The most influential artist in popular culture!
Bob Dylan has been covered and copied by almost everyone who’s attempted to write a song. Some even say he invented modern songwriting.
His influence is so great it’s difficult to find an artist post-1960 that has not been heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, directly or indirectly.
His classics include a huge selection of songs, making it impossible to pick a handful to sum him up so let’s start from the beginning.
In the beginning, it was mostly covers, traditional songs, and rewrites, Bob’s first album, simply named Bob Dylan came out in 1962. Here we find Song For Woody, an original composition about his own songwriting hero Woody Guthrie. Two traditional folk songs stand out in Man Of Constant Sorrow and beginner guitar classic, House Of The Rising Sun.
Next year, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan drops and his career takes off with Blowin’ In The Wind, Girl From The North Country, Masters Of War, A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, as well as the fantastic Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.
After Peter, Paul and Mary covered Blowin’ In The Wind, the world discovered Bob and he quickly rose to fame.
1964, and another Bob Dylan album in The Times They Are A-Changin’. Only the title track became legendary here and even though it is listed as a Dylan tune, it’s heavily influenced by the traditional Celtic folk song Come All Ye Bold Highway Men. And this is a good tip for the budding songwriter, start with rewriting, and don’t be afraid to copy. Songwriting is a craft, you need a great work ethic!
The same year (1964), Bob released Another Side Of Bob Dylan, best tune here is It Ain’t Me Babe.
By 1965, he really gets going releasing a string of albums with classic tunes until 1970 including Subterranean Homesick Blues, Maggie’s Farm, Mr. Tambourine Man (famously covered by The Byrds), It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Like A Rolling Stone, Highway 61 Revisited, Rainy Day Women #12 & #35, I Want You, Just Like A Woman, All Along The Watchtower (famously covered by Jimi Hendrix), I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, and Lay Lady Lay.
To most, 1965-1969 is the golden years of Bob Dylan. To some, there’s still plenty to come!
The 70s saw tunes such as If Not For You, Knocking On Heavens Door (famously covered by Guns n Roses), Tangled Up In Blue, Idiot Wind, Shelter From The Storm, Hurricane, and One More Cup Of Coffee.
The 80s is Bob’s weakest decade. It started with a born-again Christian phase, a terrible-sounding album in Infidels that had one great tune on it, Jokerman, unfortunately, lost in awful production. The decade finished with a really cool blues format tune that summarised his 80s recordings, the perfectly named: Everything Is Broken.
The 90s weren’t much better, up til 1997 when Bob released, in my opinion, his ultimate masterpiece Time Out Of Mind. This is the first time he gets songwriting, and production bang on. Daniel Lanois produced Bob’s, by far, best-sounding record. Some fantastic tunes here in Not Dark Yet, Tryin’ to Get to Heaven, Cold Irons Bound, and Make You Feel My Love. Adele covered the latter with great success.
Unfortunately, even though Bob has released several albums since, no significant tunes have appeared. That incredible sound he managed on Time Out Of Mind never happened again either.
His long and strange career has often seen other bands release his tunes, and if they haven’t, they’ve all been influenced by the most influential artist in popular culture, Mr. Bob Dylan.
If you are an aspiring songwriter, there is nobody better to learn from, ask any high-profile artist and they’ll tell you: Bob Dylan is the master.
If you want to find out more about Bob Dylan’s incomparable career, there are numerous books written about him, perhaps the best guide is found at the website Bob Dylan Come Writers and critics.
Bob Dylan tunes | Related pages
Blowin’ In The Wind
| G C G/B | D/A D G | G C G/B | G |
How many years can a mountain exist, before it’s washed to the sea?
| G C G/B | D/A D G | G C G/B | D D/A D D/A |
Yes, and how many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free?
One More Cup Of Coffee
| Am | G |
Your breath is sweet, your eyes are like two jewels in the sky.
| F/C | E |
Your back is straight your hair is smooth on the pillow where you lie.
One More Cup Of Coffee chords.