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Bob Dylan

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  • Born: Duluth, MN
  • Years Active: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
  • Website: http://www.bobdylan.com/
  • Recent Activity: 12.15.14 Bob Dylan's "The Lyrics: Since 1962" is back in print after worldwide sell-out: Shipping immediately: http://t.co/kqV9HrKt3Q
  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

  • Bob Dylan

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist's role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock. And that just touches on the tip of his achievements. Dylan's force was evident during his height of popularity in the '60s -- the Beatles' shift toward introspective songwriting in the mid-'60s never would have happened without him -- but his influence echoed throughout several subsequent generations, as many of his songs became popular standards and his best albums became undisputed classics of the rock & roll canon. Dylan's influence throughout folk music was equally powerful, and he marks a pivotal turning point in its 20th century evolution, signifying when the genre moved away from traditional songs and toward personal songwriting. Even when his sales declined in the '80s and '90s, Dylan's presence rarely lagged, and his commercial revival in the 2000s proved his staying power.

For a figure of such substantial influence, Dylan came from humble beginnings. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Bob Dylan (b. Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, from the age of six. As a child he learned how to play guitar and harmonica, forming a rock & roll band called the Golden Chords when he was in high school. Following his graduation in 1959, he began studying art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. While at college, he began performing folk songs at coffeehouses under the name Bob Dylan, taking his last name from the poet Dylan Thomas. Already inspired by Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie, Dylan began listening to blues while at college, and the genre wove its way into his music. He spent the summer of 1960 in Denver, where he met bluesman Jesse Fuller, the inspiration behind the songwriter's signature harmonica rack and guitar. By the time he returned to Minneapolis in the fall, he had grown substantially as a performer and was determined to become a professional musician.

Dylan made his way to New York City in January of 1961, immediately making a substantial impression on the folk community of Greenwich Village. He began visiting his idol Guthrie in the hospital, where he was slowly dying from Huntington's chorea. Dylan also began performing in coffeehouses, and his rough charisma won him a significant following. In April, he opened for John Lee Hooker at Gerde's Folk City. Five months later, Dylan performed another concert at the venue, which was reviewed positively by Robert Shelton in The New York Times. Columbia A&R man John Hammond sought out Dylan on the strength of the review, and signed the songwriter in the fall of 1961. Hammond produced Dylan's eponymous debut album (released in March 1962), a collection of folk and blues standards that boasted only two original songs. Over the course of 1962, Dylan began to write a large batch of original songs, many of which were political protest songs in the vein of his Greenwich contemporaries. These songs were showcased on his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Before its release, Freewheelin' went through several incarnations. Dylan had recorded a rock & roll single, "Mixed Up Confusion," at the end of 1962, but his manager, Albert Grossman, made sure the record was deleted because he wanted to present Dylan as an acoustic folkie. Similarly, several tracks with a full backing band that were recorded for Freewheelin' were scrapped before the album's release. Furthermore, several tracks recorded for the album -- including "Talking John Birch Society Blues" -- were eliminated from the album before its release.

Comprised entirely of original songs, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan made a huge impact in the U.S. folk community, and many performers began covering songs from the album. Of these, the most significant were Peter, Paul and Mary, who made "Blowin' in the Wind" into a huge pop hit in the summer of 1963 and thereby made Bob Dylan into a recognizable household name. On the strength of Peter, Paul and Mary's cover and his opening gigs for popular folkie Joan Baez, Freewheelin' became a hit in the fall of 1963, climbing to number 23 on the charts. By that point, Baez and Dylan had become romantically involved, and she was beginning to record his songs frequently. Dylan was writing just as fast.

By the time The Times They Are A-Changin' was released in early 1964, Dylan's songwriting had developed far beyond that of his New York peers. Heavily inspired by poets like Arthur Rimbaud and John Keats, his writing took on a more literate and evocative quality. Around the same time, he began to expand his musical boundaries, adding more blues and R&B influences to his songs. Released in the summer of 1964, Another Side of Bob Dylan made these changes evident. However, Dylan was moving faster than his records could indicate. By the end of 1964, he had ended his romantic relationship with Baez and had begun dating a former model named Sara Lowndes, whom he subsequently married. Simultaneously, he gave the Byrds "Mr. Tambourine Man" to record for their debut album. The Byrds gave the song a ringing, electric arrangement, but by the time the single became a hit, Dylan was already exploring his own brand of folk-rock.

Inspired by the British Invasion, particularly the Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun," Dylan recorded a set of original songs backed by a loud rock & roll band for his next album. While Bringing It All Back Home (March 1965) still had a side of acoustic material, it made clear that Dylan had turned his back on folk music. For the folk audience, the true breaking point arrived a few months after the album's release, when he played the Newport Folk Festival supported by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The audience greeted him with vicious derision, but he had already been accepted by the growing rock & roll community. Dylan's spring tour of Britain was the basis for D.A. Pennebaker's documentary Don't Look Back, a film that captures the songwriter's edgy charisma and charm.

Dylan made his breakthrough to the pop audience in the summer of 1965, when "Like a Rolling Stone" became a number two hit. Driven by a circular organ riff and a steady beat, the six-minute single broke the barrier of the three-minute pop single. Dylan became the subject of innumerable articles, and his lyrics became the subject of literary analyses across the U.S. and U.K. Well over 100 artists covered his songs between 1964 and 1966; the Byrds and the Turtles, in particular, had big hits with his compositions. Highway 61 Revisited, his first full-fledged rock & roll album, became a Top Ten hit shortly after its summer 1965 release. "Positively 4th Street" and "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" became Top Ten hits in the fall of 1965 and spring of 1966, respectively. Following the May 1966 release of the double album Blonde on Blonde, he had sold over ten million records around the world.

During the fall of 1965, Dylan hired the Hawks, formerly Ronnie Hawkins' backing group, as his touring band. The Hawks, who changed their name to the Band in 1968, would become Dylan's most famous backing band, primarily because of their intuitive chemistry and "wild, thin mercury sound," but also because of their British tour in the spring of 1966. The tour was the first time the British had heard the electric Dylan, and their reaction was disagreeable and violent. At the Manchester concert (long mistakenly identified as the show from London's Royal Albert Hall), an audience member called Dylan "Judas," inspiring a positively vicious version of "Like a Rolling Stone" from Dylan and the band. The performance was immortalized on countless bootleg albums (an official release finally surfaced in 1998), and it indicates the intensity of Dylan in the middle of 1966. He had assumed control of Pennebaker's second Dylan documentary, Eat the Document, and was under deadline to complete his book Tarantula, as well as record a new record. Following the British tour, he returned to America.

On July 29, 1966, he was injured in a motorcycle accident outside of his home in Woodstock, New York, suffering injuries to his neck vertebrae and a concussion. Details of the accident remain elusive -- he was reportedly in critical condition for a week and had amnesia -- and some biographers have questioned its severity, but the event was a pivotal turning point in his career. After the accident, Dylan became a recluse, disappearing into his home in Woodstock and raising his family with his wife, Sara. After a few months, he retreated with the Band to a rented house, subsequently dubbed Big Pink, in West Saugerties to record a number of demos. For several months, Dylan and the Band recorded an enormous amount of material, ranging from old folk, country, and blues songs to newly written originals. The songs indicated that Dylan's songwriting had undergone a metamorphosis, becoming streamlined and more direct. Similarly, his music had changed, owing less to traditional rock & roll, and demonstrating heavy country, blues, and traditional folk influences. None of the Big Pink recordings was intended to be released, but tapes from the sessions were circulated by Dylan's music publisher with the intent of generating cover versions. Copies of these tapes, as well as other songs, were available on illegal bootleg albums by the end of the '60s; it was the first time that bootleg copies of unreleased recordings became widely circulated. Portions of the tapes were officially released in 1975 as the double album The Basement Tapes.

While Dylan was in seclusion, rock & roll had become heavier and artier in the wake of the psychedelic revolution. When Dylan returned with John Wesley Harding in December of 1967, its quiet, country ambience was a surprise to the general public, but it was a significant hit, peaking at number two in the U.S. and number one in the U.K. Furthermore, the record arguably became the first significant country-rock record to be released, setting the stage for efforts by the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers later in 1969.

Dylan followed his country inclinations on his next album, 1969's Nashville Skyline, which was recorded in Nashville with several of the country industry's top session men. While the album was a hit, spawning the Top Ten single "Lay Lady Lay," it was criticized in some quarters for uneven material. The mixed reception was the beginning of a full-blown backlash that arrived with the double-album Self Portrait. Released early in June of 1970, the album was a hodgepodge of covers, live tracks, re-interpretations, and new songs greeted with negative reviews from all quarters of the press. Dylan followed the album quickly with New Morning, which was hailed as a comeback.

Following the release of New Morning, Dylan began to wander restlessly. He moved back to Greenwich Village, he finally published Tarantula in November of 1970, and he performed at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971. During 1972, he began his acting career by playing Alias in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which was released in 1973. He also wrote the soundtrack for the film, which featured "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," his biggest hit since "Lay Lady Lay." The Pat Garrett soundtrack was the final record released under his Columbia contract before he moved to David Geffen's fledgling Asylum Records. As retaliation, Columbia assembled Dylan, a collection of Self Portrait outtakes, for release at the end of 1973. Dylan only recorded two albums -- including 1974's Planet Waves, coincidentally his first number one album -- before he moved back to Columbia. The Band supported Dylan on Planet Waves and its accompanying tour, which became the most successful tour in rock & roll history; it was captured on 1974's double live album Before the Flood.

Dylan's 1974 tour was the beginning of a comeback culminating with 1975's Blood on the Tracks. Largely inspired by the disintegration of his marriage, Blood on the Tracks was hailed as a return to form by critics and it became his second number one album. After jamming with folkies in Greenwich Village, Dylan decided to launch a gigantic tour, loosely based on traveling medicine shows. Lining up an extensive list of supporting musicians -- including Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Mick Ronson, Roger McGuinn, and poet Allen Ginsberg -- Dylan dubbed the tour the Rolling Thunder Revue and set out on the road in the fall of 1975. For the next year, the Rolling Thunder Revue toured on and off, with Dylan filming many of the concerts for a future film. During the tour, Desire was released to considerable acclaim and success, spending five weeks on the top of the charts. Throughout the Rolling Thunder Revue, Dylan showcased "Hurricane," a protest song he had written about boxer Rubin Carter, who had been unjustly imprisoned for murder. The live album Hard Rain was released at the end of the tour. Dylan released Renaldo and Clara, a four-hour film based on the Rolling Thunder tour, to poor reviews in early 1978.

Early in 1978, Dylan set out on another extensive tour, this time backed by a band that resembled a Las Vegas lounge act. The group was featured on the 1978 album Street Legal and the 1979 live album At Budokan. At the conclusion of the tour in late 1978, Dylan announced that he was a born-again Christian, and he launched a series of Christian albums that following summer with Slow Train Coming. Though the reviews were mixed, the album was a success, peaking at number three and going platinum. His supporting tour for Slow Train Coming featured only his new religious material, much to the bafflement of his long-term fans. Two other religious albums -- Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981) -- followed, both to poor reviews. In 1982, Dylan traveled to Israel, sparking rumors that his conversion to Christianity was short-lived. He returned to secular recording with 1983's Infidels, which was greeted with favorable reviews.

Dylan returned to performing in 1984, releasing the live album Real Live at the end of the year. Empire Burlesque followed in 1985, but its odd mix of dance tracks and rock & roll won few fans. However, the five-album/triple-disc retrospective box set Biograph appeared that same year to great acclaim. In 1986, Dylan hit the road with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for a successful and acclaimed tour, but his album that year, Knocked Out Loaded, was received poorly. The following year, he toured with the Grateful Dead as his backing band; two years later, the souvenir album Dylan & the Dead appeared.

In 1988, Dylan embarked on what became known as "the Never-Ending Tour" -- a constant stream of shows that ran on and off into the late '90s. That same year, he appeared on The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 -- by the supergroup also featuring George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne -- and released his own Down in the Groove, an album largely comprised of covers. The Never-Ending Tour received far stronger reviews than Down in the Groove (the Traveling Wilburys album fared much better), but 1989's Oh Mercy was his most acclaimed album since 1975's Blood on the Tracks, due in part to Daniel Lanois' strong production. However, Dylan's 1990 follow-up, Under the Red Sky (issued the same year as the second album by the Traveling Wilburys, now a quartet following the death of Roy Orbison shortly after the release of the Wilburys' first long-player in 1988), was received poorly, especially when compared to the enthusiastic reception for the 1991 box set The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased), a collection of previously unreleased outtakes and rarities.

