Bob Dylan. No other person has been identified with voicing and shaping the opinions and consciousness of a generation quite like Bob Dylan has. He has influenced such groups as the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Band. Bob Dylan’s songs have been recorded by Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Joan Baez; Peter, Paul and Mary, Eric Clapton and Neil Young. Hundreds, if not thousands, of artists have played and recorded Dylan’s music while mimicking and patterning their delivery and styles after him. During the early ’60’s, Dylan’s content and imagery made it hard to pigeonhole his songs for radio listeners. They sometimes more than doubled the normally allowed time for a single to be played on the air. Yet songs such as, “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Mr. Tamborine Man” and “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35” prevailed intact.
No other artist has been as scrutinized as Bob Dylan has been. From his earliest recordings, the interpretations have been futile, the appeal unclear and the definitions comical. In short, no one really knows Bob Dylan but the man himself. He continues to tour world wide and records award winning music when other artists would be content to let their arsenal of work generate royalties while they played golf. Bob Dylan never seems satisfied with his musical contributions and continues to churn out substantial work that sends the critics raving. He has recorded with the likes of Tom Petty, George Harrison, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison and yet remains a very private individual. Even Bob Dylan’s recent biography is guarded without delving too much into the personal, though matter-of-fact in its delivery.
Asked once how it felt to hear songs like, Blowin’ in the Wind, and The Times They Are A-Changin’, years after they had been recorded, Dylan replied simply, “It feels like they have always been there.” Still his music has garnished Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Awards while in 2008 Bob Dylan received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his lifetime work..
I was out with my beautiful girl recently, singing a song written by Bob Dylan that she did not recognize. We laughed at my rather limited ability to carry a tune and I stuck up for my warbling style by stating, “You have to like Bob Dylan, he makes you feel like you can sing.” But the truth of the matter is, his words and music makes you feel like you are alive. I doubt there will ever be a songwriter that moves through the musical calvacade of folk, country, rock and blues genres the way that Bob Dylan has. Quite likely that no matter who you are or where you are from, you have been touched by Bob Dylan’s enormous catelog of quality songs.
But given all of that, is it possible that there could be 10 songs out there recorded by Bob Dylan that you may not have heard before?
Below is a list of 10 songs that do not make the airwaves as often as most, but are still undeniably crafted by the greatest songwriter who ever lived, bar none.
All albums are as released in the U.S.
1. A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall
from the album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records, 1963
2. The Times They Are A-Changin’
from the album, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Columbia Records, 1964
3. My Back Pages
from the album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, Columbia Records, 1964
4. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
form the album, Bringing It All Back Home, Columbia Records, 1965
5. It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
6. Ballad of a Thin Man
from the album, Highway 61 Revisted, Columbia Records, 1965
7. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
from the album, Blonde on Blonde, Columbia Records, 1966
8. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
9. All Along the Watchtower
from the album, John Wesley Harding, Columbia Records, 1967
10. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
from the album, Nashville Skyline, Columbia Records, 1969
So there you go, 10 songs rescued from the abyss. No doubt the hearty fans of Mr. Zimmerman will recognize these as well played anthems and ballads. But the new millenium listener will find them pleasantly different from the later, well known and often played songs of the tunesmith the world knows as the one and only, Bob Dylan.
Do you have songs of your own by Bob Dylan that are a little off the radar? Let me know, I’d love to hear them.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for: Rescued from the Depths of Obscurity, Part 5: The Beach Boys, 10 songs from the abyss.