Playlist: 10 Must-Hear Songs for New Listeners | The Official Bob Dylan Site
 
 
 

Playlist: 10 Must-Hear Songs for New Listeners

Bob Dylan 101 Playlist: Ten Must-Hear Songs for the New Bob Dylan Listener!

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1. Blowin’ In The Wind [The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Columbia – 1963]
Simplicity is the key. This song has and continues to move mountains. It’s not only what Dylan says in this song, but how he sings it. He was twenty-one when he recorded it, but sounds like he is at least ten thousand years old.

2. Maggie’s Farm [Bringing It All Back Home – Columbia – 1965]
Three minutes and fifty-four seconds of wild self empowering bliss. No matter how many times you play this song, it always sounds like the very first time.

3. Every Grain Of Sand [Shot Of Love – Columbia – 1981]
Here’s the confession of a man and what he is dealing with and how he comes to understand that every hair is numbered like every grain of sand. Listen to Bob’s sweet repentant harmonica playing and do not forget Jacob wrestling with the Angel.

4. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) [Blonde On Blonde – Columbia – 1966]

Recorded at Columbia Music Row Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 9, 1966. Think Hank Williams Sr. turned up to eleven. “You say my kisses are not like his / But this time I’m not gonna tell you why that is / I’m just gonna let you pass / Yes, and I’ll go last / Then time will tell who fell / And who’s been left behind / When you go your way and I go mine.”

5. Mr. Tambourine Man [Bringing It All Back Home – Columbia – 1965]

Who doesn’t want to take Bob’s hand and accompany him in the jingle jangle morning? Not only is he a song and dance man, he’s a roadman. “Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind / Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves / The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach.”

6. The Times They Are A-Changin’ [The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Columbia – 1964]

A call to action. A call that needs to be sounded just as much today as in 1964. The finger still points inward and the question remains: How do we affect real honest to God change?

7. Lonesome Day Blues [“Love And Theft” – Columbia – 2001]
In 1932 Blind Willie McTell (as Hot Shot Willie) w/Ruby Glaze released “Lonesome Day Blues” on Victor. This is a completely different song, but the Spirit of Hot Shot Willie and Ruby Glaze most definitely possess Dylan’s.

8. My Back Pages [Another Side Of Bob Dylan – Columbia – 1964]
Arthur Rimbaud said, “I began it as an investigation. I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.” Bob Dylan said, “Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth / “Rip down all hate,” I screamed / Lies that life is black and white / Spoke from my skull. I dreamed / Romantic facts of musketeers / Foundationed deep, somehow / Ah, but I was so much older then / I’m younger than that now.”

9. When The Deal Goes Down [Modern Times – Columbia – 2006]

Play this song when the moon is goin’ down. Rev. Gary Davis could have done this one up. This song is about the human condition and the same thorny crown we all wear whether we’re aware of it or not. “I owe my heart to you, and that's sayin' it true / And I'll be with you when the deal goes down.”

10. Like A Rolling Stone [Highway 61 Revisited – Columbia – 1965]

This is new music. Despite being released in 1965, the song exists outside of time. High grade – future perfect music that will not be caged, tamed or denied. A jailbreak for all of our senses!

Charles Cicirella