For the remainder of the '90s, Dylan divided his time between live concerts, painting, and studio projects. He returned to recording in 1992 with Good as I Been to You, an acoustic collection of traditional folk songs. It was followed in 1993 by another folk record, World Gone Wrong, which won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. After the release of World Gone Wrong, Dylan released a greatest-hits album and a live record.

Dylan released Time Out of Mind, his first album of original material in seven years, in the fall of 1997. Time Out of Mind received his strongest reviews in years and unexpectedly debuted in the Top Ten, eventually climbing to platinum certification. Such success sparked a revival of interest in Dylan, who appeared on the cover of Newsweek and began selling out concerts once again. Early in 1998, Time Out of Mind received three Grammy Awards -- Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Folk Album, and Best Male Rock Vocal.

Another album of original material, Love and Theft, followed in 2001 and went gold. Soon after its release, Dylan announced that he was making his own film, to star Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman, Val Kilmer, and many more. The accompanying soundtrack, Masked and Anonymous, was released in July 2003. Dylan opted to self-produce his new studio album, Modern Times, which topped the Billboard charts and went platinum in both America and the U.K. It was Dylan's third consecutive album to receive praise from critics and support from consumers, and it was followed three years later in 2009 by Together Through Life, another self-produced effort (as Jack Frost) that also featured contributions from David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. He capped off the year with an old-fashioned holiday effort, Christmas in the Heart. Proceeds from the album were donated to various charities around the world. Dylan released the self-produced (again as Jack Frost) Tempest on September 11, 2012.

Wikipedia:

This article is about the musician. For his debut album, see Bob Dylan (album).

Bob Dylan (/ˈɪən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he was both a chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving behind his initial base in the culture of the folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965. His mid-1960s recordings, backed by rock musicians, reached the top end of the United States music charts while also attracting denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

Dylan's lyrics have incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the performance style of Little Richard, and the songwriting of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Dylan has both amplified and personalized musical genres. His recording career, spanning fifty years, has explored many of the traditions in American song—from folk, blues, and country to gospel, rock and roll, and rockabilly to English, Scottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and swing. Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his greatest contribution is generally considered his songwriting.

Since 1994, Dylan has published six books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time; he has received numerous awards including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

^ Bob Dylan. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Contents

Life and career1.1 Origins and musical beginnings1.2 1960s1.2.1 Relocation to New York and record deal1.2.2 Protest and Another Side1.2.3 Going electric1.2.4 Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde1.2.5 Motorcycle accident and reclusion1.3 1970s1.3.1 Return to touring1.3.2 Christian period1.4 1980s1.5 1990s1.6 2000s1.6.1 Modern Times1.6.2 Together Through Life and Christmas in the Heart1.7 2010s

Life and career[edit]

Origins and musical beginnings[edit]

Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew name שבתאי זיסל בן אברהם [Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham]) in St. Mary's Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Range west of Lake Superior. Dylan's paternal grandparents, Zigman and Anna Zimmerman, emigrated from Odessa in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to the United States following the anti-Semitic pogroms of 1905. His maternal grandparents, Ben and Florence Stone, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902. In his autobiography Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan writes that his paternal grandmother's maiden name was Kirghiz and her family originated from Kağızman district of Kars Province in north eastern Turkey.

Dylan's parents, Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice "Beatty" Stone, were part of the area's small but close-knit Jewish community. Robert Zimmerman lived in Duluth until age six, when his father was stricken with polio and the family returned to his mother's home town, Hibbing, where Zimmerman spent the rest of his childhood. Robert Zimmerman spent his early years listening to the radio—first to blues and country stations broadcasting from Shreveport, Louisiana, and, as a teen, to early rock and roll. Zimmerman formed several bands while attending Hibbing High School. In the Golden Chords, he performed covers of songs by Little Richard and Elvis Presley. Their performance of Danny & the Juniors' "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" at their high school talent show was so loud that the principal cut the microphone off. In 1959, his high school yearbook carried the caption: "Robert Zimmerman: to join 'Little Richard'." The same year, using the name Elston Gunnn [sic], he performed two dates with Bobby Vee, playing piano and supplying handclaps.

Zimmerman moved to Minneapolis in September 1959, where he enrolled at the University of Minnesota. His early focus on rock and roll gave way to an interest in American folk music. In 1985, Dylan explained the attraction that folk music exerted on him:

The thing about rock'n'roll is that for me anyway it wasn't enough ... There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms ... but the songs weren't serious or didn't reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.

He soon began to perform at the Ten O'Clock Scholar, a coffeehouse a few blocks from campus, and became actively involved in the local Dinkytown folk music circuit.

During his Dinkytown days, Zimmerman began introducing himself as "Bob Dylan". In his memoir, Dylan acknowledged that he had been influenced by the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Explaining his change of name in a 2004 interview, Dylan remarked: "You're born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free."

1960s[edit]
Relocation to New York and record deal[edit]

In May 1960, Dylan dropped out of college at the end of his first year. In January 1961, he traveled to New York City, hoping to perform there and visit his musical idol Woody Guthrie, who was seriously ill with Huntington's disease in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Guthrie had been a revelation to Dylan and was the biggest influence on his early performances. Describing Guthrie's impact on him, Dylan later wrote: "The songs themselves had the infinite sweep of humanity in them ... [He] was the true voice of the American spirit. I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie's greatest disciple." As well as visiting Guthrie in the hospital, Dylan befriended Guthrie's acolyte Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Much of Guthrie's repertoire was actually channeled through Elliott, and Dylan paid tribute to Elliott in Chronicles: Volume One (2004).

From February 1961, Dylan played at various clubs around Greenwich Village. He befriended and picked up material from many folk singers in the Village scene, including Dave Van Ronk, Fred Neil, Odetta, the New Lost City Ramblers, and Irish musicians The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. In September, Dylan gained some public recognition when Robert Shelton wrote a positive review in The New York Times of a show at Gerde's Folk City. The same month Dylan played harmonica on folk singer Carolyn Hester's eponymous third album, which brought his talents to the attention of the album's producer, John Hammond. Hammond signed Dylan to Columbia Records in October. The performances on his first Columbia album, Bob Dylan, released in March 1962, consisted of familiar folk, blues and gospel material combined with two original compositions. The album made little impact, selling only 5,000 copies in its first year, just enough to break even. Within Columbia Records, some referred to the singer as "Hammond's Folly" and suggested dropping his contract, but Hammond defended Dylan vigorously and was supported by Johnny Cash, an early fan of Dylan. In March 1962, Dylan contributed harmonica and back-up vocals to the album Three Kings and the Queen, accompanying Victoria Spivey and Big Joe Williams on a recording for Spivey Records. While working for Columbia, Dylan also recorded several songs under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt, for Broadside magazine, a folk music magazine and record label. Dylan used the pseudonym Bob Landy to record as a piano player on The Blues Project, a 1964 anthology album issued by Elektra Records. Under the pseudonym Tedham Porterhouse, Dylan contributed harmonica to Ramblin' Jack Elliott's 1964 album Jack Elliott.

Dylan made two important career moves in August 1962. He legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, and he signed a management contract with Albert Grossman. (In June 1961, Dylan had signed an agreement with Roy Silver. In 1962, Grossman paid Silver $10,000 to become the sole manager of Dylan's career.) Grossman remained Dylan's manager until 1970, and was notable both for his sometimes confrontational personality, and for the fiercely protective loyalty he displayed towards his principal client. Dylan subsequently said of Grossman, "He was kind of like a Colonel Tom Parker figure ... you could smell him coming." Tensions between Grossman and John Hammond led to Hammond being replaced as the producer of Dylan's second album by the young African American jazz producer Tom Wilson.

From December 1962 to January 1963, Dylan made his first trip to the United Kingdom. He had been invited by TV director Philip Saville to appear in a drama, Madhouse on Castle Street, which Saville was directing for BBC Television. At the end of the play, Dylan performed "Blowin' in the Wind", one of the first public performances of the song. The film recording of Madhouse on Castle Street was destroyed by the BBC in 1968. While in London, Dylan performed at several London folk clubs, including The Troubadour, Les Cousins, and Bunjies. He also learned new material from several UK performers, including Martin Carthy.

By the time Dylan's second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, was released in May 1963, he had begun to make his name as both a singer and a songwriter. Many of the songs on this album were labeled protest songs, inspired partly by Guthrie and influenced by Pete Seeger's passion for topical songs. "Oxford Town", for example, was a sardonic account of James Meredith's ordeal as the first black student to risk enrollment at the University of Mississippi.

His most famous song at this time, "Blowin' in the Wind", partially derived its melody from the traditional slave song "No More Auction Block", while its lyrics questioned the social and political status quo. The song was widely recorded and became an international hit for Peter, Paul and Mary, setting a precedent for many other artists who had hits with Dylan's songs. "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" was based on the tune of the folk ballad "Lord Randall". With its veiled references to an impending apocalypse, the song gained even more resonance when the Cuban missile crisis developed only a few weeks after Dylan began performing it. Like "Blowin' in the Wind", "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" marked an important new direction in modern songwriting, blending a stream-of-consciousness, imagist lyrical attack with a traditional folk form.

While Dylan's topical songs solidified his early reputation, Freewheelin' also included a mixture of love songs and jokey, surreal talking blues. Humor was a large part of Dylan's persona, and the range of material on the album impressed many listeners, including The Beatles. George Harrison said, "We just played it, just wore it out. The content of the song lyrics and just the attitude—it was incredibly original and wonderful."

The rough edge of Dylan's singing was unsettling to some early listeners but an attraction to others. Describing the impact that Dylan had on her and her husband, Joyce Carol Oates wrote: "When we first heard this raw, very young, and seemingly untrained voice, frankly nasal, as if sandpaper could sing, the effect was dramatic and electrifying." Many of his most famous early songs first reached the public through more immediately palatable versions by other performers, such as Joan Baez, who became Dylan's advocate, as well as his lover. Baez was influential in bringing Dylan to national and international prominence by recording several of his early songs and inviting him onstage during her own concerts.

Others who recorded and had hits with Dylan's songs in the early and mid-1960s included The Byrds; Sonny & Cher; The Hollies; Peter, Paul and Mary; The Association; Manfred Mann; and The Turtles. Most attempted to impart a pop feel and rhythm to the songs, while Dylan and Baez performed them mostly as sparse folk pieces. The cover versions became so ubiquitous that CBS started to promote him with the tag "Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan."

"Mixed Up Confusion", recorded during the Freewheelin' sessions with a backing band, was released as a single and then quickly withdrawn. In contrast to the mostly solo acoustic performances on the album, the single showed a willingness to experiment with a rockabilly sound. Cameron Crowe described it as "a fascinating look at a folk artist with his mind wandering towards Elvis Presley and Sun Records."

Protest and Another Side[edit]

In May 1963, Dylan's political profile was raised when he walked out of The Ed Sullivan Show. During rehearsals, Dylan had been informed by CBS television's "head of program practices" that the song he was planning to perform, "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", was potentially libelous to the John Birch Society. Rather than comply with the censorship, Dylan refused to appear on the program.

By this time, Dylan and Baez were both prominent in the civil rights movement, singing together at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Dylan's third album, The Times They Are a-Changin', reflected a more politicized and cynical Dylan. The songs often took as their subject matter contemporary, real life stories, with "Only A Pawn In Their Game" addressing the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers; and the Brechtian "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" the death of black hotel barmaid Hattie Carroll, at the hands of young white socialite William Zantzinger. On a more general theme, "Ballad of Hollis Brown" and "North Country Blues" address the despair engendered by the breakdown of farming and mining communities. This political material was accompanied by two personal love songs, "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "One Too Many Mornings".

By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both manipulated and constrained by the folk and protest movements. These tensions were publicly displayed when, accepting the "Tom Paine Award" from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, an intoxicated Dylan questioned the role of the committee, characterized the members as old and balding, and claimed to see something of himself (and of every man) in Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Bobby Dylan, as the college yearbook lists him: St. Lawrence University, upstate New York, November 1963

Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded on a single June evening in 1964, had a lighter mood than its predecessor. The surreal, humorous Dylan reemerged on "I Shall Be Free No. 10" and "Motorpsycho Nightmare". "Spanish Harlem Incident" and "To Ramona" are romantic and passionate love songs, while "Black Crow Blues" and "I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)" suggest the rock and roll soon to dominate Dylan's music. "It Ain't Me Babe", on the surface a song about spurned love, has been described as a rejection of the role his reputation had thrust at him. His newest direction was signaled by two lengthy songs: the impressionistic "Chimes of Freedom", which sets elements of social commentary against a denser metaphorical landscape in a style later characterized by Allen Ginsberg as "chains of flashing images," and "My Back Pages", which attacks the simplistic and arch seriousness of his own earlier topical songs and seems to predict the backlash he was about to encounter from his former champions as he took a new direction.

