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The Top Five Songs of ... Bob Dylan

A marmite artist if ever there was one.

Genius and voice of a generation or nasal, tuneless whine?

5. If not for you

4. Simple Twist of Fate

3. Forever Young

2. I shall be released

1. Tangled up in Blue


  • 1. Simple Twist of Fate
    2. Like a Rolling Stone
    3. Subterranean Homesick Blues
    4. Tangled Up In Blue
    5. Mr Tamborine Man
  • I only really even liked 2 so

    2. Subterranean Homesick Blues
    1. Hurricane
  • 1. To Ramona

    2. Love MInus Zero/No Limit

    3. Mississippi

    4. Mr Tambourine Man

    5. Romance in Durango
  • edited February 2009
    In no particular order:

    Lay lady lay

    The times they are a changing

    Like a rolling stone

    Its all over now Baby blue

    knock knocking on heaven's door

    Tomorrow it will be different no doubt!
  • He is the same as Chuck Berry, in the fact that everyone does his songs better than him. I've tried to like him as a singer but I cant.
    However Hendrix was massively influenced by him, so I guess thats alright with me!!!

    Legend songwriter, appalling singer. Dylan not Hendrix.
  • 1 Desolation Row
    2 Like A Rolling Stone
    3 Its All Over Now Baby Blue
    4 Visions Of Johanna
    5 Not Dark Yet

    for a top fifty Dylan songs (with extended commentary on each one) see my book The Rough Guide To Bob Dylan (Penguin/Rough Guides, 320 pages of it a pure bargain at £9.99 from all good booksellers - and even cheaper on Amazon!)

    Shameless plug over.

    By the way, rumours are that there will be a new Dylan album out in late April to coincide with his European/UK tour. No title yet, but his manager Jeff Rosen was in London last week to hold a playback for senior Sony execs.

    Who's going to see the man at the O2 on the 26th ?
  • I'd only want one song - A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. Purely because of the time in which it was written and how well it captured the fear that existed around the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear war etc. Just one of those songs that reached way out beyond usual audiences and stirred people out of complacency.
  • What makes A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall so great is that Dylan once said that every single line in it could have been developed into a song in itself, but that he didn't have time to write them all - we thought the world was about to end in nuclear war, so he crammed them all into one song. Hence it's extraordinary intensity...

    When you read the lyric, I can well believe that Dylan's claim is true.
  • I can't settle on five.

    I can point you at the double CD 'Robyn Sings'. Robyn Hitchcock with a whole set of Dylan covers.
  • Five?
    Come on....give us a break.
    However lets have a look at:

    Visions of Johanna
    Positively 4th Street
    Like a Rolling Stone
    Shelter from the storm
    Corrina Corrina

    by the way:

    A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

    Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
    Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
    I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
    I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
    I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
    I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
    I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
    And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
    And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

    Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
    Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
    I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
    I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
    I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
    I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
    I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
    I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
    And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
    And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

    And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
    And what did you hear, my darling young one?
    I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
    Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
    Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
    Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
    Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
    Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
    Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
    And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
    And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

    Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
    Who did you meet, my darling young one?
    I met a young child beside a dead pony,
    I met a white man who walked a black dog,
    I met a young woman whose body was burning,
    I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
    I met one man who was wounded in love,
    I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
    And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
    It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

    Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
    Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
    I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
    I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
    Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
    Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
    Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
    Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
    Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
    Where black is the color, where none is the number,
    And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
    And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
    Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
    But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
    And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
    It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
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  • I am in bibble's camp, great songs done better by other people. I do quite like Subterranean Homesick Blues though.
  • All of the above plus:

    Percy's Song
    Blind Willie McTell
    Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)
    Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again

    I'll be at the O2 on 26th. It will be Mrs Muse's first exposure to the Bobster......hope she digs him.
  • edited February 2009
    Far better writer than singer but you can't say he's not distinctive...

    1. All Along The Watchtower
    2. Like a Rolling Stone
    3. Subterranean Homesick Blues
    4. Maggie's Farm
    5. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
  • Dylan's live version of All Along the Watchtower is/was done ala the Jimi Hendrix version.

    Certainly a lot of his songs are covered in a more poppy way by others.

    PS Still think The Band are better : - )
  • The Band

    Up on Cripple Creek she sends me
    If I spring a leak she mends me
    I don't have to speak she defends me
    A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

    Enough said
  • "Virgil Kane is the name and I served on the Danville train"
  • Think not about his songs but his performances; Bob Dylan's 119th dream (how long does it last!) is incredible.... and for class listen to Joan Baez singing 'Love is just a four letter word...'
  • Saw him at Earls Court once. It was awful. Idolised him up to Blonde on Blonde. He was the man. He burnt out but came back later with some great albums. Maybe we should have 5 best Bobster LP's.

    Corrina Corrina (flip of positively 4th Street)
    Visions of Johanna
    Boots of Spanish Leather
    Love minus zero/no limit
    Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
  • Great writer, awful singer.

    Nearly as bad as Ian Brown (who could strip paint off the walls he's so out of tune)
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  • Like a Rolling Stone
    Maggies Farm - resurrected in the 80s as a protest song
    The Times they are a Changin'
    The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
    A Pawn in Their Game
  • Bump for Bob's 80th  
  • His voice has always put me off.
  • I'm not his biggest fan - and only really like The Hurricane.

    Mrs SA obviously has better taste in music and is a big fan. Her favourite is definitely Idiot Wind.
  • So many good songs, but my favourite Positively 4th Street. No one has mentioned it. Perhaps it's me. 😃🎸🎧
  • This might be of interest .. on BBC World Service yesterday (23/5) ..  1/2 hour documentary .. Heart and Soul - Bob Dylan: Born again - BBC Sounds
  • I can't limit myself to five but a special mention goes to Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts 'cos it's my friend's Mum's favourite song, what with her being called Rose-Marie, and she was very caring of me when I was young and my Mum was in hospital.
  • Cant really name 5 favourites,but Blowin in the wind ,was a superb song(performed better by Peter Paul and Mary.)
    Have to say although I have been a Dylan fan forever,I saw him at the 02 some years ago, and he was awful,did not go near a guitar all night and although we dont expect stunning vocals,this was excrutiating,will stick to the albums.
  • Corrina Corrina (single version but it's not written by him.)
    Visions of Johanna
    Who Killed Davey Moore
    She belongs to me 

    On another day might be five other songs!

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