Bob Dylan is unquestionably one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the past century. Rooted in folk traditions and renowned for his profound lyrics covering love, protest, and the human experience, he’s left an indelible mark on the music industry. So what are Bob Dylan’s must-listen tracks? Here are the top 10 songs by this legendary American artist.
10. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” showcases Dylan’s more romantic side. Originating from the 1967 album ‘John Wesley Harding,’ the song is a cheerful love tune imbued with country flair. Its laid-back mood and warm tones make it an ideal song for dreamy escapism. Within Dylan’s extensive catalog, it stands out for its simplicity and directness—yet is no less powerful for it.
9. Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35
If one thing is certain about Bob Dylan, it’s that he’s never shied away from experimentation. “Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35,” from the album ‘Blonde on Blonde,’ exemplifies this. Although its line “Everybody must get stoned” is infamous and often misunderstood, the song is primarily a celebration of life in all its ups and downs. A joyful cacophony fills the air whenever this track plays.
8. I Want You
“I Want You,” also from ‘Blonde on Blonde,’ proves that Dylan is not just a master of complex, gripping lyrics but also a touchstone for universal feelings. The melody is contagious, and Dylan’s passionate vocal delivery about yearning is simply enchanting.
7. Lay Lady Lay
“Lay Lady Lay,” from the 1969 album ‘Nashville Skyline,’ represents Dylan at his most accessible. The song exudes a sultry sensuality and serves as a love letter in musical form. A timeless classic, it’s a staple on romantic playlists.
6. Just Like A Woman
In “Just Like A Woman,” Dylan’s insightfulness shines through. He captures the intricacies of human relationships in a few poignant lines. With its melancholic melody, the song is both tender and painfully honest.
5. Knocking on Heaven’s Door
As one of Dylan’s most covered songs, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” displays his knack for conveying deep emotions in a straightforward manner. Written for the soundtrack of the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, it has become an anthem of both hope and sorrow.
4. The Times They Are A-Changin’
This song is the ultimate protest anthem and one of the most iconic tracks of the 1960s. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” delivers a timeless message about social change and the urgency for progress.
3. Like a Rolling Stone
Often hailed as one of the greatest rock songs ever, “Like a Rolling Stone” defies conventions with its revolutionary lyrics. Dylan challenges the listener to explore life in all its complexities.
“Hurricane” recounts the true story of boxer Rubin Carter, who was wrongfully convicted of murder. It stands as a scathing indictment against injustice and corruption, proving that Dylan’s pen is as mightily cutting as his words.
1. Blowin’ In the Wind
Topping this list is “Blowin’ In the Wind.” This 1962 anthem of freedom and change is often cited as one of the most impactful songs in American music history. With its universal message and enduring relevance, it rightfully claims the title of Bob Dylan’s best song.