Top 10 Bob Dylan greatest hits

By SSPDaily editionJan 27, 2024 08:05 AMShowbiz
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Bob Dylan hits
Bob Dylan hits. Source: www.rollingstone.com

Bob Dylan (real name Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Dylan is considered one of the greatest songwriters in the history of mankind and one of the main figures in popular culture.

Singers Room writes, "Most of his best-known work comes from the 1960s when songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights movement and the end of the Vietnam War. His lyrics during this period incorporated political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, challenging the traditions of pop music and addressing the emerging counterculture.

Here are the 10 best Bob Dylan songs according to Singers Room.

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"

"A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" was written by Bob Dylan in the summer of 1962 and recorded at the end of the same year for his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963). The lyrical structure of the song is based on the question-and-answer refrain of the traditional British ballad "Lord Randall" published by Francis Child.

The song is characterized by symbolist imagery in the style of Arthur Rimbaud, which conveys suffering, protest against environmental pollution and war. Dylan said that all the lyrics were taken from the opening lines of songs that he thought he would never have time to write.

"Visions of Johanna"

"Visions of Johanna" was written and performed by Bob Dylan for the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. Some critics have called "Visions of Johanna" one of Dylan's highest achievements in writing, noting the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the language. Rolling Stone magazine included "Visions of Johanna" in the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Many artists have recorded cover versions of this song, including the Grateful Dead, Marianne Faithfull, Chris Smither, and Robyn Hitchcock.

"All Along the Watchtower"

"All Along the Watchtower" is a song by Bob Dylan from his eighth studio album John Wesley Harding (1967). It was written by Dylan and produced by Bob Johnston. The lyrics, originally consisting of twelve lines, is a conversation between a jester and a thief.

The composition was subject to various interpretations; some reviewers emphasized that it echoes lines from the Book of Isaiah, chapter 21, verses 5-9.

Dylan has released several different live versions of "All Along the Watchtower", which were included in some of his subsequent greatest hits collections.

"Positively 4th Street"

The song "Positively 4th St" was recorded in New York City on July 29, 1965 and released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965.

"Positively 4th St." peaked at number 1 on the Canadian RPM chart, number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Rolling Stone magazine included it in the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at #203.

"Every Grain of Sand"

"Every Grain of Sand" was recorded in Los Angeles in the spring of 1981 and appeared on the album Shot of Love in August of the same year. It was later included in the Biograph collection.

An earlier version of the song (September 1980), featuring Jennifer Warnes on backing vocals, was released in 1991 as part of The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991.

The song was included in the soundtrack to the 1998 film Another Day in Paradise and in the premiere episode of the Marvel Studios tv series Moon Knight (2022).

"The Times They Are a-Changin"

"The Times They Are a-Changin'" was released as the title track of Dylan's album of the same name in 1964. Bob wrote the song as an anthem of change at the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads.

Released in the UK in 1965 as a 45 rpm single, it reached number 9 on the UK Singles Chart.

According to Dylan's official website, between 1963 and 2009, he performed the song 633 times, making it the 23rd most performed song in the world as of June 2023.

In 2004, "The Times They Are a-Changin" was ranked 59th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"Mr. Tambourine Man"

"Mr. Tambourine Man" was included as the first song in the acoustic version of Dylan's album Bringing It All Back Home (March 1965). The song's popularity led Dylan to record it live many times. It was also included in numerous compilation albums.

"Mr. Tambourine Man" has been translated many times, often used or mentioned in television shows, movies and books.

The song has been performed and recorded by many artists, including the Byrds, Judy Collins, Melanie, Odetta, Stevie Wonder and others.

"Blowin' in the Wind"

"Blowin' in the Wind" was written by Bob Dylan in 1962, released as a single and included in the album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963). It was characterized as protest music, containing a number of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom.

In 1994, "Blowin' in the Wind" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked 14th on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"Like a Rolling Stone"

"Like a Rolling Stone" was released on July 20, 1965 by Columbia Records. Its confrontational lyrics originated from an extended piece of poetry that Dylan wrote in June 1965 when he returned tired from a grueling tour of England. Dylan reduced this draft to four verses and a chorus. The song "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the session for the album Highway 61 Revisited.

During a difficult two-day pre-production, the author tried to find the essence of the song. The breakthrough came when the melody was tested in a rock music format, and Al Kooper improvised a riff for the Hammond B2 organ, thanks to which the composition became famous.

Columbia Records was dissatisfied with the song's length - more than six minutes - and heavy electric sound, and did not dare to release it. Only when a copy of "Like a Rolling Stone" got to one of the popular music clubs and was heard by influential DJs a month later, it was released as a single.

Despite the fact that radio stations didn't want to play such a long song, "Like a Rolling Stone" reached #2 on the US Billboard charts (#1 on Cashbox) and became a worldwide hit.

"Hurricane"

"Hurricane" is a protest song co-written by Dylan and Jacques Levy, which appeared on the 1976 album Desire. It was also released as a single in November 1975.

"Hurricane" is dedicated to the imprisonment of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (1937-2014). It tells the story of acts of racism and profiling against Carter, which, according to Dylan, led to a false trial and conviction.

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