Top 10 Bob Dylan Songs (1962-1967)

Harmonicas and black shades at the ready, this isn’t going to be easy...

Ask any music obsessive about which year they recognise as the best in the history of popular music and any self-respecting one will say 1967. If the beginning of popular music can be measured (as it often is) by the rise of The Beatles in 1962 and the abundance of acts that formed in the Fab Four€™s wake, the prevalence of this year seems understandable. Yet it truly is outstanding just how many career-defining long-players were dropped in €™67, from incomparable avant-garde masterpieces such as the Velvets€™ Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, through the dark cynicism of Forever Changes and The Doors to the Beatles€™ own rainbow-hued Sgt Pepper.

Although there is a distinct absence of many revered €˜60s artists from this list (the Stones were on the cusp of releasing a string of four fabulous albums starting with 1968€™s Beggars€™ Banquet and The Beach Boys were in dire straits after Brian Wilson€™s intense creative competition with The Beatles left him on the verge of madness) but one musician€™s non-appearance is more noticeable than most, Bob Dylan. Releasing the understated (and underwhelming) John Wesley Harding during his recovery from a motorcycle crash, Dylan€™s €™67 effort paled in comparison to the collection of magnum opuses that the year conceived. However, as one critic has succinctly stated of the infamously blurred cover that frames the icon€™s 1966 masterwork, Blonde On Blonde, in the years leading up to this celebrated twelve months, Dylan €˜was moving so fast that the rest of the world was struggling to catch up.€™ Here, the critic speaks of the inevitably of an accident caused by creative exhaustion and the notion that where most bands hit their zenith in €™67, Dylan, ever the anomaly, had already had his most fruitful and innovative years between €™65 and €™66.

The only contemporary musician that could really hold a candle to the Beatles and one that even takes credit for altering their musical direction (after a fabled, marijuana-endowed meeting between the two), between €™62 and €™67, Bob Dylan was unpredictable, iconoclastic and seldom equalled. With this in mind, the following list counts down his ten greatest tracks from his most prolific song-writing period. Harmonicas and black shades at the ready, this isn€™t going to be easy...

N.B: Songs are listed in order of release and positions on album track listings. I didn't want to make this harder than it already is!

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A 22 year old English Literature graduate from Birmingham. I am passionate about music, literature and football, in particular, my beloved Aston Villa. Lover of words and consumer of art, music is the very air that I breathe.