In the latter half of 1964 and 1965, Dylan's appearance and musical style changed rapidly, as he made his move from leading contemporary songwriter of the folk scene to folk-rock pop-music star. His scruffy jeans and work shirts were replaced by a Carnaby Street wardrobe, sunglasses day or night, and pointy "Beatle boots". A London reporter wrote: "Hair that would set the teeth of a comb on edge. A loud shirt that would dim the neon lights of Leicester Square. He looks like an undernourished cockatoo." Dylan also began to spar in increasingly surreal ways with his interviewers. Appearing on the Les Crane television show and asked about a movie he was planning to make, he told Crane it would be a cowboy horror movie. Asked if he played the cowboy, Dylan replied, "No, I play my mother."

Going electric[edit]
Main article: Electric Dylan controversy

Dylan's April 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home was yet another stylistic leap, featuring his first recordings made with electric instruments. The first single, "Subterranean Homesick Blues", owed much to Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business"; its free association lyrics have been described as both harkening back to the manic energy of Beat poetry and as a forerunner of rap and hip-hop. The song was provided with an early music video, which opened D. A. Pennebaker's cinéma vérité presentation of Dylan's 1965 tour of Great Britain, Dont Look Back. Instead of miming to the recording, Dylan illustrated the lyrics by throwing cue cards containing key words from the song on the ground. Pennebaker has said the sequence was Dylan's idea, and it has been widely imitated in both music videos and advertisements.

The second side of Bringing It All Back Home consisted of four long songs on which Dylan accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. "Mr. Tambourine Man" quickly became one of Dylan's best known songs when The Byrds recorded an electric version that reached number one in both the U.S. and the UK charts. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" were acclaimed as two of Dylan's most important compositions.

In 1965, as the headliner at the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan performed his first electric set since his high school days with a pickup group drawn mostly from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, featuring Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Sam Lay (drums) and Jerome Arnold (bass), plus Al Kooper (organ) and Barry Goldberg (piano). Dylan had appeared at Newport in 1963 and 1964, but in 1965 Dylan, met with a mix of cheering and booing, left the stage after only three songs. One version of the legend has it that the boos were from the outraged folk fans whom Dylan had alienated by appearing, unexpectedly, with an electric guitar. Murray Lerner, who filmed the performance, said: "I absolutely think that they were booing Dylan going electric." An alternative account claims audience members were merely upset by poor sound quality and a surprisingly short set. This account is supported by Kooper and one of the directors of the festival, who reports his audio recording of the concert proves that the only boos were in reaction to the MC's announcement that there was only enough time for a short set.

Nevertheless, Dylan's 1965 Newport performance provoked a hostile response from the folk music establishment. In the September issue of Sing Out!, singer Ewan MacColl wrote: "Our traditional songs and ballads are the creations of extraordinarily talented artists working inside disciplines formulated over time ...'But what of Bobby Dylan?' scream the outraged teenagers ... Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel." On July 29, just four days after his controversial performance at Newport, Dylan was back in the studio in New York, recording "Positively 4th Street". The lyrics teemed with images of vengeance and paranoia, and it was widely interpreted as Dylan's put-down of former friends from the folk community—friends he had known in the clubs along West 4th Street.

Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde[edit]

In July 1965, Dylan released the single "Like a Rolling Stone", which peaked at number two in the U.S. and at number four in the UK charts. At over six minutes, the song has been widely credited with altering attitudes about what a pop single could convey. Bruce Springsteen, in his speech for Dylan's inauguration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that on first hearing the single, "that snare shot sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind". In 2004 and again in 2011, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as number one on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song also opened Dylan's next album, Highway 61 Revisited, titled after the road that led from Dylan's Minnesota to the musical hotbed of New Orleans. The songs were in the same vein as the hit single, flavored by Mike Bloomfield's blues guitar and Al Kooper's organ riffs. "Desolation Row", backed by acoustic guitar and understated bass, offers the sole exception, with Dylan making surreal allusions to a variety of figures in Western culture during this epic song, described by Andy Gill as "an 11-minute epic of entropy, which takes the form of a Fellini-esque parade of grotesques and oddities featuring a huge cast of celebrated characters, some historical (Einstein, Nero), some biblical (Noah, Cain and Abel), some fictional (Ophelia, Romeo, Cinderella), some literary (T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound), and some who fit into none of the above categories, notably Dr. Filth and his dubious nurse."

In support of the record, Dylan was booked for two U.S. concerts and put together a backing band by combining Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks from his studio crew with Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, former members of Ronnie Hawkins's backing band The Hawks. On August 28 at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the group was heckled by an audience still annoyed by Dylan's electric sound. The band's reception on September 3 at the Hollywood Bowl was more favorable.

Commencing September 24, in Austin, Texas, Dylan toured the US and Canada for the next six months, backed by the five musicians from the Hawks who would later become known as The Band. While Dylan and the Hawks met increasingly receptive audiences on tour, their studio efforts floundered. Producer Bob Johnston persuaded Dylan to record in Nashville in February 1966, and surrounded him with a cadre of top-notch session men. At Dylan's insistence, Robertson and Kooper came down from New York City to play on the sessions. The Nashville sessions produced the double-album Blonde on Blonde (1966), featuring what Dylan later called "that thin wild mercury sound". Al Kooper described the album as "taking two cultures and smashing them together with a huge explosion": the musical world of Nashville and the world of the "quintessential New York hipster" Bob Dylan.

On November 22, 1965, Dylan secretly married 25-year-old former model Sara Lownds. Some of Dylan's friends (including Ramblin' Jack Elliott) claim that, in conversation immediately after the event, Dylan denied that he was married. Journalist Nora Ephron first made the news public in the New York Post in February 1966 with the headline "Hush! Bob Dylan is wed."

Dylan undertook a world tour of Australia and Europe in April and May 1966. Each show was split into two parts. Dylan performed solo during the first half, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. In the second half, backed by the Hawks, he played electrically amplified music. This contrast provoked many fans, who jeered and slow handclapped. The tour culminated in a famously raucous confrontation between Dylan and his audience at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in England on May 17, 1966. An official recording of this concert was released in 1998: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966. At the climax of the evening, a member of the audience, angered by Dylan's electric backing, shouted: "Judas!" to which Dylan responded, "I don't believe you ... You're a liar!" Dylan turned to his band and said, "Play it fucking loud!" as they launched into the final song of the night—"Like a Rolling Stone".

During his 1966 tour, Dylan was frequently described as exhausted and acting "as if on a death trip". D. A. Pennebaker, the film maker accompanying the tour, described Dylan as "taking a lot of amphetamine and who-knows-what-else." In a 1969 interview with Jann Wenner, Dylan said, "I was on the road for almost five years. It wore me down. I was on drugs, a lot of things ... just to keep going, you know?" In 2011, BBC Radio 4 reported that, in an interview that Robert Shelton had taped in 1966, Dylan claimed that he had kicked a heroin habit in New York City: "I got very, very strung out for a while ... I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it." Some journalists questioned the validity of this confession, pointing out that Dylan had "been telling journalists wild lies about his past since the earliest days of his career."

Motorcycle accident and reclusion[edit]

After his European tour, Dylan returned to New York, but the pressures on him increased. ABC Television had paid an advance for a TV show they could screen. His publisher, Macmillan, was demanding a finished manuscript of the poem/novel Tarantula. Manager Albert Grossman had already scheduled an extensive concert tour for that summer and fall.

On July 29, 1966, Dylan crashed his 500cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle on a road near his home in Woodstock, New York, and was thrown to the ground. Though the extent of his injuries was never fully disclosed, Dylan said that he broke several vertebrae in his neck. Mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the accident since no ambulance was called to the scene and Dylan was not hospitalized. Dylan's biographers have written that the crash offered Dylan the much-needed chance to escape from the pressures that had built up around him. Dylan confirmed this interpretation of the crash when he stated in his autobiography, "I had been in a motorcycle accident and I'd been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race." In the wake of his accident, Dylan withdrew from the public and, apart from a few select appearances, did not tour again for almost eight years.

Once Dylan was well enough to resume creative work, he began to edit D. A. Pennebaker's film footage of his 1966 tour. A rough cut was shown to ABC Television and was promptly rejected as incomprehensible to a mainstream audience. The film was subsequently titled Eat the Document and has been circulated via bootleg copies, and screened at a handful of film festivals. In 1967 he began recording music with the Hawks at his home and in the basement of the Hawks' nearby house, called "Big Pink". These songs, initially compiled as demos for other artists to record, provided hit singles for Julie Driscoll and The Brian Auger Trinity ("This Wheel's on Fire"), The Byrds ("You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", "Nothing Was Delivered"), and Manfred Mann ("Mighty Quinn"). Columbia released selections from them in 1975 as The Basement Tapes. Over the years, more and more of the songs recorded by Dylan and his band in 1967 appeared on various bootleg recordings, culminating in a five-CD bootleg set titled The Genuine Basement Tapes, containing 107 songs and alternate takes. In the coming months, the Hawks recorded the album Music from Big Pink using songs they first worked on in their basement in Woodstock, and renamed themselves The Band, thus beginning a long and successful recording and performing career of their own.

In October and November 1967, Dylan returned to Nashville. Back in the recording studio after a 19-month break, he was accompanied only by Charlie McCoy on bass, Kenny Buttrey on drums, and Pete Drake on steel guitar. The result was John Wesley Harding, a quiet, contemplative record of shorter songs, set in a landscape that drew on both the American West and the Bible. The sparse structure and instrumentation, coupled with lyrics that took the Judeo-Christian tradition seriously, marked a departure not only from Dylan's own work but from the escalating psychedelic fervor of the 1960s musical culture. It included "All Along the Watchtower", with lyrics derived from the Book of Isaiah (21:5–9). The song was later recorded by Jimi Hendrix, whose version Dylan later acknowledged as definitive. Woody Guthrie died on October 3, 1967, and Dylan made his first live appearance in twenty months at a Guthrie memorial concert held at Carnegie Hall on January 20, 1968, where he was backed by the Band.

Dylan's next release, Nashville Skyline (1969), was virtually a mainstream country record featuring instrumental backing by Nashville musicians, a mellow-voiced Dylan, a duet with Johnny Cash, and the hit single "Lay Lady Lay". Variety magazine wrote, "Dylan is definitely doing something that can be called singing. Somehow he has managed to add an octave to his range." Dylan and Cash also recorded a series of duets, but only their recording of Dylan's "Girl from the North Country" was used on the album.

In May 1969, Dylan appeared on the first episode of Johnny Cash's new television show, duetting with Cash on "Girl from the North Country", "I Threw It All Away", and "Living the Blues". Dylan next traveled to England to top the bill at the Isle of Wight rock festival on August 31, 1969, after rejecting overtures to appear at the Woodstock Festival far closer to his home.

1970s[edit]

In the early 1970s, critics charged that Dylan's output was of varied and unpredictable quality. Rolling Stone magazine writer Greil Marcus notoriously asked "What is this shit?" on first listening to Self Portrait, released in June 1970. In general, Self Portrait, a double LP including few original songs, was poorly received. In October 1970, Dylan released New Morning, which some considered a return to form. In November 1968, Dylan had co-written "I'd Have You Anytime" with George Harrison; Harrison recorded both "I'd Have You Anytime" and Dylan's "If Not for You" for his 1970 solo triple album All Things Must Pass. Dylan's surprise appearance at Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh attracted much media coverage, reflecting that Dylan's live appearances had become rare.

Between March 16 and 19, 1971, Dylan reserved three days at Blue Rock Studios, a small studio in New York's Greenwich Village. These sessions resulted in one single, "Watching the River Flow", and a new recording of "When I Paint My Masterpiece". On November 4, 1971, Dylan recorded "George Jackson", which he released a week later. For many, the single was a surprising return to protest material, mourning the killing of Black Panther George Jackson in San Quentin Prison earlier that year. Dylan contributed piano and harmony vocals to Steve Goodman's album, Somebody Else's Troubles, under the pseudonym Robert Milkwood Thomas in September 1972.

In 1972, Dylan signed onto Sam Peckinpah's film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, providing songs and backing music for the movie, and playing the role of "Alias", a member of Billy's gang with some historical basis. Despite the film's failure at the box office, the song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" has proven its durability as one of Dylan's most extensively covered songs.

Return to touring[edit]

Dylan began 1973 by signing with a new record label, David Geffen's Asylum Records, when his contract with Columbia Records expired. On his next album, Planet Waves, he used the Band as backing group, while rehearsing for a major tour. The album included two versions of "Forever Young", which became one of his most popular songs. As one critic described it, the song projected "something hymnal and heartfelt that spoke of the father in Dylan", and Dylan himself commented: "I wrote it thinking about one of my boys and not wanting to be too sentimental."

