Ranked: Bob Dylan Albums From Worst to Best

Pin it

Ranked: Bob Dylan Albums From Worst to Best

The author of a new Dylan biography assesses the canon.

Bob Dylan turns seventy today; in celebration, we're ranking his entire studio discography. Assembling the list is journalist and Professor of English at Syracuse David Yaffe, whose latest book, Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown, is just out from Yale.


32. Dylan (1973)

Columbia Records threw together this album of schmaltzy outtakes as revenge on Dylan for defecting to Asylum Records. The sole highlight is a goof on Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi."

Listen: "Big Yellow Taxi"



31. Down in the Groove (1988)

The '80s are passing Dylan by. "Silvio," co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, is a minor standout on this critically reviled album.

Listen: "Silvio"



30. Empire Burlesque (1985)

Producer Arthur Baker should be tried for crimes against music, burying some good songs in appalling '80s synths and drums. "Dark Eyes" is a sublime acoustic exception.

Listen: "Dark Eyes"



29. Knocked Out Loaded (1986)

A mostly disposable collection from Dylan's era of collaborating with Tom Petty. The outlier is "Brownsville Girl," a stunning collaboration with Sam Shepard.

Listen: "Brownsville Girl"



28. Self-Portrait (1970)

Dylan said he made this album to get the hippies off his lawn, which didn't work. High points are tracks from a performance at the Isle of Wight Festival with The Band, and the pirate anthem "Days of '49."

Listen: "Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)"



27. Together Through Life (2009)

This record hit number one in 2009, but Dylan was Teflon by this point. Still, "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" was morbid enough for True Blood, and Mike Campbell's guitar is a marvel.

Listen: "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"



26. Bob Dylan (1962)

Dylan has said that he regretted his debut shortly after recording it, but "Song to Woody" opened the songwriting genie, and "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" is worth following.

Listen: "Song to Woody"



25. Under the Red Sky (1990)

This slipshod effort that makes more sense when you learn that Dylan was writing nursery rhymes for his four-year-old daughter. That's George Harrison on the title track.

Listen: "Under the Red Sky"




24. Modern Times (2006)

This album hit number one on the chart, but ripped off enough old blues songs to be tried for grand larceny. Still, "Ain't Talkin'," the spooky closer, is a masterpiece, with dashes of Ovid thrown in.

Listen: "Ain't Talkin'"



23. Good as I Been to You (1992)

Thirty years later, Dylan delivered the kind of traditional folk album people expected in 1961. He nails every track, as if he were strumming in Washington Square. "You're Gonna Quit Me" is the ultimate guilt trip.

Listen: "You're Gonna Quit Me, Baby"



22. World Gone Wrong (1993)

All folk, with the weight of the world very apparent, this album uses the downward spiral of the Earth as an excuse for being no good. "Blood in My Eyes," meant to convey lust, sounds medical.

Listen: "Blood in My Eyes"



21. Slow Train Coming (1979)

Bob found Jesus and won his first Grammy. "Gotta Serve Somebody" doesn't quite convince; "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking" is more like it, hypnotic and compelling.

Listen: "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking"



20. Nashville Skyline (1969)

Decades before alt-country, many found this uncool, but "Lay Lady Lay" was a deserving hit, not to mention the Johnny Cash duet "Girl from the North Country," and a crooning vocal delivery that wouldn't last long.

Listen: "Lay, Lady, Lay"



19. Saved (1980)

Dylan's most hardcore salvation album went as deep into Gospel as he would ever get; the title track testifies with the insistent beat of the church chorus. On "In The Garden," he's Jesus' lawyer.

Listen: "In the Garden"



18. Shot of Love (1981)

Rolling Stone panned this album, but "Every Grain of Sand" later won acclaim from both Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello. Shot of Love also includes a left-field tribute to Lenny Bruce.

Listen: "Every Grain of Sand"



17. Street Legal (1978)

Dylan's last pre-Christian album has some powerful songs haphazardly recorded. "New Pony" is nasty fun. The finale, "Where Are You Tonight?," is a devastating and desperate cry.

Listen: "Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat)"



16. Planet Waves (1974)

Dylan's first number-one album was his only album-length collaboration with The Band, a charming collection of songs cobbled together in about as long as it takes to listen to them. "Forever Young" is for keeps.

Listen: "Forever Young"



15. New Morning (1970)

George Harrison plays call and response on "Time Passes Slowly," and the title track celebrates domestic pastoral. (Enjoy it while it lasts, Bob!) "The Man in Me" would later play over the opening credits of The Big Lebowski.

Listen: "The Man in Me"



14. Oh Mercy (1989)

Producer Daniel Lanois helps Dylan approach fifty; the result is stuffed with masterpieces. "The Man With The Long Black Coat" is classic balladry, and "Most of the Time" devastates.

