Today is Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday. It may surprise you, but my first concert was actually Bob Dylan when I was 12 (which would mean he was 56). Being 12, I didn’t know any Bob Dylan songs except for “that ‘everybody must get stoned’ song” and the one from Dangerous Minds, “Mr. Tambourine Man.” (It was 1996.)
He didn’t play either song, which meant the concert was hard to enjoy but as I’ve grown older I’ve realized what an expansive catalog the guy has — hundreds of songs. I still don’t get the movie I’m Not There and I still think he’s a crap singer and a weak electric guitar player, but the man is undeniably a genius and has written some fantastic songs. Here are my five (plus one) favorite tracks by the troubadour himself:
1. “The Man In Me”
You gotta love the scene in The Big Lebowski when the Dude trips out to this song:
2. “Trouble In Mind”
Dylan didn’t write this blues classic, but I love his version — it’s sadly not on YouTube. Here’s a version by Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt:
3. “The Times Are A-Changin'”
A timeless classic. I especially love the way it was used in the opening scene of Watchmen.
4. “Heart Of Mine”
Dylan wrote this great song, but Peter Malick Group and Norah Jones do it better.
5. “Like A Rolling Stone”
Another Dylan classic that’ll still be relevant in 50 years.
6. “Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)” – Mark Ronson Remix
Honorable mention — I love the modernization and the funky horns added by Ronson.
Happy birthday, Bob! Keep on chillin’ like a villain, Mr. Dylan.