Columbia Records simultaneously released Dylan, a haphazard collection of studio outtakes (almost exclusively cover songs), which was widely interpreted as a churlish response to Dylan's signing with a rival record label. In January 1974, Dylan returned to live touring after a break of seven years; backed by the Band, he embarked on a high-profile, coast-to-coast North American tour, playing 40 concerts. A live double album of the tour, Before the Flood, was released on Asylum Records. Soon, Columbia Records sent word that they "will spare nothing to bring Dylan back into the fold". Dylan had second thoughts about Asylum, apparently miffed that while there had been millions of unfulfilled ticket requests for the 1974 tour, Geffen had managed to sell only 700,000 copies of Planet Waves. Dylan returned to Columbia Records, which subsequently reissued his two Asylum albums on their imprint.

After the tour, Dylan and his wife became publicly estranged. He filled a small red notebook with songs about relationships and ruptures, and quickly recorded a new album entitled Blood on the Tracks in September 1974. Dylan delayed the album's release, and re-recorded half of the songs at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis with production assistance from his brother David Zimmerman.

Released in early 1975, Blood on the Tracks received mixed reviews. In the NME, Nick Kent described "the accompaniments [as] often so trashy they sound like mere practice takes." In Rolling Stone, reviewer Jon Landau wrote that "the record has been made with typical shoddiness." Over the years critics have come to see it as one of Dylan's greatest achievements, perhaps the only serious rival to his mid-1960s trilogy of albums. In Salon.com, Bill Wyman wrote: "Blood on the Tracks is his only flawless album and his best produced; the songs, each of them, are constructed in disciplined fashion. It is his kindest album and most dismayed, and seems in hindsight to have achieved a sublime balance between the logorrhea-plagued excesses of his mid-1960s output and the self-consciously simple compositions of his post-accident years." Novelist Rick Moody called it "the truest, most honest account of a love affair from tip to stern ever put down on magnetic tape."

That summer Dylan wrote a lengthy ballad championing the cause of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who had been imprisoned for a triple murder committed in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1966. After visiting Carter in jail, Dylan wrote "Hurricane", presenting the case for Carter's innocence. Despite its 8:32 minute length, the song was released as a single, peaking at No.33 on the U.S. Billboard Chart, and performed at every 1975 date of Dylan's next tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue. The tour was a varied evening of entertainment featuring about one hundred performers and supporters drawn from the resurgent Greenwich Village folk scene, including T-Bone Burnett, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Joni Mitchell, David Mansfield, Roger McGuinn, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez, and violinist Scarlet Rivera, whom Dylan discovered while she was walking down the street, her violin case hanging on her back. Allen Ginsberg accompanied the troupe, staging scenes for the film Dylan was simultaneously shooting. Sam Shepard was initially hired to write the film's screenplay, but ended up accompanying the tour as informal chronicler.

Running through late 1975 and again through early 1976, the tour encompassed the release of the album Desire, with many of Dylan's new songs featuring an almost travelogue-like narrative style, showing the influence of his new collaborator, playwright Jacques Levy. The 1976 half of the tour was documented by a TV concert special, Hard Rain, and the LP Hard Rain; no concert album from the better-received and better-known opening half of the tour was released until 2002's Live 1975.

The 1975 tour with the Revue also provided the backdrop to Dylan's nearly four-hour film Renaldo and Clara, a sprawling and improvised narrative, mixed with concert footage and reminiscences. Released in 1978, the movie received generally poor, sometimes scathing, reviews and had a very brief theatrical run. Later in that year, Dylan allowed a two-hour edit, dominated by the concert performances, to be more widely released.

In November 1976, Dylan appeared at the Band's "farewell" concert, along with other guests including Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison and Neil Young. Martin Scorsese's acclaimed cinematic chronicle of this show, The Last Waltz, was released in 1978 and included about half of Dylan's set. In 1976, Dylan also wrote and duetted on the song "Sign Language" for Eric Clapton's No Reason To Cry.

In 1978, Dylan embarked on a year-long world tour, performing 114 shows in Japan, the Far East, Europe and the US, to a total audience of two million people. For the tour, Dylan assembled an eight piece band, and was also accompanied by three backing singers. Concerts in Tokyo in February and March were recorded and released as the live double album, Bob Dylan At Budokan. Reviews were mixed. Robert Christgau awarded the album a C+ rating, giving the album a derisory review, while Janet Maslin defended it in Rolling Stone, writing: "These latest live versions of his old songs have the effect of liberating Bob Dylan from the originals." When Dylan brought the tour to the U.S. in September 1978, he was dismayed the press described the look and sound of the show as a 'Las Vegas Tour'. The 1978 tour grossed more than $20 million, and Dylan acknowledged to the Los Angeles Times that he had some debts to pay off because "I had a couple of bad years. I put a lot of money into the movie, built a big house ... and it costs a lot to get divorced in California."

In April and May 1978, Dylan took the same large band and backing vocalists into Rundown Studios, a rehearsal space Dylan had rented in Santa Monica, California, to record an album of new material: Street-Legal. It was described by Michael Gray as, "after Blood On The Tracks, arguably Dylan's best record of the 1970s: a crucial album documenting a crucial period in Dylan's own life". However, it suffered from poor sound recording and mixing (attributed to Dylan's studio practices), muddying the instrumental detail until a remastered CD release in 1999 restored some of the songs' strengths.

Christian period[edit]
Further information: Slow Train Coming

In the late 1970s, Dylan became a born-again Christian and released two albums of Christian gospel music. Slow Train Coming (1979) featured the guitar accompaniment of Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) and was produced by veteran R&B producer Jerry Wexler. Wexler recalled that when Dylan had tried to evangelize him during the recording, he replied: "Bob, you're dealing with a sixty-two-year-old Jewish atheist. Let's just make an album." The album won Dylan a Grammy Award as "Best Male Vocalist" for the song "Gotta Serve Somebody". The second evangelical album, Saved (1980), received mixed reviews, and was described by Dylan critic Michael Gray as "the nearest thing to a follow-up album Dylan has ever made, Slow Train Coming II and inferior." When touring in late 1979 and early 1980, Dylan would not play any of his older, secular works, and he delivered declarations of his faith from the stage, such as:

Years ago they ... said I was a prophet. I used to say, "No I'm not a prophet" they say "Yes you are, you're a prophet." I said, "No it's not me." They used to say "You sure are a prophet." They used to convince me I was a prophet. Now I come out and say Jesus Christ is the answer. They say, "Bob Dylan's no prophet." They just can't handle it.

Dylan's embrace of born-again Christianity was unpopular with some of his fans and fellow musicians. Shortly before his murder, John Lennon recorded "Serve Yourself" in response to Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody". By 1981, Stephen Holden wrote in the New York Times that "neither age (he's now 40) nor his much-publicized conversion to born-again Christianity has altered his essentially iconoclastic temperament."

1980s[edit]

In late 1980 Dylan briefly resumed touring for a series of concerts billed as "A Musical Retrospective", where he restored several of his popular 1960s songs to the repertoire. Shot of Love, recorded the next spring, featured Dylan's first secular compositions in more than two years, mixed with Christian songs. The song "Every Grain of Sand" reminded some critics of William Blake's verses.

In the 1980s the reception of Dylan's recorded work varied, from the well-regarded Infidels in 1983 to the panned Down in the Groove in 1988. Critics such as Michael Gray condemned Dylan's 1980s albums both for showing an extraordinary carelessness in the studio and for failing to release his best songs. As an example of the latter, the Infidels recording sessions, which again employed Mark Knopfler on lead guitar and also as the album's producer, resulted in several notable songs that Dylan left off the album. Best regarded of these were "Blind Willie McTell", a tribute to the dead blues musician and an evocation of African American history, "Foot of Pride" and "Lord Protect My Child". These three songs were later released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.

Between July 1984 and March 1985, Dylan recorded Empire Burlesque. Arthur Baker, who had remixed hits for Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper, was asked to engineer and mix the album. Baker has said he felt he was hired to make Dylan's album sound "a little bit more contemporary".

Dylan sang on USA for Africa's famine relief fundraising single "We Are the World". On July 13, 1985, he appeared at the climax at the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia. Backed by Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, Dylan performed a ragged version of "Hollis Brown", his ballad of rural poverty, and then said to the worldwide audience exceeding one billion people: "I hope that some of the money ... maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe ... one or two million, maybe ... and use it to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks." His remarks were widely criticized as inappropriate, but they did inspire Willie Nelson to organize a series of events, Farm Aid, to benefit debt-ridden American farmers.

In April 1986, Dylan made a brief foray into the world of rap music when he added vocals to the opening verse of "Street Rock", a song featured on Kurtis Blow's album Kingdom Blow. Dylan's next studio album, Knocked Out Loaded, was released in July 1986 and contained three cover songs (by Little Junior Parker, Kris Kristofferson and the traditional gospel hymn "Precious Memories"), plus three collaborations with other writers (Tom Petty, Sam Shepard and Carole Bayer Sager), and two solo compositions by Dylan. One reviewer commented that "the record follows too many detours to be consistently compelling, and some of those detours wind down roads that are indisputably dead ends. By 1986, such uneven records weren't entirely unexpected by Dylan, but that didn't make them any less frustrating." It was the first Dylan album since Freewheelin' (1963) to fail to make the Top 50. Since then, some critics have called the 11-minute epic that Dylan co-wrote with Sam Shepard, "Brownsville Girl", a work of genius.

In 1986 and 1987, Dylan toured extensively with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, sharing vocals with Petty on several songs each night. Dylan also toured with The Grateful Dead in 1987, resulting in a live album Dylan & The Dead. This album received some very negative reviews: Allmusic said, "Quite possibly the worst album by either Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead." After performing with these musical permutations, Dylan initiated what came to be called the Never Ending Tour on June 7, 1988, performing with a tight back-up band featuring guitarist G. E. Smith. Dylan would continue to tour with a small, constantly evolving band for the next 20 years.

In 1987, Dylan starred in Richard Marquand's movie Hearts of Fire, in which he played Billy Parker, a washed-up-rock-star-turned-chicken farmer whose teenage lover (Fiona) leaves him for a jaded English synth-pop sensation (played by Rupert Everett). Dylan also contributed two original songs to the soundtrack—"Night After Night", and "I Had a Dream About You, Baby", as well as a cover of John Hiatt's "The Usual". The film was a critical and commercial flop. Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1988, with Bruce Springsteen's introductory speech declaring, "Bob freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body. He showed us that just because music was innately physical did not mean that it was anti-intellectual.

When Dylan released the album Down in the Groove in May 1988, it was even more unsuccessful in its sales than his previous studio album. Michael Gray wrote: "The very title undercuts any idea that inspired work may lie within. Here was a further devaluing of the notion of a new Bob Dylan album as something significant." The critical and commercial disappointment of that album was swiftly followed by the success of the Traveling Wilburys. Dylan co-founded the band with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, and in late 1988 their multi-platinum Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 reached number three on the US album chart, featuring songs that were described as Dylan's most accessible compositions in years. Despite Orbison's death in December 1988, the remaining four recorded a second album in May 1990, which they released with the mischievous title Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.

Dylan finished the decade on a critical high note with Oh Mercy produced by Daniel Lanois. Dylan critic Michael Gray wrote that the album was: "Attentively written, vocally distinctive, musically warm, and uncompromisingly professional, this cohesive whole is the nearest thing to a great Bob Dylan album in the 1980s." The track "Most of the Time", a lost love composition, was later prominently featured in the film High Fidelity, while "What Was It You Wanted?" has been interpreted both as a catechism and a wry comment on the expectations of critics and fans. The religious imagery of "Ring Them Bells" struck some critics as a re-affirmation of faith.

1990s[edit]

Dylan's 1990s began with Under the Red Sky (1990), an about-face from the serious Oh Mercy. The album contained several apparently simple songs, including "Under the Red Sky" and "Wiggle Wiggle". The album was dedicated to "Gabby Goo Goo"; this was later explained as a nickname for the daughter of Dylan and Carolyn Dennis, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, who was four at that time. Sidemen on the album included George Harrison, Slash from Guns N' Roses, David Crosby, Bruce Hornsby, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Elton John. Despite the stellar line-up, the record received bad reviews and sold poorly.

In 1991, Dylan was honored by the recording industry with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from American actor Jack Nicholson. The event coincided with the start of the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and Dylan performed his song "Masters of War". Dylan then made a short speech, stating "My daddy once said to me, he said, 'Son, it is possible for you to become so defiled in this world that your own mother and father will abandon you. If that happens, God will believe in your ability to mend your own ways.'" This sentiment was subsequently revealed to be a quote from 19th-century German Jewish intellectual, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.

