I've been listening to the first 6 Dylan albums and reading a lot of interviews lately. And I think that Dylan went electric because he didn't want to be the conscious of a particular group of people. He just didn't want the responsibility. His third album (The Times They Are A-Changing) was loaded with social commentary songs...so much so that the folky/left group of Seeger and Co claimed him as their own. Bob didn't want other people speaking for him and he didn't want to be pigeonholed. See, Bob played in a rock and roll band back in Minnesota before moving to the Big Apple. Like most of us Bob got his start playing music in a rock and roll band. But he got into folk music because of the greater lyrical content. "The thing about rock and roll is that for me anyway it wasn't enough...the songs weren't serious or didn't reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings." Bob is first a lyricist then a musician so folk music at the time played right into his strength as a writer. But when his success landed him in the front of a certain political parade he bailed. Bob also figured out that the genre of rock music could encompass intelligent lyrics and still rock...like Highway 61 Revisited. So he could have his cake and eat it too.