Bob Dylan

So, here we’ve finally arrived: “Bob Dylan’s 10 Best Songs,” the Iraq Invasion of long-form rock journalism. Uncalled for and utterly unwinnable, contending with a thousand-song catalog so rich, varied, mysterious, and fraught with social and artistic context that the very notion of its distillation courts nothing less than madness. Why not rank Shakespeare’s 10 best quotations or Matisse’s 10 best line strokes?

We proceed knowing that there is no one right answer, or even 10 right answers, in highlighting the best moments of a legendary five-decade career that will surely endure the ages. And it hardly feels like just ranking one artist — there have been as many Dylans as there have been seismic shifts in our cultural landscape over the course of his career. From his initial emergence as an early-’60s folky-urchin to his current status as great, debauched last-legs bluesman, Dylan has somehow always remained a preeminent bellwether for a searching society.

In the early years of Dylan’s incandescent genius, great songs came fast and furious — so many between the period of 1963′s Freewheeling Bob Dylan through 1967′s John Wesley Harding that they could fill multiple jukeboxes with unimpeachable classics. Only a few of these ’60s songs are on this list, however, because a kind of curious thing occurred as the artist progressed through the obstacles of his young stardom into different iterations of personae and style. The ’70s were a period of professional and personal upheaval, as well as heavy experimentation, and at times Dylan could seem unmoored and veritably unstable. The ’80s were worse: Plagued by flagging confidence, industry pressure and poor judgment of every sort, the man who could very easily be argued the greatest living artist made some of the worst music of his era. By the time of his gradual regeneration and startlingly fully formed reimagination of sound and image in the late 1990s he had been savagely through the ringer and emerged as the kind of “soul survivor” the Stones once envisioned in 1972.

Dylan’s middle decades — the wilderness years between his ’60s supernova exertions and his post-millennial stance as icy cool bluesman — are in retrospect the most fascinating and important of his career. The folk, country, and rock traditions Dylan loved and inherited as a teenaged phenom had not much history with, and very little use for, middle age. By the time a 20-year-old Dylan had traveled east to New York and had begun making regular pilgrimages to a grim state hospital to see his idol Woody Guthrie, the legendary folk singer was nearing his painful death from Huntington’s disease at the young age of 55. Hank Williams, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran had all met ugly early deaths, and Elvis Presley was already commencing his long, sad slide into self-parody.

As the defiantly unwilling but nevertheless typecast face of a ’60s counter culture, Dylan confronted a remarkable challenge in transitioning from his l’enfant terrible, “voice of a generation image” into the kind of varied, intensely personal and visionary artist he had always imagined he might become. It is during the 1970s and ’80s that he not only authored the lion’s share of his greatest songs, but perhaps in some ways made his most enduring contribution by providing a credible, uncompromising pathway for the rock idiom to exist as something more than a phenomenon of ephemeral youth culture.

The following list of 10 songs does not reflect the most famous Bob Dylan material. Certain songs not included on this list are infinitely better known, and have deeper currency and resonance in our culture, for better or worse.

We have chosen 10 songs which in our judgment offer the best summation of the artist’s great themes: love of freedom and hatred of oppression, the profound belief in higher powers both musical and spiritual, and the often devastating journey from innocence to experience. They represent the full palette of compassion, spite, historicity, humanity, comedy, and bitterness that informs the work of this frighteningly gifted (and sometimes just frightening) artist. It’s not so much that reasonable people could disagree — reasonable people probably must disagree. But take these 10 choices for what they’re worth: a brief snapshot rendering the passionate work of one of music’s great visionaries.

