Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan!
Ah, you were so much older then, you’re younger than that now… and may you stay forever young no matter how much the times, they are a’changin’, you rolling stone you!
Man, can you believe the Bob is 70???
I sure can’t… mostly because my main association with him is through his music, and that’s mostly timeless, never aging, so the icon seems that way to me.
For Bob’s 70th, Rolling Stone magazine did a huge number of features this month on him:
- The 10 Greatest Dylan Songs
- 20 Overlooked Classics
- 10 Best Bootlegs
- Quiz: Do You Know Your Dylan?
- Photos: The Evolution of Dylan
- Dylan’s First Rolling Stone Interview
Me, I did a meme tribute on Facebook to share one of my favourite Top 10 Bob Dylan songs each day leading to his birthday today. Here is my list, which was generally presented in no particular order except for the last two being my favourite two Dylan songs. It gets too hard to separate the order of the others for me.
The way Dylan is best played and enjoyed, together with many people.
In front of a young MTV crowd, Bob adds an extra verse outside the official lyrics in a dynamite performance! I loved the song so much I wrote 2 other verses reflecting on the state of the world today and how it has changed little since when this song was written. I liked this song so much I wrote two extra verses for it. That’s on top of the extra verse Bob puts in the video above, in addition to the official two verses.
One of THE BEST Bob Dylan covers you will ever hear! And they didn’t put it on the 30th Anniversary concert tape for some reason! The short description Sophie gives about struggling with singing the song was so insightful. Also, look for Sheryl Crow in the back up singers, before she went solo and much of the world knew her.
My heartbreak and heartache song, I sing this song and it’s like taking ibuprofen for heartbreaks and heartaches. I sing it rather slower, though, with a little more “let out” force. This is the nicest version I know of the song, sung by Melissa McClelland with Jesse Cook accompanying.
An anti-war song that takes war and its masters to war. I love the scathing and brutally honest lyrics to the song. I chose this video to share because Bob’s versions are no longer on YouTube and the imagery in this video is great.
Nobody writes truly nasty songs like Bob, nor nasty songs that sound great. My favourite FU song to play until I finish my own obligatory one in any songwriter’s repertoire. Bob’s favourite cover of any of his songs.
Shooting Star (full MTV Unplugged video below)
The title link takes you to a video of the song I wasn’t able to embed here. The video is the full MTV Unplugged Concert and the song starts at about 5 minutes. If it’s slow to load for you, just pause it and come back in 5-10 minutes to watch while it loads ahead of you.
Shooting Star is just a personal favourite from the simple opening line “Seen a shooting star tonight, and I thought of you”. Bob also writes good love songs in my books. This one inspired me to write a poem on the same opening lines, too. I couldn’t embed this one because Sony has removed practically all of Dylan’s stuff off YouTube and other sites with Facebook video embedding features. With their PlayStation, this and legal semantics about music sharing they’re doing, they’re deserving of everything they’re getting hit with, as far as I’m concerned.
Voted greatest song ever written by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004, Like a Rolling Stone is #2 on my Bob Dylan list. It’s my “rock out” song cause no other song makes me feel like I’m playing rock ‘n’ roll quite like this one when I play and sing it with my guitar. This video is from No Direction Home, and the moment popular music changed forever.
Both, this song and Stevie Wonder’s rendition of it at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Tribute concert back in 1992 are incredible. The song is absolutely timeless, dealing with harsh realities in a light of hope, with direct questions and metaphorical answers. The 30th Anniversary Concert CDs (now MP3s in my music collection) were the best CDs I ever bought. Myself, I perform the song in 3 keys, a higher one with each progressive verse as the urgency grows. That’s just one of my many printable PDF guitar/ukulele tabs of Bob Dylan songs.