The 70 Greatest Dylan Songs
To celebrate Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday on May 24, we asked the world’s foremost
Dylan experts to pick his best songs. Plus: Appreciations by Bono, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jim James, Lucinda Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Martin and many more
The Greatest Dylan Covers of All Time
All Along the Watchtower
Hendrix echoes the apocalypse of Dylan’s final verse with guitar riffs like gale-force winds. “It overwhelmed me,” Dylan said.
Mr. Tambourine Man
The first Dylan song to hit Number One on the pop charts, in June 1965 ”“ their incandescent jangle made Dylan’s word rush feel like a psychedelic experience.
Blowin’ In The Wind
On his 1966 version, Wonder brought out the gospel in a folk song that was itself based on an anti-slavery spiritual.
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Sung by a 20-year-old Van Morrison, Them’s 1966 version turns the original’s cerebral kiss-off into a boozy howl.
Jim James and Calexico
Goin’ To Acapulco
The My Morning Jacket frontman’s high tenor takes this Basement Tapes gem to a distant place even Dylan and the Band couldn’t reach.
Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders
Positively 4th Street
Dylan’s ultimate fuck-you gets sung with gentle California equanimity on this 1973 recording. Garcia shoots his solos straight at the heart, killing with kindness.
Every Grain of Sand
Harris delivered Dylan’s ballad of spiritual struggle in her sublimely weathered voice; produced by Daniel Lanois, it hangs perfectly between heaven and earth.
If Not For You
This gorgeous rendition of a handsomely simple love song appears on 1970’s All Things Must Pass, lit up with harmonica and Harrison’s silvery slide-guitar licks.
Up to Me
In 1976, McGuinn took a shot at this storied Blood on the Tracks outtake about manning up and doing what needs to be done. McGuinn made it his own, changing the word “harmonica” to “Rickenbacker.”
Highway 61 Revisited
Polly Jean Harvey brings forth a speaker-blowing Frankenstein of Delta blues, heavy-metal power chords and hyperventilating vocals, all animated by a slithering Captain Beefheart groove.
The editors of Rolling Stone polled this group of Dylan experts, writers and artists to create this list
RS Senior Writer
RS Contributing Editor
VP, Curatorial Affairs, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
My Morning Jacket
Author, ”˜The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes’
Author, ”˜Dylan’s Visions of Sin’
Anthony DeCurtis, Jon Dolan, Patrick Doyle, David Fricke, Andy Greene, Will Hermes, Alan Light, Austin Scaggs, Rob Sheffield, Simon Vozick-Levinson, Douglas Wolk