The next few years saw Dylan returning to his roots with two albums covering old folk and blues numbers: Good as I Been to You (1992) and World Gone Wrong (1993), featuring interpretations and acoustic guitar work. Many critics and fans commented on the quiet beauty of the song "Lone Pilgrim", written by a 19th-century teacher and sung by Dylan with a haunting reverence. In November 1994 Dylan recorded two live shows for MTV Unplugged. He claimed his wish to perform a set of traditional songs for the show was overruled by Sony executives who insisted on a greatest hits package. The album produced from it, MTV Unplugged, included "John Brown", an unreleased 1963 song detailing the ravages of both war and jingoism.

With a collection of songs reportedly written while snowed-in on his Minnesota ranch, Dylan booked recording time with Daniel Lanois at Miami's Criteria Studios in January 1997. The subsequent recording sessions were, by some accounts, fraught with musical tension. Late that spring, before the album's release, Dylan was hospitalized with a life-threatening heart infection, pericarditis, brought on by histoplasmosis. His scheduled European tour was cancelled, but Dylan made a speedy recovery and left the hospital saying, "I really thought I'd be seeing Elvis soon." He was back on the road by midsummer, and performed before Pope John Paul II at the World Eucharistic Conference in Bologna, Italy. The Pope treated the audience of 200,000 people to a homily based on Dylan's lyric "Blowin' in the Wind".

September saw the release of the new Lanois-produced album, Time Out of Mind. With its bitter assessment of love and morbid ruminations, Dylan's first collection of original songs in seven years was highly acclaimed. One critic wrote: "the songs themselves are uniformly powerful, adding up to Dylan's best overall collection in years." This collection of complex songs won him his first solo "Album of the Year" Grammy Award.

In December 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton presented Dylan with a Kennedy Center Honor in the East Room of the White House, paying this tribute: "He probably had more impact on people of my generation than any other creative artist. His voice and lyrics haven't always been easy on the ear, but throughout his career Bob Dylan has never aimed to please. He's disturbed the peace and discomforted the powerful."

In 1999, Dylan embarked on a North American tour with Paul Simon, where each alternated as headline act with a "middle" section where they performed together, starting on the first of June and ending September 18. The collaboration was generally well-received, with just one critic, Seth Rogovoy, from the Berkshire Eagle, questioning the collaboration.

2000s[edit]

Dylan commenced the new millennium by winning the Polar Music Prize in May 2000 and his first Oscar; his song "Things Have Changed", written for the film Wonder Boys, won an Academy Award in March 2001. The Oscar, by some reports a facsimile, tours with him, presiding over shows perched atop an amplifier.

"Love and Theft" was released on September 11, 2001. Recorded with his touring band, Dylan produced the album himself under the pseudonym Jack Frost. The album was critically well received and earned nominations for several Grammy awards. Critics noted that Dylan was widening his musical palette to include rockabilly, Western swing, jazz, and even lounge ballads. "Love and Theft" generated controversy when The Wall Street Journal pointed out similarities between the album's lyrics and Japanese author Junichi Saga's book Confessions of a Yakuza.

In 2003, Dylan revisited the evangelical songs from his "born again" period and participated in the CD project Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan. That year also saw the release of the film Masked & Anonymous, which Dylan co-wrote with director Larry Charles under the alias Sergei Petrov. Dylan played the central character in the film, Jack Fate, alongside a cast that included Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz and John Goodman. The film polarised critics: many dismissed it as an "incoherent mess"; a few treated it as a serious work of art.

In October 2004, Dylan published the first part of his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One. The book confounded expectations. Dylan devoted three chapters to his first year in New York City in 1961–1962, virtually ignoring the mid-1960s when his fame was at its height. He also devoted chapters to the albums New Morning (1970) and Oh Mercy (1989). The book reached number two on The New York Times' Hardcover Non-Fiction best seller list in December 2004 and was nominated for a National Book Award.

No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese's acclaimed film biography of Dylan, was first broadcast on September 26–27, 2005, on BBC Two in the UK and PBS in the US. The documentary focuses on the period from Dylan's arrival in New York in 1961 to his motorcycle crash in 1966, featuring interviews with Suze Rotolo, Liam Clancy, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Mavis Staples, and Dylan himself. The film received a Peabody Award in April 2006 and a Columbia-duPont Award in January 2007. The accompanying soundtrack featured unreleased songs from Dylan's early career.

Dylan earned yet another distinction in a 2007 study of US legal opinions and briefs that found his lyrics were quoted by judges and lawyers more than those of any other songwriter, 186 times versus 74 by The Beatles, who were second. Among those quoting Dylan were US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia, both conservatives. The most widely cited lines included "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" from "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "when you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose" from "Like a Rolling Stone".

Modern Times[edit]

May 3, 2006, was the premiere of Dylan's radio presenting career, hosting a weekly radio program, Theme Time Radio Hour, for XM Satellite Radio, with song selections revolving around a chosen theme. Dylan played classic and obscure records from the 1930s to the present day, including contemporary artists as diverse as Blur, Prince, L.L. Cool J and The Streets. The show was praised by fans and critics as "great radio," as Dylan told stories and made eclectic references with his sardonic humor, while achieving a thematic beauty with his musical choices. In April 2009, Dylan broadcast the 100th show in his radio series; the theme was "Goodbye" and the final record played was Woody Guthrie's "So Long, It's Been Good To Know Yuh". This has led to speculation that Dylan's radio series may have ended.

On August 29, 2006, Dylan released his Modern Times album. Despite some coarsening of Dylan's voice (a critic for The Guardian characterised his singing on the album as "a catarrhal death rattle") most reviewers praised the album, and many described it as the final installment of a successful trilogy, embracing Time Out of Mind and "Love and Theft". Modern Times entered the U.S. charts at number one, making it Dylan's first album to reach that position since 1976's Desire. The New York Times published an article exploring similarities between some of Dylan's lyrics in Modern Times and the work of the Civil War poet Henry Timrod.

Nominated for three Grammy Awards, Modern Times won Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album and Bob Dylan also won Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for "Someday Baby". Modern Times was named Album of the Year, 2006, by Rolling Stone magazine, and by Uncut in the UK. On the same day that Modern Times was released the iTunes Music Store released Bob Dylan: The Collection, a digital box set containing all of his albums (773 tracks in total), along with 42 rare and unreleased tracks.

In August 2007, the award-winning film biography of Dylan I'm Not There, written and directed by Todd Haynes, was released—bearing the tagline "inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan". The movie used six different actors to represent different aspects of Dylan's life: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw. Dylan's previously unreleased 1967 recording from which the film takes its name was released for the first time on the film's original soundtrack; all other tracks are covers of Dylan songs, specially recorded for the movie by a diverse range of artists, including Sonic Youth, Eddie Vedder, Mason Jennings, Stephen Malkmus, Jeff Tweedy, Karen O, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Richie Havens, and Tom Verlaine.

On October 1, 2007, Columbia Records released the triple CD retrospective album Dylan, anthologising his entire career under the Dylan 07 logo. As part of this campaign, Mark Ronson produced a re-mix of Dylan's 1966 tune "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)", which was released as a maxi-single. This was the first time Dylan had sanctioned a re-mix of one of his classic recordings.

The sophistication of the Dylan 07 marketing campaign was a reminder that Dylan's commercial profile had risen considerably since the 1990s. This first became evident in 2004, when Dylan appeared in a TV advertisement for Victoria's Secret lingerie. Three years later, in October 2007, he participated in a multi-media campaign for the 2008 Cadillac Escalade. Then, in 2009, he gave the highest profile endorsement of his career, appearing with rapper will.i.am in a Pepsi ad that debuted during the telecast of Super Bowl XLIII. The ad, broadcast to a record audience of 98 million viewers, opened with Dylan singing the first verse of "Forever Young" followed by will.i.am doing a hip hop version of the song's third and final verse.

In October 2008, Columbia released Volume 8 of Dylan's Bootleg Series, Tell Tale Signs: Rare And Unreleased 1989–2006 as both a two-CD set and a three-CD version with a 150-page hardcover book. The set contains live performances and outtakes from selected studio albums from Oh Mercy to Modern Times, as well as soundtrack contributions and collaborations with David Bromberg and Ralph Stanley. The pricing of the album—the two-CD set went on sale for $18.99 and the three-CD version for $129.99—led to complaints about "rip-off packaging" from some fans and commentators. The release was widely acclaimed by critics. The abundance of alternative takes and unreleased material suggested to one reviewer that this volume of old outtakes "feels like a new Bob Dylan record, not only for the astonishing freshness of the material, but also for the incredible sound quality and organic feeling of everything here."

Together Through Life and Christmas in the Heart[edit]

Bob Dylan released his album Together Through Life on April 28, 2009. In a conversation with music journalist Bill Flanagan, published on Dylan's website, Dylan explained that the genesis of the record was when French film director Olivier Dahan asked him to supply a song for his new road movie, My Own Love Song; initially only intending to record a single track, "Life Is Hard," "the record sort of took its own direction". Nine of the ten songs on the album are credited as co-written by Bob Dylan and Robert Hunter.

The album received largely favorable reviews, although several critics described it as a minor addition to Dylan's canon of work. Andy Gill wrote in The Independent that the record "features Dylan in fairly relaxed, spontaneous mood, content to grab such grooves and sentiments as flit momentarily across his radar. So while it may not contain too many landmark tracks, it's one of the most naturally enjoyable albums you'll hear all year."

In its first week of release, the album reached number one in the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S., making Bob Dylan (67 years of age) the oldest artist to ever debut at number one on that chart. It also reached number one on the UK album chart, 39 years after Dylan's previous UK album chart topper New Morning. This meant that Dylan currently holds the record for the longest gap between solo number one albums in the UK chart.

On October 13, 2009, Dylan released a Christmas album, Christmas in the Heart, comprising such Christmas standards as "Little Drummer Boy", "Winter Wonderland" and "Here Comes Santa Claus". Dylan's royalties from the sale of this album will benefit the charities Feeding America in the USA, Crisis in the UK, and the World Food Programme.

The album received generally favorable reviews. The New Yorker commented that Dylan had welded a pre-rock musical sound to "some of his croakiest vocals in a while", and speculated that Dylan's intentions might be ironic: "Dylan has a long and highly publicized history with Christianity; to claim there's not a wink in the childish optimism of 'Here Comes Santa Claus' or 'Winter Wonderland' is to ignore a half-century of biting satire." In USA Today, Edna Gundersen pointed out that Dylan was "revisiting yuletide styles popularized by Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, and the Ray Conniff Singers." Gundersen concluded that Dylan "couldn't sound more sentimental or sincere".

In an interview published in The Big Issue, journalist Bill Flanagan asked Dylan why he had performed the songs in a straightforward style, and Dylan responded: "There wasn't any other way to play it. These songs are part of my life, just like folk songs. You have to play them straight too."

2010s[edit]

On October 18, 2010, Dylan released Volume 9 of his Bootleg Series, The Witmark Demos. This comprised 47 demo recordings of songs taped between 1962 and 1964 for Dylan's earliest music publishers: Leeds Music in 1962, and Witmark Music from 1962 to 1964. One reviewer described the set as "a hearty glimpse of young Bob Dylan changing the music business, and the world, one note at a time." The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a Metascore of 86, indicating "universal acclaim". In the same week, Sony Legacy released Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings, a box set that for the first time presented Dylan's eight earliest albums, from Bob Dylan (1962) to John Wesley Harding (1967), in their original mono mix in the CD format. The CDs were housed in miniature facsimiles of the original album covers, replete with original liner notes. The set was accompanied by a booklet featuring an essay by music critic Greil Marcus.

On April 12, 2011, Legacy Recordings released Bob Dylan in Concert – Brandeis University 1963. The recording was taped at Brandeis University on May 10, 1963, two weeks prior to the release of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The tape had been discovered in the archive of music writer Ralph J. Gleason, and had previously been available as a limited edition supplement to The Bootleg Series Vol. 9. The recording carries liner notes by Dylan scholar Michael Gray, who writes: "(The) Dylan performance it captured, from way back when Kennedy was President and the Beatles hadn't yet reached America, wasn't even on fans' radar ... It reveals him not at any Big Moment but giving a performance like his folk club sets of the period ... This is the last live performance we have of Bob Dylan before he becomes a star."

The extent to which his work was studied at an academic level was demonstrated on Dylan's 70th birthday on May 24, 2011, when three universities organized symposia on his work. The University of Mainz, the University of Vienna, and the University of Bristol invited literary critics and cultural historians to give papers on aspects of Dylan's work. Other events, including tribute bands, discussions and simple singalongs, took place around the world, as reported in The Guardian: "From Moscow to Madrid, Norway to Northampton and Malaysia to his home state of Minnesota, self-confessed 'Bobcats' will gather today to celebrate the 70th birthday of a giant of popular music."