10. “Idiot Wind” (from Blood On The Tracks, 1975)

The devastatingly bitter and resigned breakup account from 1975′s perfectly named emotional apocalypse Blood On The Tracks finds the artist both terrorized by the ramifications of an impending divorce from his wife and mother of his children, and brilliantly extrapolating upon the failed promise of that union to represent the failure of the dreams of the ersatz “Peace And Love” generation. Crushingly, Dylan sees himself as having taken on an image too large and unwieldy for even his once-beloved spouse to fathom: “Even you yesterday/ had to ask me where it was at/ I can’t believe after all these years/ you didn’t know me any better than that.” The hurt and alienation Dylan expresses is tellingly and appropriately panoramic, casting a net large enough to characterize social dysfunction ranging from “the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.” No less than Alan Ginsberg referred to that as “the great disillusioned national rhyme.” “Idiot Wind” is ultimately an unsparingly hurtful and honest referendum of a relationship and culture in crisis.

9. “Highlands” (from Time Out Of Mind, 1997)

The remarkably brilliant 16:32 closing track on 1997′s late period masterpiece Time Out Of Mind is an audacious gambit — a stemwinding blues-based narrative reminiscent of a casually jaundiced take on previous, dislocated epics like “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.” Traveling from the Scottish Highlands of the title to the run-down diners of Boston, Dylan ingeniously sketches (literally) the life of an aging legend who still dares to exist as something other than a self-caricature. By the time he encounters a youthful and insouciant waitress, the ensuing comedy is as telling as it is ingratiating and awkward. This is Dylan as beguiling self-critic –- of his age, of his legacy, and of his general worth — and it’s clear he takes to the task with a clear-eyed understanding.

8. “Gotta Serve Somebody” (from Slow Train Coming, 1979)

Dylan’s turn towards evangelical Christianity on 1979′s Slow Train Coming caught a great deal of his audience off guard, and more than a few critics and fans were stunned and appalled to the point of ridicule. In fairness, this seemingly strange gesture was actually consistent with a longstanding tendency on Dylan’s behalf to throw the occasional wicked curveball at his audience. But, under close examination, was it really such a curveball? Biblical concerns have preoccupied Dylan for at least as long as the Old Testament-styled parable “Hard Rain.” In the case of “Gotta Serve Somebody,” Dylan brings to bear a funky, funny, and poignant track filled with self-effacing jokes and the suggestion that there is always a power to honor someone greater then oneself. Observers at the time might have been alarmed, but in truth this is the same old Dylan — catchy, contentious, insightful and morally probing.

7. “Highway 61 Revisited” (from Highway 61 Revisited, 1965)

On an album stocked with brilliant and deservedly fetishized warhorses like “Ballad Of A Thin Man” and “Like A Rolling Stone,” the unmitigated highlight is the title track — a caustic, three-and-a-half-minute no-holds-barred take on amphetamine blues that sets the template for pub and punk rock a full 10 years before their respective flowerings. Here, Dylan’s comic fearlessness in retelling ancient tales of Old Testament insanity juxtaposed alongside savage indictments of contemporary hucksters reflects modern society’s seemingly unchecked capacity for greed and alludes to the sort of no-cost-too-great cruelty that has become too common in Western attitudes towards war. “Yes, I think it could be very easily done…”

6. “Changing Of The Guards” (from Street Legal, 1978)

The lovely, horn-flecked lead track from what is perhaps Dylan’s most difficult and dense release is a remarkably compelling and evocative allegory of Dylan’s experience in the music industry, as well as a clear statement of his intentions to defy any existing expectations going forward. Unfolding like an old parable or a recent video game, he describes his circumstance without sentiment or apology, informing his would-be masters in the industry that he will no longer serve their agenda. “Gentlemen, I don’t need your organization/ I’ve moved your mountains and marked your cards/ But Eden is burning, either get ready for elimination/ Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards”. As Dylan has continued to flourish and the industry continues to wither, it is difficult to not see these words as prophetic.

