Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dylan's Best

Anyway, a very eager man with a tape recorder pinned me to a wall outside a Dublin radio studio and asked me to name Bob Dylan's best song. I came up with four: The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, I Want You, Sign on the Window and Blind Willie McTell. Is this another list in the making?


  1. YOu should have told him to go fuck himself.

  2. Not my style, Edwina, and I worry about your social skills.

  3. I didn't get where I am today by worrying about social skills. I am a novelist; hence a realist in all matters of existence.

  4. The definitive Top 10 (today) is:

    1) Love Minus Zero
    2) Knockin on Heaven's Door.
    3) Don't Think Twice It's Alright
    4) Like a Rolling Stone
    5) Visions of Johanna
    6) Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
    7) Positively 4th Street
    8) 4th Time Around
    9) I Want You
    10) Not Dark Yet
    11) To Ramona

    Ok, Top 11.

  5. Positively 4th Street, Lay Lady Lay, Hurricane, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Like a Rolling Stone. And there are some great remakes of these by singers with better voices!

  6. Better voices? Such things are not possible.

  7. No, no, no:

    1) Chimes of Freedom
    2) Just Like a Woman
    3) Desolation Row
    4) Most of the Time
    5) Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
    6) I Want You
    7) Ballad of a Thin Man
    8) Like a Rolling Stone
    9) One of Us Must Know
    10) You're a Big Girl Now

  8. So how about a list of the worst covers of a Dylan song? I was surprised to discover that even Elton has had a go.

  9. I would have to add (in terms of favourite Dylan songs):

    1)If You See Her, Say Hello
    2)Not Dark Yet
    3)Boots of Spanish Leather

    Have you ever heard the great Will Oldham (also known as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy)? He is as great a lyricist as Dylan, although more perverse...

  10. Personally, my favorite is Mellow Yellow. I always thought that was a great song, though for a long time I thought that Val Doonican had penned it.

    By the way, did you know that Bob Dylan's grandfather was born in Ireland?

  11. I have a total mental and emotional block when it comes to Dylan. I just don't get it.

    I have no particular reason to dislike him; his music just bores me. Not to tears, as that would imply some kind of emotional response. But utterly, and very nearly to death. Indeed, I once saw him play live and I might as well have been flatlining for all the excitement I felt.

    I appreciate that he is hailed as a fine lyricist - I really haven't paid close enough attention, because I find him the musical equivalent of the colour beige. It's like listening to paint dry.

    Depends what you want out of pop music, I suppose. Macca's the greatest for me, not because he's ever tried to say anything particularly profound, but because he has a peerless knack of making the naive, wistful and hackneyed sound profound, and unite the listener not just with the artist, but with millions of other listeners, in shared, temporal, joyous, amorphous understanding. The essence of great pop music, in fact.

    But then, I was raised on a strict diet of The Beatles and ABBA. I have no doubt that Dylan fans would and could claim a similar experience. But I am, alas, dead to his charms.

    Either way, as a general rule, asking The Internet for its opinions on music of all things is a high risk business indeed...

  12. Martpol:

    'No no no' is Amy Winehouse.

  13. I have a fondness for Senor. But why this lack of interest in John Wesley Harding?

    I Dreamed I Waw St Augustine

    As I went out One Morning

    I Pity the Poor Immigrant

    Astonishing - all.

  14. Agreed, Chris, Perhaps there are just too many.