On October 4, 2011, Dylan's label, Egyptian Records, released an album of previously unheard Hank Williams songs, The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Dylan had helped to curate this project, in which songs unfinished when Williams died in 1953 were completed and recorded by a variety of artists, including Dylan himself, his son Jakob Dylan, Levon Helm, Norah Jones, Jack White, and others.

On May 29, 2012, President Obama awarded Dylan a Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House. At the ceremony, Obama praised Dylan's voice for its "unique gravelly power that redefined not just what music sounded like but the message it carried and how it made people feel".

On September 11, 2012, Dylan released his 35th studio album, Tempest. The album features a tribute to John Lennon, "Roll On John", and the title track is a 14 minute song about the sinking of the Titanic. Reviewing Tempest for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes gave the album five out of five stars, writing: "Lyrically, Dylan is at the top of his game, joking around, dropping wordplay and allegories that evade pat readings and quoting other folks' words like a freestyle rapper on fire." Hermes called Tempest "one of [Dylan's] weirdest albums ever", and opined, "It may also be the single darkest record in Dylan's catalog." The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a score of 83 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim".

On August 27, 2013, Columbia Records released Volume 10 of Dylan's Bootleg Series, Another Self Portrait (1969–1971), and posted an on-line documentary about the project. The album contained 35 previously unreleased tracks, including alternate takes and demos from Dylan's 1969–1971 recording sessions during the making of the Self Portrait and New Morning albums. The box set also included a live recording of Dylan's performance with the Band at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969. Another Self Portrait received favorable reviews, earning a score of 81 on the critical aggregator, Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim". AllMusic critic Thom Jurek wrote, "For fans, this is more than a curiosity, it's an indispensable addition to the catalog."

On November 4, 2013, Columbia Records released Bob Dylan: Complete Album Collection: Vol. One, a boxed set containing all 35 of Dylan's studio albums, six albums of live recordings, and a collection, entitled Sidetracks, of singles, songs from films and non-album material. The box includes new album-by-album liner notes written by Clinton Heylin with an introduction by Bill Flanagan. On the same date, Columbia released a compilation, The Very Best of Bob Dylan, which is available in both single CD and double CD formats. To publicize the 35 album box set, an innovative video of the song "Like a Rolling Stone" was released on Dylan's website. The interactive video, created by director Vania Heymann, allowed viewers to switch between 16 simulated TV channels, all featuring characters who are lip-synching the lyrics of the 48-year old song. In December 2013 Time magazine named the video best music video of 2013.

On February 2, 2014, Dylan appeared in a commercial for the Chrysler 200 car which was screened during the 2014 Super Bowl American football game. At the end of the commercial, Dylan says: "So let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car." Dylan's Superbowl commercial generated controversy and op-ed pieces discussing the protectionist implications of his words, and whether the singer had "sold out" to corporate interests. In his songs, from "North Country Blues" in 1964 to "Union Sundown" on Infidels in 1983, Dylan has addressed the theme of how global capitalism and cheap imported goods have destroyed jobs in America.

In 2013 and 2014, auction house sales demonstrated the high cultural value attached to Dylan's mid-1960s work, and the record prices that collectors were willing to pay for artefacts from this period. In December 2013, the Fender Stratocaster which Dylan had played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival fetched $965,000, a record figure for a guitar. In June 2014, Dylan's hand-written lyrics of "Like a Rolling Stone", his 1965 hit single, fetched $2 million dollars at auction, a record for a popular music manuscript.

On November 4, 2014, Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings released The Basement Tapes Complete by Bob Dylan and The Band. These 138 tracks in a six-CD box form Volume 11 of Dylan's Bootleg Series. The 1975 album, The Basement Tapes, contained some of the songs which Dylan and the Band recorded in their homes in Woodstock, New York, in 1967. Subsequently, over 100 recordings and alternate takes have circulated on bootleg records. The sleeve notes for the new box set are by Sid Griffin, American musician and author of Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Basement Tapes.

Simon & Schuster announced that they would publish, in November 2014, a massive 960 page, thirteen and a half pound edition of Dylan's lyrics, Lyrics: Since 1962. The book has been edited by literary critic Christopher Ricks, to offer variant versions of Dylan's songs, sourced from out-takes and live performances. A limited edition of 50 books, signed by Dylan, will be sold for $5,000. "It’s the biggest, most expensive book we’ve ever published, as far as I know,” said Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster’s president and publisher.

In December 2014, Dylan announced the release of his next album, Shadows in the Night, on February 3, 2015. The album will feature ten songs popularized by Frank Sinatra, including "Autumn Leaves" and "Some Enchanted Evening". Dylan explained, "I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way. They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day."