5. “Visions Of Johanna” (from Blonde On Blonde, 1966)

The intensity and wonder of “Visions Of Johanna” is not an easy thing to metabolize. Dylan was amongst the first songwriters to acknowledge the modern poetry of the Beats as well as earlier inspirations like T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. As an audience, this is the song in which we experience the blossoming of these influences. Set to a profoundly moving melody, “Visions Of Johanna” is an abstract and complicated three-way romance between the singer, the titular Johanna, and the mysterious Louise. It is a vaguely psychedelic, impressionistic forerunner to the more exacting tripartite romance of “Tangled Up In Blue.” But even at this relatively embryonic stage, Dylan has achieved heights of transcendent brilliance. Indeed, British Poet Laureate Andrew Morton called “Visions Of Johanna” the “best song lyric ever written.”

4. “Blind Willie McTell” (from The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3, 1991)

One of the persistent mysteries amongst Dylan fans has involved the question of why he has frequently left his best material off of various albums, only to be revealed as revelatory portions of later collections. Never has this question reached a fever pitch quite like in the case of “Blind Willie McTell,” a stunningly prophetic and bracing song, lost from the original track listing of 1983′s Infidels and later retrieved on The Bootleg Series Vol. 1. Regardless of its provenance, “Blind Willie McTell” remains one of the artist’s most chilling and moving compositions, suggesting in its opening lines a national corruption both deep and historic. Over a lovely and brooding minor key melody line, Dylan acknowledges the awful toll taken on African Americans, including his foremost musical heroes, as well as a through line that includes his own people’s oppression: “Seen the arrow on the doorpost/ saying ’This land is condemned’/ all the way from New Orleans/ to Jerusalem.” Painful and cathartic stuff.

3. “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” (from Bringing It All Back Home, 1965)

In a series of revealing interviews with Martin Scorsese in his 2005 documentary No Direction Home, Dylan characterized this stunning 1965 composition as the kind of thing that he could once render unconsciously, but seemed mysterious to him in his older vintage. Like an aging athlete puzzling over the diminishment of his erstwhile formidable powers, Dylan’s explanation seems utterly too plausible. Over the top of some truly astonishing guitar playing, this is a song that piles one priceless aphorism after the next: “He not being busy being born is busy dying,” “Even the president of the Unites States sometimes must have to stand naked,” and, perhaps the most painful truth: “It’s easy to see/ not much is really sacred.” This is early Dylan at his level best, challenging every facet of the established order with candor and truth. Though he was never a capital-R “Revolutionary”, it is easy to see the attraction he brought to bear from those hoping to disrupt the social order. But as far as Dylan goes, the hippies bet on the wrong horse, and he went the other way.

2. “Tangled Up In Blue” (from Blood On The Tracks, 1975)

Arguably the saddest and most telling folk song of the past 50 years, “Tangled Up In Blue” is an impeccably rendered narrative about two lovers whose desperate affection for one another is insufficient to overcome the societal context and manifold anxieties that keep them apart. It is a complex story that tumbles one verse after the next, each iteration seeming to up the ante on loss and pain. This is a grown-up, travel-weary Dylan, no longer fueled by ideals, but still searching and dreaming of renewal. When he sings the words “All the people we used to know/ they’re an illusion to me now”, the implication could not be more clear: The ’60s were little more than a reckless, self-indulgent miasma. In the aftermath, all that is left is the painful job of attempting to manifest meaning from the shattered pieces of warped idealism gone terribly awry.

1. “Every Grain Of Sand” (from Shot Of Love, 1981)

A deep reservoir of intense spirituality has infused Dylan’s oeuvre from the very beginning. Early works ranging from “Hard Rain” to “Gates Of Eden” made clear both his familiarity with the scriptures and nerveless intent to put his own interpretations front and center in his music. Provided that context, it’s puzzling that many responded to Dylan’s overt gospel records of the late ’70s and early ’80s with slack-jawed surprise, but through it all, Dylan retained a sense of humor, irony, and reverential humility. “Every Grain Of Sand” finds a powerful man acknowledging a devastating vulnerability and profound sense of awe as he imagines the complex minutiae of a vast universe that even a man of his considerable gifts cannot understand. For all of his ironclad insights, this act of conspicuous wonderment feels like his bravest acknowledgment. He who seemed to see so far really knew nothing at all.