Listen: "Most of the Time"



13. Infidels (1983)

Dylan dumps Christianity and reconsiders the world of his fathers. "I and I" returns to meaningless sex, while "Sweetheart Like You" is a new twist on an old line, identifying with the Sweetheart.

Listen: "Sweetheart Like You"



12. "Love and Theft" (2001)

An album released on 9/11 inspires many conspiracy theories, all silly, of course. "Mississippi" is Dylan's greatest song of the new millennium, getting bleaker all the time.

Listen: "Mississippi"



11. John Wesley Harding (1967)

Dylan decides to ignore the '60s and quote the Bible. Hendrix covers "All Along the Watchtower" and forever changes the subject.

Listen: "All Along the Watchtower"



10. Time Out of Mind (1997)

Dylan nearly died of heart disease in '97, and when he didn't, this return to songwriting after seven years was greeted like a miracle. "Love Sick" can't even be sullied by its use in a Victoria's Secret commercial.

Listen: "Not Dark Yet"



9. The Basement Tapes (1975)

These are the most legendary demos ever — you need the expanded bootlegs to truly appreciate the splendors of these sessions.

Listen: "Tears of Rage"



8. Desire (1976)

With lyrics cowritten by Broadway titillator Jacques Levy, Desire also shines via young Emmylou Harris's backups and a plea for Dylan's wife Sara that includes rhyming "help" with "kelp."

Listen: "Isis"



7. The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)

Dylan, in castigating mode, points fingers at those who "philosophize disgrace." Times includes many of Dylan's greatest early songs.

Listen: "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"



6. Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)

Recorded in one Beaujolais soaked night, Another Side finds Dylan moving on from politics, and into getting drunk on his own vision. He was so much older then, he's younger than that now.

Listen: "My Back Pages"



5. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)

This is where Dylan became Dylan, leaving obscurity behind forever. At twenty-one-years old, he opens with "Blowin' in the Wind" and leaves scorched earth with "Don't Think Twice." "Hard Rain" roars out a warning.

Listen: "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"



4. Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

Dylan imagines God and Abraham tussling at folk's highway, and begins with a song called "Like a Rolling Stone." "How does it feel?" is the question that kept stinging.

Listen: "Like a Rolling Stone"



3. Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

Dylan goes electric on side one, but gets visionary on acoustic side two. "It's Alright Ma" contains everything you wanted to say ever, and "Baby Blue" bids farewell to folk.

Listen: "Mr. Tambourine Man"



2. Blood on the Tracks (1975)

This is the best divorce album ever. "Idiot Wind" lashes out against all idiocy, but Dylan makes himself the idiot in the end. "Tangled Up in Blue" tangles memory, love, and pain, and manages to squeeze in a nod to Petrarch, too.

Listen: "Tangled Up in Blue"



1. Blonde on Blonde (1966)

Is it the devastation of "Just Like a Woman?" The dreamlike mystery of "Visions of Johanna?" The hypnotic incantations of "Sad Eyed Lady?" Yes, and much more.

Listen: "Visions of Johanna"



who is joey king dating

At this stage, the attraction may well not be too deep and every single half of a couple is normally putting his or her ideal foot forward. find my hookup com It really is been heralded as one particular of the most effective dating websites, but it unquestionably is an investment in much more techniques than one particular. A single point that came to mind, is that Perhaps he was mirroring the really like and acceptance I was showing for him. dtd urban dictionary Julie February 27th, 2016 My Narc left me but I am feeling alone and empty.

hookup app free messages

There are those who yearn to settle down and start out a family in the U. doublelist louisville kentucky That s a hangover from the early days of on the net dating websites, when a paid basic membership to a website meant you have been critical about settling down. Later, the participants were asked concerns about their relationships, especially how they would respond to a partner s undesirable behavior, like being late and forgetting to get in touch with. kristen erotic And mainly because dating profiles on OkCupid are far more comprehensive than many other people, this one particular can help guarantee you ve got a lot in popular.

datehookup mobile app

You can post free of charge advertisements under various categories like Food and Dining, Solutions, Jobs, Garage Sales, Merchandise, Pets, Cars, and so on. wackadoo lake city florida My wife spends a lot of time in front of the mirror due to the fact she cares about how she looks. That is the attractive issue about the phrase. nude yoga models But you have to play the odds on genuine dating internet sites, even if you’re meeting escorts.

Comments Whether you are looking for a subtle spot to try out or simply reveal your thoughts, an escort internet site may be the suitable spot. Online dating has became popular in recent years, so it only makes sense that more individuals would locate other folks through online means. If you're thinking of checking out dating online, here are several concepts for totally free methods to connect to another part of the world! domina elara if you are interested in a no cost to hookup escort web site then I get some very good news to suit your needs. These day there are thousands of liberated to become a member of escort sites on the Internet waiting around for your grab. Try a online hookup together with the adhering to escort websites.