^ Sounes, p. 14, gives his Hebrew name as Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham^ A Chabad news service gives the variant Zushe ben Avraham, which may be a Yiddish variant "Singer/Songwriter Bob Dylan Joins Yom Kippur Services in Atlanta". Chabad.org News. September 24, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Sounes, p. 14^ "Robert Allen Zimmerman". Minnesota Birth Index, 1935–2002. Ancestry.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011. Name: Robert Allen Zimmerman; Birth Date: 24 May 1941; Birth County: Saint Louis; Father: Abram H. Zimmerman; Mother: Beatrice Stone (subscription required)^ Sounes, pp. 12–13.^ Dylan, pp. 92–93.^ Shelton, pp. 38–40.^ Gray, Michael (May 22, 2011). "One of a kind: Bob Dylan at 70". The Japan Times. Retrieved December 30, 2011. ^ Heylin (1996), pp. 4–5.^ Sounes, pp. 29–37.^ LIFE Books, "Bob Dylan, Forever Young, 50 Years of Song", Time Home Entertainment, Vol. 2, No 2, February 10, 2012, p. 15.^ An interview with Bobby Vee suggests the young Zimmerman may have been eccentric in spelling his early pseudonym: "[Dylan] was in the Fargo/Moorhead area ... Bill [Velline] was in a record shop in Fargo, Sam's Record Land, and this guy came up to him and introduced himself as Elston Gunnn—with three n's, G-U-N-N-N." Bobby Vee Interview, July 1999, Goldmine Reproduced online: "Early alias for Robert Zimmerman". Expecting Rain. August 11, 1999. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Sounes, pp. 41–42.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 26–27.^ Biograph, 1985, Liner notes & text by Cameron Crowe.^ Shelton, pp. 65–82.^ This is related in the documentary film No Direction Home, Director: Martin Scorsese. Broadcast: September 26, 2005, PBS & BBC Two^ Heylin (1996), p. 7.^ Dylan, pp. 78–79.^ Cite error: The named reference 60minutes2005 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Sounes, p. 72^ Dylan, p. 98.^ Dylan, pp. 244–246.^ Dylan, pp. 250–252.^ Shelton (2011), pp. 74–78.^ Shelton, Robert (September 21, 1961). The New York Times, "Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Stylist" reproduced online: Robert Shelton (September 21, 1961). "Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Stylist". Bob Dylan Roots. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Unterberger, Richie (October 8, 2003). "Carolyn Hester Biography". All Music. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Greene, Andy (March 19, 2012). "50 years ago today: Bob Dylan released his debut album". CNN. Retrieved 18 March 2013. ^ Scaduto, p. 110.^ Gilliland 1969, show 31, track 3, 5:12.^ A photo of Dylan with Victoria Spivey at this session was used by Dylan on the cover of his 1970 album, New Morning. See Gray (2006), pp. 630–631.^ Unterberger, Richie. "Blind Boy Grunt". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011. ^ Shelton, pp. 157–158.^ Gill, p. 23.^ Sounes, p. 121.^ Sounes, p. 116.^ Sounes, pp. 94–95, 115. An interview with Silver on DVD, filmed for the documentary No Direction Home but not used, was included with the album Together Through Life.^ Gray (2006), pp. 283–284.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 115–116.^ Heylin (1996), pp. 35–39.^ Llewellyn-Smith, Caspar (September 18, 2005). "Flash-back". The Observer (London). Retrieved June 17, 2012. ^ Shelton, pp. 138–142.^ Shelton, p. 156.^ The booklet by John Bauldie accompanying Dylan's The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 (1991) says: "Dylan acknowledged the debt in 1978 to journalist Marc Rowland: Blowin' In The Wind' has always been a spiritual. I took it off a song called 'No More Auction Block'—that's a spiritual and 'Blowin' In The Wind follows the same feeling.'" pp. 6–8.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 101–103.^ Ricks, pp. 329–344.^ Scaduto, p. 35.^ Mojo magazine, December 1993.^ Hedin, p. 259.^ Sounes, pp. 136–138.^ Joan Baez entry, Gray (2006), pp. 28–31.^ Meacham, Steve (August 15, 2007). "It ain't me babe but I like how it sounds". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved September 24, 2008. ^ Biograph, 1985, Liner notes & text by Cameron Crowe. Musicians on "Mixed Up Confusion": George Barnes & Bruce Langhorne (guitars); Dick Wellstood (piano); Gene Ramey (bass); Herb Lovelle (drums)^ Dylan had recorded "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues" for his Freewheelin album, but the song was replaced by later compositions, including "Masters of War". See Heylin (2000), pp. 114–115.^ Dylan performed "Only a Pawn in Their Game" and "When the Ship Comes In"; see Heylin (1996), p. 49.^ Gill, pp. 37–41.^ Ricks, pp. 221–233.^ Williams, p. 56.^ Shelton, pp. 200–205.^ Part of Dylan's speech went: "There's no black and white, left and right to me any more; there's only up and down and down is very close to the ground. And I'm trying to go up without thinking of anything trivial such as politics."; see, Shelton, pp. 200–205.^ Heylin (1996), p. 60.^ Shelton, p. 222.^ In an interview with Seth Goddard for Life magazine (July 5, 2001) Ginsberg claimed that Dylan's technique had been inspired by Jack Kerouac: "(Dylan) pulled Mexico City Blues from my hand and started reading it and I said, 'What do you know about that?' He said, 'Somebody handed it to me in '59 in St. Paul and it blew my mind.' So I said 'Why?' He said, 'It was the first poetry that spoke to me in my own language.' So those chains of flashing images you get in Dylan, like 'the motorcycle black Madonna two-wheeled gypsy queen and her silver studded phantom lover,' they're influenced by Kerouac's chains of flashing images and spontaneous writing, and that spreads out into the people." Reproduced online: "Online Interviews With Allen Ginsberg". University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. October 8, 2004. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Shelton, pp. 219–222.^ Shelton, pp. 267–271; pp. 288–291.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 178–181.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 181–182.^ Heylin (2009), pp. 220–222.^ Marqusee, p. 144.^ Gill, pp. 68–69.^ Lee, p. 18.^ Sounes, pp. 168–169.^ Warwick, N., Brown, T. & Kutner, J. (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts (Third ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-84449-058-5. ^ Whitburn, J. (2008). Top Pop Singles 1955–2006. Record Research Inc. p. 130. ISBN 0-89820-172-1. ^ Shelton, pp. 276–277.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 208–216.^ "Exclusive: Dylan at Newport—Who Booed?". Mojo. October 25, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ CP Staff (April 28, 2010). "Al Kooper talks Dylan, Conan, Hendrix, and lifetime in the music business". City Pages (Village Voice Media). p. 3. Retrieved May 1, 2010. ^ Jackson, Bruce (August 26, 2002). "The myth of Newport '65: It wasn't Bob Dylan they were booing". Buffalo Report. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved May 8, 2010. ^ Shelton, pp. 305–314.^ A year earlier, Irwin Silber, the editor of Sing Out!, had published an "Open Letter to Bob Dylan", criticizing Dylan's stepping away from political songwriting: "I saw at Newport how you had somehow lost contact with people. Some of the paraphernalia of fame were getting in your way." Sing Out!, November 1964, quoted in Shelton, p. 313. This letter has been mistakenly described as a response to Dylan's 1965 Newport appearance.^ Sing Out!, September 1965, quoted in Shelton, p. 313.^ "You got a lotta nerve/To say you are my friend/When I was down/You just stood there grinning" Reproduced online:Bob Dylan. "Positively 4th Street". bobdylan.com. Retrieved September 30, 2008. ^ Sounes, p. 186.^ "The Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rock List Music. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ Springsteen's Speech during Dylan's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, January 20, 1988 Quoted in Bauldie, p. 191.^ "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time". Rolling Stone. May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011. ^ Gill, pp. 87–88.^ Polizzotti identifies Charlie McCoy on guitar and Russ Savakus on bass as the accompanying musicians, see Polizzotti, Highway 61 Revisited, p. 133^ Gill, p. 89.^ Heylin (1996), pp. 80–81^ Sounes, pp. 189–90.^ Heylin (1996), pp. 82–94^ Heylin (2000), pp. 238–243.^ "The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It's that thin, that wild mercury sound. It's metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up." Dylan Interview, Playboy, March 1978; reprinted in Cott, Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews, p. 204.^ Gill, p. 95.^ Sounes, p. 193.^ Shelton, p. 325.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 244–261.^ "Live 1966". NME. UK. September 6, 1998. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ Dylan's dialogue with the Manchester audience is recorded (with subtitles) in Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home^ Heylin (2011), p. 251.^ Heylin (2011), p. 250.^ Rolling Stone, November 29, 1969. Reprinted in Cott (ed.), Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews, p. 140.^ Jones, Rebecca (May 23, 2011). "Dylan tapes reveal heroin addiction". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved May 26, 2011. ^ Greene, Andy (May 23, 2011). "Questions About Bob Dylan's Claim That He was Once a Heroin Addict". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 26, 2011. ^ Brown, Mick (May 23, 2011). "Bob Dylan: finally an admission about his heroin use, but is it the truth?". London: www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved May 26, 2011. ^ Sounes, p. 215.^ Sounes, pp. 217–219.^ Scherman, Tony (July 29, 2006). "The Bob Dylan Motorcycle-Crash Mystery". American Heritage. Retrieved June 18, 2014. ^ Heylin (2000), p. 268.^ Dylan, p. 114.^ Heylin (1996), p. 143.^ Sounes, p. 216.^ Lee, pp. 39–63.^ "Eat the Document on IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved September 27, 2013. ^ Sounes, pp. 222–225.^ Marcus, pp. 236–265.^ Helm, Levon and Davis, This Wheel's on Fire, p. 164; p. 174.^ "Columbia Studio A, Nashville, Tennessee, John Wesley Harding sessions". Bjorner's Still On the Road. Retrieved November 10, 2008. ^ Heylin (2000), pp. 282–288.^ Heylin (2011), p. 289.^ Shelton, p. 463.^ Gill, p. 140.^ Shelton (2011), p. 273.^ Sounes, pp. 248–253.^ Ford, Mark (May 14, 2011). "Bob Dylan: Writings 1968–2010 by Greil Marcus". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved August 20, 2011. ^ Male, Andrew (November 26, 2007). "Bob Dylan—Disc of the Day: Self Portrait". Mojo. Retrieved September 24, 2008. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Self Portrait". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ Shelton, p. 482.^ Heylin (2009), pp. 391–392.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 328–331.^ Heylin (1996), p. 128.^ Gray (2006), pp. 342–343.^ Gray (2006), p. 267.^ C. P. Lee wrote: "In Garrett's ghost-written memoir, The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid, published within a year of Billy's death, he wrote that 'Billy's partner doubtless had a name which was his legal property, but he was so given to changing it that it is impossible to fix on the right one. Billy always called him Alias.'" Lee, pp. 66–67.^ Björner, Olof. "Dylan covers sorted by song name: k". bjorner.com. Retrieved June 11, 2012. ^ Artists to have covered the song include Bryan Ferry, Wyclef Jean and Guns N' Roses. "Dylan's Legacy Keeps Growing, Cover By Cover". NPR Music. June 26, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2008. ^ Sounes, pp. 273–274.^ Heylin (2000), p. 354.^ Heylin (2000), p. 358.^ Shelton, p. 37.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 368–383.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 369–387.^ Heylin (2000), p. 383.^ "Bob Dylan". Salon.com. May 5, 2001. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Hedin, p. 109.^ "Log of every performance of "Hurricane"". Bjorner's Still on the Road. August 20, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2013. ^ Kokay, Les via Olof Björner (2000). "Songs of the Underground: a collector's guide to the Rolling Thunder Revue 1975–1976". Retrieved February 18, 2007. ^ Sloman, Larry (2002). On The Road with Bob Dylan. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 1-4000-4596-7. ^ Gray (2006), p. 579.^ Shepard, pp. 2–49.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 386–401,^ Gray (2006), p. 408.^ Erlewine, Stephen (December 12, 2002). "Bob Dylan Live 1975—The Rolling Thunder Revue". allmusic. Retrieved September 25, 2008. ^ Janet Maslin (January 26, 1978). "Renaldo & Clara (1978) 'Renaldo and Clara,' Film by Bob Dylan:Rolling Thunder". The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Sounes, p. 313.^ Lee, pp. 115–116.^ "Reviews of The Last Waltz". Metacritic. October 8, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Bream, Jon (May 22, 1991). "50 fascinating facts for Bob Dylan's 50th birthday". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 28, 2008. ^ Sounes, pp. 314–316.^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: Bob Dylan". Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010. ^ Maslin, Janet (July 12, 1979). "Bob Dylan at Budokan". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 4, 2010. ^ Heylin (2000), p. 483.^ Heylin (2011), pp. 479–481.^ Gray (2006), p. 643.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 480–481.^ Sounes, pp. 323–337.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 490–526.^ Dylan Interview with Karen Hughes, The Dominion, Wellington, New Zealand, May 21, 1980; reprinted in Cott (ed.), Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews, pp. 275–278^ Heylin (2000), pp. 501–503.^ Gray (2000), p. 11.^ Björner (June 8, 2001). "Omaha, Nebraska, January 25, 1980". Bjorner's Still On The Road. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Sounes, pp. 334–336.^ Rosen, Robert (2002). Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon. Quick American Archives. p. 137. ISBN 0-932551-51-3 ^ Holden, Stephen (October 29, 1981). "Rock: Dylan, in Jersey, Revises Old Standbys". The New York Times. p. C19. Retrieved May 12, 2010. ^ Gray (2006), pp. 215–221.^ Gray (2000), pp. 11–14.^ Gray (2006), pp. 56–59.^ Sounes, pp. 354–356.^ Sounes, p. 362.^ Sounes, p. 367.^ Sounes, pp. 365–367.^ Gray (2006), p. 63^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Knocked Out Loaded". allmusic. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ Heylin (2000), p. 595.^ Gray (2006), pp. 95–100.^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (July 27, 1989). "Dylan & The Dead". allmusic.com. Retrieved September 10, 2009. ^ Heylin (1996), pp. 297–299.^ Sounes, pp. 376–383.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 599–604.^ Speech on Bob Dylan's induction to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, January 20, 1988, reprinted in Bauldie, pp. 191–193.^ Sounes, p. 385.^ Gray (2000), p. 13.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 627–628.^ Heylin (2000), pp. 638–640.^ Dylan, pp. 145–221.^ Ricks, pp. 413–20.^ Scott Marshall wrote: "When Dylan sings that 'The sun is going down upon the sacred cow', it's safe to assume that the sacred cow here is the biblical metaphor for all false gods. For Dylan, the world will eventually know that there is only one God." Marshall, Restless Pilgrim, p. 103.^ Gray (2006), p. 174.^ Sounes, p. 391.^ "Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award". Grammy.com. Retrieved September 25, 2008. ^ Heylin (2000), pp. 664–665.^ Bell, 2012, Once Upon a Time: The Lives of Bob Dylan., p. 101.^ Gray (2006), p. 423.^ Sounes, pp. 408–409.^ Heylin (2000), p. 693.^ Heylin (2000), p. 697.^ Sounes, p. 420.^ Sounes, p. 426.^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Time Out of Mind". allmusic. Retrieved May 1, 2010. ^ Dylan had been one of several artists who had won "Album of the Year" in 1971 for The Concert for Bangladesh"Grammy Award Winners: Album of the Year". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. ^ "Remarks by the President at Kennedy Center Honors Reception". Clinton White House. December 8, 1997. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ "Bob Dylan and Paul Simon: A mismatch made in heaven? by Seth Rogovoy". Berkshireweb.com. Retrieved July 15, 2011. ^ "Column, tower, and dome, and spire/ Shine like obelisks of fire/ Pointing with inconstant motion/ From the altar of dark ocean/ To the sapphire-tinted skies", ll.67–71 from Lines Written Among the Euganean Hills by Percy Bysshe Shelley, October 1818. [1]^ "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science - 2000 Awards". awardsdatabase.oscars.org/. Retrieved April 12, 2013. ^ Cashmere, Paul (August 20, 2007). "Dylan Tours Australia with Oscar". Undercover.com.au. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Gray (2006), pp. 556–557.^ "Love and Theft". Metacritic. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ "Love and Theft". Entertainment Weekly. October 1, 2001. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ This is a reprint of the article from The Wall Street Journal cited in next footnote."Did Bob Dylan Lift Lines From Dr Saga?". California State University, Dear Habermas. July 8, 2003. Retrieved September 29, 2011. ^ "Did Bob Dylan Lift Lines From Dr Saga?". Wall Street Journal. July 8, 2003. Retrieved September 29, 2011. ^ Dylan co-wrote Masked & Anonymous under the pseudonym Seregei Petrov, taken from an actor in the silent movie era; Larry Charles used the alias Rene Fontaine. Gray (2006), p. 453.^ Scott, A. O. (July 24, 2003). "Film Review; Times They Are Surreal In Bob Dylan Tale". The New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2008. ^ "Masked and Anonymous". metacritic.com. February 2, 2003. Retrieved September 9, 2014. ^ "Masked & Anonymous". The New Yorker. July 24, 2003. Retrieved February 1, 2007. ^ Motion, Andrew. "Masked and Anonymous". Sony Classics. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Maslin, Janet (October 5, 2004). "So You Thought You Knew Dylan? Hah!". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Gray (2006), pp. 136–138.^ "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan". rottentomatoes.com. October 8, 2006. Retrieved July 12, 2013. ^ "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan A Martin Scorsese Picture". PBS. Retrieved November 6, 2009. ^ "American Masters, No Direction Home". peabodyawards.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014. ^ "Past duPont Award Winners". The Journalism School, Columbia University. 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Williams, Carol J. (May 9, 2011). "Judges hand down the law with help from Bob Dylan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 10, 2011. ^ Siegel, Robert (host) (May 10, 2011). "Bob Dylan's Words Find Place In Legal Writings". NPR. Retrieved May 10, 2011. ^ "Theme Time Radio Hour With Bob Dylan". BBC Radio 6 Music. November 30, 2009. Retrieved February 6, 2011. ^ "Theme Time Radio playlists". Not Dark Yet. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (December 31, 2006). "The Great Sound of Radio Bob". The Observer (UK). Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Watson, Tom (February 16, 2007). "Dylan Spinnin' Those Coool Records". New Critics. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2007. ^ Hinckley, David (April 19, 2009). "Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour: His time might be up". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 16, 2009. ^ Petridis, Alex (August 28, 2006). "Bob Dylan's Modern Times". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved September 5, 2006. ^ "Modern Times". Metacritic. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ "Dylan gets first US number one for 30 years". NME. UK. September 7, 2006. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Rich, Motoko (September 14, 2006). "Who's This Guy Dylan Who's Borrowing Lines from Henry Timrod?". The New York Times. Retrieved September 29, 2011. ^ "Rolling Stone Albums of the Year 2006". Rock List Music. Retrieved October 16, 2009. ^ "Modern Times, Album of the Year, 2006". Uncut. December 16, 2006. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Gundersen, Edna (December 1, 2006). "Get The Box Set with 'One Push of a Button'". USA Today. Retrieved September 25, 2008. ^ "Blanchett wins top Venice Award". BBC News. September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2008. ^ Todd McCarthy (September 4, 2007). "I'm Not There". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2009. ^ A. O. Scott (November 7, 2007). "I'm Not There (2007)". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2009. ^ Greil Marcus wrote: "There is nothing like 'I'm Not There' in the rest of the basement recordings, or anywhere else in Bob Dylan's career. Very quickly the listener is drawn into the sickly embrace of the music, its wash of half-heard, half-formed words and the increasing bitterness and despair behind them. Words are floated together in a dyslexia that is music itself – a dyslexia that seems to prove the claims of music over words, to see just how little words can achieve." See Marcus, pp. 198–204.^ "Dylan covered by ... very long list.". Uncut. October 1, 2007. Retrieved September 16, 2008. ^ "Dylan 07". Sony BMG Music Entertainment. August 1, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Walker, Tim (October 27, 2007). "Mark Ronson: Born Entertainer". The Independent (UK). Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ "What's Bob Dylan Doing In A Victoria's Secret Ad?". Slate. April 12, 2004. Retrieved September 16, 2008. ^ "Dylan, Cadillac". XM Radio. October 22, 2007. Archived from the original on March 12, 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2008. ^ Dylan also devoted an hour of his Theme Time Radio Hour to the theme of 'the Cadillac'. He first sang about the car in his 1963 nuclear war fantasy, "Talkin' World War III Blues", when he described it as a "good car to drive—after a war".^ Michaels, Sean (January 30, 2009). "Bob Dylan to appear with Will.I.Am in Pepsi advertisement". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ Kissel, Rick (February 3, 2009). "Super Bowl ratings hit new high". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2009. ^ Gundersen, Edna (July 29, 2008). "Dylan Reveals Many Facets on 'Tell Tale Signs'". USA Today. ^ Cairns, Dan (October 5, 2008). "Tell Tale Signs". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved October 6, 2008. ^ Michael Gray expressed his opinion in his Bob Dylan Encyclopedia blog "Tell Tale Signs Pt. 3, Money Doesn't Talk ...". Bob Dylan Encyclopedia blog. August 14, 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2008. ^ "Reviews of Tell Tale Signs". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2008. ^ Jurek, Thom (October 29, 2008). "The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989–2006". allmusic.com. Retrieved July 12, 2013. ^ Flanagan, Bill (April 10, 2009). "Bob Dylan talks about the new album with Bill Flanagan". bobdylan.com. Archived from the original on 2011-04-25. Retrieved March 30, 2012. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Together Through Life". allmusic. Retrieved May 1, 2010. ^ "Together Through Life". Metacritic. April 29, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2009. ^ Gill, Andy (April 24, 2009). "Bob Dylan's Together Through Life". London: Salon.com. Retrieved April 28, 2009. ^ Caulfield, Keith (May 6, 2009). "Bob Dylan Bows Atop Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved May 7, 2009. ^ "Dylan is in chart seventh heaven". BBC News. May 3, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2009. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Christmas In The Heart". allmusic. Retrieved May 1, 2010. ^ "CAFAmerica to distribute royalities from Bob Dylan's Christmas album to Crisis". UK Fundraising. December 14, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2009. ^ "Christmas In the Heart". Metacritic. October 16, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2009. ^ "A Hard Reindeer's A-Gonna Fall". The New Yorker. September 21, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2009. ^ Gundersen, Edna (October 13, 2009). "Bob Dylan takes the Christmas spirit to 'Heart'". USA Today. Retrieved June 1, 2011. ^ Cite error: The named reference Dylan_2009_interview_with_Bill_Flanagan was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Caligiuri, Jim (December 31, 2010). "The Witmark Demos: 1962–1964 The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 (Columbia)". austinchronicle.com. Retrieved July 12, 2013. ^ "The Witmark Demos, 1962–1964". Metacritic. Retrieved October 29, 2010. ^ "The Original Mono Recordings". bobdylan.com. October 19, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2012. ^ Egan, Sean (November 25, 2010). "the Original Mono Recordings review". BBC Music Review (London). Retrieved September 7, 2012. ^ ""Bob Dylan In Concert – Brandeis University 1963" to be Released April 12". bobdylan.com. February 16, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2011. ^ "Bob Dylan und die Revolution der populären Musik". Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz. April 29, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011. ^ "Refractions of Dylan – Cultural Appropriations of an American Icon". www.dylanvienna.at. May 12, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011. ^ "The Seven Ages of Dylan". University of Bristol. May 15, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011. ^ Topping, Alexandra (May 24, 2011). "Bob Dylan at 70". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 27, 2011. ^ Uhelszki, Jaan (August 4, 2011). "Bob Dylan Helps Bring Hank Williams' Lost Notebooks Back from the Dead". themortonreport.com. Retrieved August 5, 2011. ^ Lewis, Randy (October 2, 2011). "'Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams' finds good company in Bob Dylan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 4, 2011. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (May 29, 2012). "Bob Dylan Among Recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2012. ^ Lewis, Randy (September 10, 2012). "'Tempest' and Bob Dylan's voice for the ages". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 11, 2012. ^ Greene, Andy (July 17, 2012). "First Details of Bob Dylan's Upcoming Album 'Tempest'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 18, 2012. ^ Hermes, Will (August 30, 2012). "Tempest". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 7, 2012. ^ "Tempest – Bob Dylan". Mmtacritic.com. September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2012. ^ "Another Self Portrait Press Release". expectingrain.com. July 16, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013. ^ "Bob Dylan - Another Self Portrait Documentary Short". Retrieved September 12, 2013. ^ "Another Self Portrait 1969–1971: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10". metacritic.com. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013. ^ Jurek, Thom (August 27, 2013). "Another Self Portrait (1969–1971): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10". AllMusic.com. Retrieved September 12, 2013. ^ Erlewine, Stephen (November 9, 2013). "Bob Dylan: The Complete Albums Collection, Vol. 1". allmusic.com. Retrieved November 9, 2013. ^ "Bob Dylan to release huge, career-spanning box set". nme.com. September 26, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013. ^ Edwards, Gavin (November 20, 2013). "Inside Bob Dylan's Brilliant 'Like a Rolling Stone' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 21, 2013. ^ Walker, Mellisa (December 4, 2013). "Top Ten Music Videos". Time, retrieved-10.12.2013. ^ Gabler, Neal (February 4, 2013). "Dylan - The Times Have Changed". reuters.com. Retrieved February 6, 2014. ^ Malitz, David (February 3, 2014). "An obsessive Bob Dylan fan deludes himself into justifying that Chrysler ad, in 5 steps". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014. ^ Monthly Review editors (April 1, 2014). "Notes from the Editors". Monthly Review. Retrieved April 1, 2014. ^ Michaels, Sean (February 3, 2014). "Bob Dylan dominates Super Bowl 2014 during halftime adverts". theguardian.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. ^ Clothier, Mark (February 3, 2014). "Bob Dylan's Chrysler Super Bowl 2014 ad stirs rockstar sellout debate". BloombergNews. Retrieved February 3, 2014. ^ Heylin (2010), pp. 245–246.^ "Bob Dylan's Fender Stratocaster sells for nearly $1m". BBC News. December 6, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2014. ^ "Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone lyrics fetch $2m record". BBC News. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014. ^ Kozinn, Alan (April 30, 2014). "Dylan's Handwritten Lyrics to 'Like a Rolling Stone' to Be Auctioned". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2014. ^ Greene, Andy (August 26, 2014). "Bob Dylan's Complete, Legendary 'Basement Tapes' Will Be Released". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved August 27, 2014. ^ Heylin, Clinton (October 30, 2014). "Bob Dylan’s back pages: the truth behind the Basement Tapes". theguardian.com. Retrieved November 4, 2014. ^ Kozinn, Alann (October 7, 2014). "The Most of Bob Dylan". New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2014. ^ Greene, Andy (December 9, 2014). "Bob Dylan Will 'Uncover' Frank Sinatra Classics on New Album". rollingstone.com. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 