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Comments (119)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. Nothing from Nashville Skyline?

    • The dude released 30 something studio albums, 20 of which are good. There are 10 slots. 5 need to be allotted to the mid-60s trilogy.

      When push comes to shove, Nashville Skyline just has to step off.

      SO STEP OFF, CHARLES.

      Opossum out.

  3. Stereogum: Calls Like A Rolling Stone ‘generation-defining’
    Stereogum: Does not put it on this list.

    • There’s a never ending shamelessness in stereogum today … these lists are universally shit, which is why there used “Shit List” posts citing other sites for pulling this page-view grabbing nonsense. But these posts always have plenty of comments, so I’m sure Spinmedia ain’t care. The writers here all surely work for peanuts, which based on the quality of the copy put up anymore …

    • from the intro:

      The following list of 10 songs does not reflect the most famous Bob Dylan material. Certain songs not included on this list are infinitely better known, and have deeper currency and resonance in our culture, for better or worse.

  4. Hey, I’m glad this is an interesting list. But can I rep for Wedding Song, off Planet Waves? That song is miraculous. The line “I love you more than ever and it binds me to this all” is one of those lines taht seems to contain everything.

    • i’m not sure how “interesting” this list is. I’m okay with making arguments for esoteric choices, but this list does include “Tangled” and “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which are probably two of the bigger classic-rock radio friendly Bob songs in his catalogue.

      If you’re gonna go unconventional, make an argument that “Wigwam” is the best Dylan song. I’d be willing to consider that.

  5. These are all good, but my personal jam is Sign on the Window: http://youtu.be/nTjjAPFK4X0

  6. I don’t even know why I clicked on this I am just real angry now.

  7. LIKE A ROLLING STONE, HELLOOOOOOO!

  8. “Uncalled for and utterly unwinnable…”

    yup

  9. Number one is a brave choice, to say the least.
    Tangled up in Blue would be my number one.
    And the rest would be a hell of a mess.

  10. Desolation Row, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, Like a Rolling Stone, Don’t think Twice It’s All Right, Simple Twist of Fate, Shelter from the Storm, Meet Me in the Morning, Times They Are A-Changin’, Pawn in Their Game, Positively 4th Street, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Ballad of a Thin Man
    Et cetera, et cetera, ET CETERA.

    • honlads knows what’s up.

      I Was Young When I Left Home is one of my favorite vocal takes of all time.

    • These things should just be headlined “My 10 favourite…” because we all know that’s what they are.
      I’d still read them and enjoy them, and it wouldn’t come off as pretentious as declaring anything subjective “the best of” anything does.

      • ABSOLUTELY… was just what I was thinking. Unless there’s been a poll taken of everyone who’s heard at least 10 Dylan songs and then a count and then a recount and then a double check to make sure there’s nothing with syths in it, you can’t call these The Ten Best whatevers…

  11. Just Like A Women, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Farewell Angelina, Boots Of Spanish Leather, Desolation Row, Mississippi, To Make You Feel My Love, Hurricane, Simple Twist Of Fate, Isis, Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues, I Want You, Stuck Inside A Mobile With The Memphis Blues, Jokerman, Grooms Still Waiting At The Alter, Girl From The North Country, Lay Lady Lay…. And I could go on and on and on….but who cares?

  12. Checks to see if “Girl from the North Country” is included…

    Closes tab…

  13. Credit for undertaking something this massive and divisive because it certainly isn’t easy, and I think everything warrants inclusion on a list of top Dylan songs. That said, I think there is at least one right answer in all of this, if you’re counting down top 10 Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” makes an appearance somewhere on the list.

