Bob Dylan picked his 20 favorite songs

Bob Dylan`s 20 favorite songs

Bob Dylan’s career began in the early 1960s. In a short period of time, he became a recognized figure in folk music with his singing style and his ability to write songs. With iconic songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” Dylan’s unstoppable and successful career began. What songs does this iconic figure who has written so many successful and memorable songs like? We’ve selected Bob Dylan`s favorite songs for you.

Bob Dylan`s 20 favorite songs

Dylan’s songs often dealt with social and political issues. His songs resonated with a generation of listeners and made him a voice of protest and change during the civil rights and anti-war movements. Here are some of Dylan`s best songs:

Although you can’t find many interviews with Bob Dylan in which he talks about his favorite songs, during his career he revealed some songs by other artists he likes.

Here are Bob Dylan`s favorite songs:

  • “Angie” by Rolling Stones
  • “Ventilator Blues” by Rolling Stones
  • “Wild Horses” by Rolling Stones
  • “New Kid In Town” by The Eagles
  • “Life In The Fast Lane” by The Eagles
  • “Pretty Maids All In a Row” by The Eagles
  • “Lawyers, Guns and Money” by Warren Zevon
  • “Boom Boom Mancini” by Warren Zevon
  • ”Join Me In L.A.” by Warren Zevon
  • “Desperado Under the Eaves” by Warren Zevon
  • “Death of an Unpopular Poet” by Jimmy Buffet
  • “He Went to Paris” by Jimmy Buffet
  • “Shadows” by Gordon Lightfoot
  • “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot
  • “If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot
  • “Sail Away” by Randy Newman
  • “Burn Down the Cornfield” by Randy Newman
  • “Louisiana” by Randy Newman
  • “Bony Maronie” by Larry Williams
  • “Lonesome Town” by Ricky Nelson

Bob Dylan`s favorite Rolling Stone songs

In the 1960s, Dylan and the Rolling Stones were both at the forefront of the music scene. Dylan’s influence on the Stones is evident in their early work, particularly in their songwriting style. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the primary songwriters of the Rolling Stones, drew inspiration from Dylan’s poetic and socially conscious lyrics.

In an interview with the New York Times in 2020, Dylan was asked which songs by Rolling Stones he likes. He said that he likes the songs “Angie”, “Ventilator Blues”, and “Wild Horses

“Wild Horses” was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. You can find the song on the album “Sticky Fingers“. “Ventilator Blues” is not as well known as “Wild horses”. It is on the album “Exile on Main St.”.This song was written by Mick Jagger, Richards, and Taylor.

“Angie” is one of the most famous ballads of the band and was also written by Jagger and Richards. It was on the album “Goats Head Soup“, which was released in 1973.

Over the years, Dylan and the Rolling Stones have occasionally collaborated and performed together. In the mid-1980s, Dylan invited the Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards to play on his album “Empire Burlesque.” They also shared the stage at the “Concert for Bangladesh” in 1971. It was organized by George Harrison, where Dylan and the Rolling Stones performed alongside other notable musicians.

Bob Dylan`s favorite The Eagles songs

Bob Dylan has questioned about his favorite The Eagles songs in the same interview with The New York Times in 2020. The question was raised as a result of Dylan’s song “Murder Most Foul,” which was included on his album “Rough and Rowdy Ways”, which makes reference to the band’s late singer and guitarist Glenn Frey.

Dylan said that “New Kid In Town,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” Pretty Maids All In A Row” are his favorite songs. “Pretty Maids All In A Row” could be one of the best songs ever, he added.

All three tracks chosen by Dylan are from The Eagles’ most successful album “Hotel California”. It was released in 1976.

Bob Dylan and The Eagles had a complex relationship throughout their respective careers. One significant connection between Bob Dylan and The Eagles is their shared association with the Southern California music scene of the 1970s. Both Dylan and The Eagles were part of the vibrant singer-songwriter movement that emerged during that era.

Bob Dylan`s favorite songs
Eagles – Life In The Fast Lane – Album cover

Bob Dylan`s favorite Warren Zevon songs

Sometimes artists admire other artists, too. One of those artists Dylan admired was Warren Zevon. In a conversation with Bill Flanagan in 2009, Dylan named some of his favorite Warren Zevon songs.

“Lawyers, Guns and Money,” “Boom Boom Mancini” and “Join Me in L.A.” are Dylan`s favorite Warren Zevon songs.

Dylan said: “In a Zevon song, there can be three different songs. But they are all effortlessly connected. Zevon was the musician’s musician, a tortured musician.”

Warren Zevon, often described as a “musician’s musician,” gained recognition for his darkly humorous and introspective songwriting. He was influenced by Dylan’s songwriting style, and Dylan’s early work played a role in shaping Zevon’s approach to crafting lyrics.

Dylan and Zevon first met in the mid-1970s when Zevon was working on his second studio album, “Excitable Boy.” Dylan expressed admiration for Zevon’s songwriting and even referred to Zevon as “one of the best” during an interview.

Bob Dylan`s 20 favorite songs
Warren Zevon – Boom Boom Mancini

Bob Dylan`s favorite Jimmy Buffet songs

Warren Zevon was not the only artist Bill Flanagan talked about with Bob Dylan in 2009. Flanagan took advantage of the opportunity, which is rare to find, and talked to Dylan about other artists as well. One of those artists was Jimmy Buffett.

