Thursday, July 7, 2011

Top 70 Dylan Songs According to Rolling Stone

So, how does it feel? To turn 70 and be on the cover of the Rolling Stone, again.

A friend brought the mag to my office yesterday and I immediately spilled coffee on it, then the dog ate it and he will never see it again. (Just kidding, Walt!)

The magazine took its name from one of Dylan's first hits and over nearly a half century has given the man enough ink to fill one of the great lakes, albeit one of the smaller ones, though that is still a lot of ink. The 70th birthday issue must have been fun for the editors and writers of Rolling Stone, who seem to make a habit of creating lists of best singers, best songwriters, best rock bands, best almbum covers and everything in between. In May they made a list of the 70 Greatest Dylan Songs, as a tribute to the mags "dear old dad."

The fun part of this issue isn't just seeing what songs they selected, but also reading what was said about each, because many of the writers are also star peers. The No. 1 pick is... drumroll.... Like a Rolling Stone, dissected by Bono. The full page story of the song is accompanied by a full page photo. David Crosby was selected to write about #8 Mr. Tambourine Man. #12 Desolation Row receives some insightful commentary from Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards tackles #30 Girl from the North Country.

Page 67 has a list of the greatest versions of his songs as sung by others, leading with Hendrix, whose All Along the Watchtower is unsurpassed. And page 74 has a short list of Dylan's Most Inscrutable Lyrics, that is, the five songs with lyrics so cryptic people are still trying to figure them out.

If you're interested in more Rolling Stone coverage on Dylan, you can find it here.

And here's a link to my online Dylan gallery at Flickr, 32 original paintings and drawings from the recent past. It's set up as a slide show. If you've got a minute or two, check it out.

"Meantime life goes on all around you." Enjoy the day.

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