  14. The “New York versions” of “Tangled Up in Blue” and (especially) “Idiot Wind” off Bootleg Series 1-3 are vastly superior to the Blood on the Tracks versions, in my opinion.

    • Agreed only for Idiot Wind and You’re A Big Girl Now. The band versions of Tangled Up In Blue and If You See Her Say Hello are far superior, I think, especially the former.

      • I don’t know. Dylan has talked (maybe still) about how baffled he is about how much people enjoy Blood on the Tracks. Well, Bob, maybe because you masked such stark and emotionally raw lyrics with a lot of cheery, exuberant musical arrangements. So while the New York sessions may not be as polished or universally appealing, they do a better job of capturing the essence of the songs.

        Not that I’m complaining, Tracks is probably one of my 10 favorite albums. But I think the New York sessions hit with the musical force of Plastic Ono Band or Tonight’s the Night. Raw power.

  15. “Love of freedom and hatred of oppression, the profound belief in higher powers both musical and spiritual, and the often devastating journey from innocence to experience” doesn’t “Hard Rain” which you namecheck in the list check-off all of these criteria? Not to mention “Blowin in the Wind”?

  16. i like a lot of oddball bob but even i wouldn’t put “highlands” in my top 10.

  17. 4th Time Around.

    • I love the supposed story behind that song. John Lennon consciously aped Dylan on “Norwegian Wood.” So Dylan takes the melody of that song (you can really hear it on Bootleg Vol. 4) and tosses out something as effortlessly brilliant as “Fourth Time Around.” Lennon admitted that Dylan’s response made him “paranoid,” and he never again really tried to do a ‘Dylan number.’

      So, basically “Fourth Time Around” is the 1966 equivalent of Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Control.”

  18. If we’re going to call if “best” as opposed to favorite, let’s just agree to something more like this (and only consider studio releases because this is hard enough).

    1. “Visions of Johanna”
    2. “Like a Rolling Stone”
    3. “Simple Twist of Fate” or “Tangled Up in Blue” or “Shelter From the Storm” (it changes day to day)
    4. “Mr. Tambourine Man”
    5. “Positively 4th Street”
    6. “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”
    7. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
    8. “Ballad of a Thin Man”
    9. “Sign on the Window”
    10. “Maggie’s Farm”

    • for simply acknowledging that the man has done some work in the last 40 years i’ll take the stereogum list over one rooted too firmly in the old days.

      • Agreed. Plus, Sign on the Window being mixed in with those classic songs is kind of weird.

      • Yeah, that’s one a good point. My “favorite” list would be more diverse, but I just don’t think you can name the “best” Dylan songs without it being heavy on his 60s output. and “Sign on the Window” is is the one favorite that I can’t help elevating to best. It’s a weakness.

        For the sake of argument, here are my 10 favorite Dylan songs that I wouldn’t necessarily call his best:

        1. “Blind Willie McTell”
        2. “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”
        3. “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”
        4. “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window”
        5. “Not Dark Yet”
        6. “Wigwam”
        7. “Boots of Spanish Leather”
        8. “Isis”
        9. “Billy 4″
        10. “Dignity”

        • nice a.j. i’ll throw a list out for the heck of it.

          no particular order:

          sugar baby
          boots of spanish leather
          precious angel
          roll on john
          most of the time
          mr. tambourine man
          blind willie mctell
          senor
          sara
          like a rolling stone

          not definitive or best, just personal favorites.

        • “10 favorite Dylan songs that I wouldn’t necessarily call his best” … now THAT’s a fun list to consider.

          (I like that you’ve included Billy 4. I adore that soundtrack and still can’t really tell you which version of Billy is which without checking).

          Mine would probably be roughly like this:

          1. She Belongs to Me
          2. Cross the Green Mountain
          3. Red River Shore
          4. One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
          5. Tell Me Mama
          6. Lovesick
          7. One Too Many Mornings
          8. Summer Days
          9. Thunder on the Mountain
          10. I’m Not There

          Cross the Green Mountain is just as good as Blind Willie McTell, I think. It absolutely shakes my soul.