Dylan said that Jimmy Buffet is his favorite songwriter and revealed two of his favorite songs by him: “Death of an Unpopular Poet” and “He Went to Paris” are Bob Dylan`s favorite Jimmy Buffet songs.

Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett have a friendly relationship. A remarkable collaboration between Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett took place in 2003. Bob Dylan Buffett offered Jimmy Buffet to sing on his album “Masked and Anonymous”. Buffett sang on the track “Down in the Flood” and added his distinctive voice to the recording. This collaboration demonstrated their musical camaraderie and willingness to work together.

Beyond their musical connection, Dylan and Buffett have shared the stage in live performances. For example, they both performed at the Hard Rock Café’s 30th-anniversary celebration in New York City in 2001. In addition, Buffett has performed Dylan’s songs at his own concerts.

Bob Dylan`s favorite Gordon Lightfoot songs

Another musician Dylan respects is the well-known Canadian composer Gordon Lightfoot, as he revealed to Bill Flanagan in 2009. When questioned if he and Lightfoot had been friends since their youth, he said, “Oh yeah. Gordon has been there for as long as I have,” he said, going on to list some of his favorite songs by him. I can not think of any songs I do not like: “Shadows,” “Sundown,” and “If You Could Read My Mind,” Dylan stated.

Three years before Dylan, in 1958, Gordon Lightfoot began his career. He is regarded as one of the most significant musicians who contributed to the development of the Folk-Pop genre in the 1960s and 1970s.

One notable collaboration between Dylan and Lightfoot occurred in 1975 when they shared the stage during a concert in Toronto, Canada. They performed together on several songs, including a rendition of Dylan’s classic “I Shall Be Released.” This joint performance showcased their musical camaraderie and their ability to interpret each other’s songs.

Bob Dylan`s favorite songs
“If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot

Bob Dylan`s favorite Randy Newman songs

In the 2009 interview with Bill Flanagan, Dylan mentioned another American musician he respects: Randy Newman. Yeah, Randy. What can you say? I like his early songs, “Sail Away,” “Burn Down the Cornfield,” and “Louisiana“. “He is so unassuming that you can almost forget he is expressing significant things. Like me.”

Dylan’s three songs were all released by Newman in the early 1970s. His well-known albums “12 Songs” (1970), “Sail Away” (1972), and “Good Old Boys” (1974) contained them.

Bob Dylan has performed cover versions of Randy Newman’s songs in his live performances. Dylan’s interpretations of Newman’s songs, such as “Political Science” and “Dixie Flyer,” have demonstrated his appreciation for Newman’s songwriting and the social commentary found within his lyrics.

While they haven’t collaborated extensively in terms of writing or recording together, their paths have crossed in various ways. They have shared stages during music festivals and special events, and they have been known to attend each other’s concerts.

Bob Dylan`s 20 favorite songs
“Burn Down the Cornfield” by Randy Newman

Bob Dylan`s favorite Larry Williams song

Larry Williams was a rhythm and blues singer-songwriter in the 1950s and 1960s. He gained recognition for hits like “Bony Moronie” and “Short Fat Fannie.” Williams’ music had an influence on the development of rock and roll and his songs were covered by various artists.

Bony Maronie is Bob Dylan`s favorite Karry Williams song. It was released in 1957. Dylan believes that this son is a “great minor masterpiece”.

When the Sang was released, the song reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B charts in the USA. The Song was so successful that it was later covered by famous artists such as John Lennon, Bill Haley, Ritchie Valens, Dick Dale, and Johnny Winter.

Bob Dylan recorded a version of Williams’ song “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” for his 1965 album “Help!”. It was also covered by The Beatles on their album “Help!”. Dylan’s rendition of the song showcased his ability to adapt and interpret songs from various genres, including rhythm and blues.

Bob Dylan`s 20 favorite songs
“Bony Maronie” by Larry Williams

Bob Dylan`s favorite Nicky Nelson song

The last song on the list of Bob Dylan`s 20 favorite songs is “Lonesome Town” by Nicky Nelson.

Nelson released the song in 1958 on his album “Ricky Sings Again“.

In 2017, Bill Flanagan once again had the opportunity to interview Dylan. Dylan was asked which song, in which he was mentioned, he liked the most. In addition to Nelson’s, the interviewer also mentioned John Lennon’s “Yer Blues” and David Bowie’s “Song For Bob Dylan.” Dylan, however, chose Nelson’s “Garden Party” as his favorite.

In 2004 the book “Chronicles: Volume One” by Bob Dylan was published. In book also praised Bob Nelson. He said that he was different from the teen idols of his time. He said Nelson sang his songs in a “calm and steady” way as if he were “in the middle of a storm while men were rushing past him.”

“His voice was kind of mysterious and made you fall into a certain mood. I had been a big fan of Ricky’s and still liked him. But that kind of music was dying out. It had no chance of meaning anything,” Bob Dylan said.

Bob Dylan`s favorite songs
“Lonesome Town” by Nicky Nelson.

What are your favorite Bob Dylan songs? Let us know in the comments!

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