Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forever Young: Bob Dylan Turns 70

Bob Dylan, born on May 24, 1941, turns 70 years old today.  I agree with historian Sean Wilentz that Dylan is "the most important and influential songwriter" in the second half of the 20th Century, and perhaps the most influential artist.

Rolling Stone published lists of the greatest Dylan songs, and it is hard to argue with their top 10:  (1) Like a Rolling Stone; (2) A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall; (3) Tangled Up in Blue; (4) Just Like a Woman; (5) All Along the Watchtower; (6) I Shall Be Released; (7) It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding); (8) Mr. Tambourine Man; (9) Visions of Johanna; (10) Every Grain of Sand.  On the other hand, with so many incredible songs over so many years as Dylan constantly reinvented himself, countless other top ten lists could have been made that would have been hard to dispute.  So, rather than debate which are Dylan's best songs or albums, I thought it would be better to just savor the music.  Here's a playlist with some of some of my favorites, beginning with an extraordinary version of Dylan rehearsing If Not For You with George Harrison prior to the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, the movie and album which provided me with my first real exposure to Dylan.  Happy  Birthday!


Post a Comment