  19. I agree with most of what’s been said here, but I also have to put in a vote for “Most of the Time”. It’s a personal favorite.

  20. I think to just skim the article and provide a quick comment about what’s missing does this article a great disservice. Writing about Dylan can be a tricky and intimidating thing, and this was incredibly well written.

    Is it sort of insane that The Times They are A-Changin’, Chimes of Freedom, Like a Rolling Stone and Desolation Row aren’t included? Yes, it sort of is.

    Are there other songs I would have included? You bet! In a perfect world, Mississippi makes it somewhere on the list. And She Belongs to Me will always be my personal favorite, even if I don’t know how I’d fit it in such an exclusive list.

    But this was well done. That there is so much to list, discuss, debate and contemplate when it comes to Dylan is part of the beauty of his work.

  21. You can bet I have an opinion about this.

  22. Click bait.

  23. Why would you acknowledge what you are doing is completely analogous to the Iraq invasion then proceed to do it in just as objectionable way?

  24. I will say that I am a bit surprised “Subterranean Homesick Blues” didn’t show up near the top of this list. One could arguably call it the first rap song of all time — without it, would we EVEN HAVE YEEZUS?!?!?! AHHHHHHH!!!!!1111 — and it still, all these years later, has the power to hit you right in the face every time you listen to it.

  25. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”!

  26. One More Cup of Coffee.

    • the lack of desire songs really bums me out, any one of the “Hurricane” “Isis” One More Cup of Coffee” “Mozambique”

      Would have been cool with any of those making it, though I think “Isis” is a cut above, probably my favorite extended-story Dylan song. “He said are you looking for something easy to catch?” and then “When he died, I was hoping that it wasn’t contagious”. Brilliant.

      • i’d go for isis but it would have to be the far superior version from live 75. the man was on fire.

        • I’m convinced that the “Rolling Thunder Revue” bootleg series release is the most well-assembled archival album ever. Especially when you consider how listless the official release from that tour, Hard Rain, was.

          That version of “Isis” is pure fire though. I don’t love Desire as much as others, because I first encountered most of those songs through “Rolling Thunder” and prefer the live versions.

    • Man, that’s a great one. Good call.

  27. “Like a Rolling Stone” not being the #1 song would be enough of a slap in the face, but not even including it on the list is just laughable.

    • Big time. This is a total joke and impossible to take seriously. It does not take a serious Dylanphile to know this is his towering achievement in the midst of his greatest period.

  28. Wow this is insane. How about a list of the best chords in the history of music? B#? A major? Gsus4?

    Anyway these are not Dylan’s greatest songs, but they are my faves:

    a hard rain’s a-gonna fall, all along the watchtower, all I really want to do, ballad of a thin man, desolation row, don’t think twice it’s alright, every grain of sand, girl from the north country, highway 61 revisited, hurricane, I shall be released, I want you, it ain’t me babe, it’s all over now baby blue, it’s alright ma I’m only bleeding, just like tom thumbs blues, knocking on heavens door, like a rolling Stone, love minus zero, masters of war, my back pages, she belongs to me, simple twist of fate, stuck inside mobile with the memphis blues, subterranean homesick blues, tangled up in blue, the lonesome death of hattie carol, the times they are a changin’, tombstone blues, you ain’t going nowhere

  29. could we simply break this down by eras?
    this is the impossible task.

    I haven’t made a list but its definitely got:
    –Man in Me
    –4th Time Around
    –I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
    –Simple Twist of Fate
    –Going to Acapulco

  30. Definitely thought to see Mr. Tambourine Man toward the top, or perhaps Jokerman

  31. Simple Twist of Fate has to be there

  32. we should all vote and compile a top 500 bob dylan song list.

    great list by the way, gutsy.

