positive feelings of 'wow, this is a return to form' from 'oh mercy', the relative dissapointment afterwords of 'under the red sky', that great hushed expectant listen to an recording on cassette tape of 'time out of mind' sometime before release, overjoyed at the majesty of it.. the same for 'love and theft'... and feelings somewhat in between those extremes for several of the releases since that..... anyway, what are your thougths and stories on that 'first listen' of a 'new' dylan album?