  33. Any true Dylan fan would include at least one or two of the following on their “best of Dylan” lists…

    Mr Tambourine Man
    Like A Rolling Stone
    Simple Twist Of Fate
    A Hard Rains’ a-Gonna Fall
    Just Like A Woman
    Masters Of War
    Hurricane

    Ok fine Stereogum, I’ll give you credit for including Idiot Wind, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) and Visions of Johanna. I’m still scratching my head on the rest of your list, it’s as if you guys are provoking us to reply to this post…….. darn. (you got me).

  34. This list is nearly impossible, the man’s catalogue is so deep it’s unfathomable. I think maybe a worst to best albums would have been a better idea.

  35. I was really impressed with this list – Idiot Wind, Visions of Johanna, It’s Alright Ma all would be in my top 10 – until I got to slot #1. Did you seriously not put Like A Rolling Stone on here? I’m not trying to be argumentative but Jesus Christ. That’s like…

    Well that’s like making a list of the best Bob Dylan songs and not putting Like A Rolling Stone on there! There’s no other comparison! It’s his most influential song and it is his greatest. Taken away from context it’s an incredible torrent of beautiful words and melody and anger. It is simply unparalleled in songcraft. Come ON man.

    • “Well that’s like making a list of the best Bob Dylan songs and not putting Like A Rolling Stone on there!”

      Haha! Well said. It’s like making a list of the 10 best Orson Welles movies and leaving off ‘Citizen Kane’. Well, not quite that egregious…

  36. well i think even trying to make this list is pretty much a fool’s errand, but good effort i guess. i think i get what you guys are going for, but leaving off “one of us must know” and “like a rolling stone” are pretty unforgivable. but even if y’all are going for more obscure picks, “million dollar bash” and “mississippi” are vastly superior to most of the songs on this list

  37. Congrats for putting two of his christian songs on the list. I’ve been a compulsive and obsessive fan of Dylan for more than two decades and I do find your list absolutely balanced. The only thing really hard to accept for me is the absence of All Along The Watchtower.

  38. Congrats for putting two of his christian songs on the list. I’ve been a compulsive and obsessive fan of Dylan for more than two decades and I do find your list absolutely balanced. The only thing really hard to accept for me is the absence of Brownsville Girl.

  39. Overlooking The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is enough to raise eyebrows, but making the #1 choice a track from Shot of Love deeply confuses me. You might as well go with something from Empire Burlesque.

  40. I would have figured “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”, “Times They are a-Changin”, and “Desolation Row” all would have been on here. I would have also liked to have seen “Maggie’s Farm” as well as “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (Because he is basically rapping and its fucking awesome.) and also for the novelty, “Rainey Day Women #12 & 35″, maybe thats just me, I love “Bringing It All Back Home”. I’m also a bit surprised at the lack of “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, but IDK, u do ur thing ‘Gum.

  41. So Dylan gets a top 10, Drake gets a top 100.

    And then you don’t include Sara, Girl from the north country, Lay lady lay, it takes a lot… or Like a rolling stone.

    Guess you didn’t think twice, but it’s allright

  42. Abandoned Love (Bitter End Version) & Brownsville Girl.

  43. Just when I thought #BREAKFREE was about as low as this site could go, the floor fucking disappears.

  44. These lists often make me want to smash things. But then I just continue living my life.

  45. Shelter from the Storm.

  46. I want to thank you for having the guts to put “Every Grain of Sand” number 1. Making a list like this for Dylan is basically impossible. He could have 50 #1 songs if you really think about it. “Shot of Love” is absurdly undervalued and “Every Grain of Sand” is the masterpiece of this period of his work. The lyrics are incredible in their spiritual ambiguity. So beautiful, personal and mysterious. Rarely does Dylan bare his soul in this way.

  47. DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT?!?!

  48. What’s even the point? I’m all for lists, but seriously.

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