Cite error: There are <ref group=a> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=a}} template (see the help page).

Never Ending Tour[edit]

Main article: Never Ending Tour

The Never Ending Tour commenced on June 7, 1988, and Dylan has played roughly 100 dates a year for the entirety of the 1990s and 2000s—a heavier schedule than most performers who started out in the 1960s. By May 2013, Dylan and his band had played more than 2,500 shows, anchored by long-time bassist Tony Garnier, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron, and guitarist Charlie Sexton. To the dismay of some of his audience, Dylan's performances remain unpredictable as he alters his arrangements and changes his vocal approach night after night. Critical opinion about Dylan's shows remains divided. Critics such as Richard Williams and Andy Gill have argued that Dylan has found a successful way to present his rich legacy of material. Others have criticized his live performances for mangling and spitting out "the greatest lyrics ever written so that they are effectively unrecognisable", and giving so little to the audience that "it is difficult to understand what he is doing on stage at all."

Dylan's performances in China in April 2011 generated controversy. Some criticised him for not making any explicit comment on the political situation in China, and for, allegedly, allowing the Chinese authorities to censor his set-list. Others defended Dylan's performances, arguing that such criticism represented a misunderstanding of Dylan's art, and that no evidence for the censorship of Dylan's set-list existed. In response to these allegations, Dylan posted a statement on his website: "As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There's no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous 3 months. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play."

In March and April 2014, Dylan and his band performed in Japan and Hawaii. In June and July Dylan toured Europe, commencing in Ireland and ending in Finland. Dylan commenced his tour of Australia and New Zealand on August 4, 2014, and concluded it in Christchurch on September 10. Dylan commenced a tour of the US in Seattle on October 17, and ended it in New York on December 3, 2014.

^ Heylin (1996), p. 297.^ Muir, pp. 7–10.^ Jaffe, Eric (June 7, 2013). "808 Cities, 2,503 Shows, and 1,007,416 Miles: The Staggering Geography of Bob Dylan's 'Never Ending Tour'". theatlanticcities.com. Retrieved June 8, 2013. ^ "Bjorner's Still On The Road: St Augustine, Florida, 5 May 2013". bjorner.com. May 7, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. ^ McCormick, Neil (June 19, 2011). "Bob Dylan at Finsbury Park". London: Telegraph, UK. Retrieved June 20, 2011. ^ Zollo, Paul (October 28, 2014). "Concert Review: Bob Dylan Brings The Goods To Hollywood". americansongwriter.com. Retrieved October 29, 2014. ^ Williams, Richard (April 28, 2009). "Bob Dylan at Roundhouse, London". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved May 2, 2009. ^ Gill, Andy (April 27, 2009). "Dylan's times ain't a-changin'". The Independent (London). Retrieved May 2, 2009. ^ McCormick, Neil (April 27, 2009). "Bob Dylan – live review". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved May 2, 2009. ^ Wieland, Martin (April 6, 2011). "Bob Dylan in China: a simple twist of fate?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved December 1, 2011. ^ Dowd, Maureen (April 9, 2011). "Blowin' in the Idiot Wind". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2011. ^ Ross, Alex (April 10, 2011). "Dylan in China". The Rest Is Noise. Retrieved April 14, 2011. ^ Wilentz, Sean (April 10, 2011). "The Real Dylan in China". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 14, 2011. ^ Dylan, Bob (May 13, 2011). "To my fans and followers". bobdylan.com. Retrieved May 14, 2011. ^ "Bob Dylan 2013-2014 Tour Guide". boblinks.com. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014. ^ Kokay, Les (September 11, 2014). "Bob Dylan in Christchurch". ThePress.co.nz. Retrieved September 14, 2014. ^ Shaw, Linda (October 18, 2014). "Bob Dylan and his band in fine form at Paramount". seattletimes.com. Retrieved October 20, 2014. ^ Greene, Andy (December 4, 2014). "Bob Dylan Closes 2014 Tour With Masterful Beacon Theatre Gig". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 

Artist[edit]

Over a decade after Random House had published Drawn Blank (1994), a book of Dylan's drawings, The Drawn Blank Series opened in October 2007 at the Kunstsammlungen in Chemnitz, Germany. This first public exhibition of Dylan's paintings showcased more than 200 watercolors and gouaches made from the original drawings. The exhibition coincided with the publication of the book Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series, which includes 170 reproductions from the series. From September 2010 until April 2011, the National Gallery of Denmark exhibited 40 large-scale acrylic paintings by Dylan, The Brazil Series.

In July 2011, a leading contemporary art gallery, Gagosian Gallery, announced their representation of Dylan's paintings. An exhibition of Dylan's art, The Asia Series, opened at the Gagosian Madison Avenue Gallery on September 20, displaying Dylan's paintings of scenes in China and the Far East. The New York Times reported that "some fans and Dylanologists have raised questions about whether some of these paintings are based on the singer's own experiences and observations, or on photographs that are widely available and were not taken by Mr. Dylan." The Times pointed to close resemblances between Dylan's paintings and historic photos of Japan and China, and photos taken by Dmitri Kessel and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The Magnum photo agency confirmed that Dylan had licensed the reproduction rights of these photographs.

Dylan's second show at the Gagosian Gallery, Revisionist Art, opened in November, 2012. The show consisted of thirty paintings, transforming and satirizing popular magazines including Playboy and Babytalk. In February 2013, Dylan exhibited the New Orleans Series of paintings at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. In August 2013, Britain's National Portrait Gallery in London hosted Dylan's first major UK exhibition, Face Value, featuring twelve pastel portraits.

In November 2013, the Halcyon Gallery, London, hosted an exhibition of seven wrought iron gates that Dylan had created. The exhibition was titled Mood Swings. In a statement released by the gallery, Dylan said: "I've been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country, where you could breathe it and smell it every day. Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference."

Since 1994, Dylan has published six books of painting and drawing.

^ Gray, Michael. "Dylan's Drawn Blank Paintings Exhibition". BobDylanEncyclopediablogspot.com. Retrieved June 11, 2012. ^ Pessl, Marsha (June 1, 2008). "When I Paint My Masterpiece". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved October 20, 2010. ^ Battersby, Matilda (September 2, 2010). "Bob Dylan paintings at Danish National Gallery". The Independent (London). Retrieved September 9, 2010. ^ Corbett, Rachel (July 27, 2011). "Dylan at Gagosian Gallery". artnet.com. Retrieved July 31, 2011. ^ "Bob Dylan: The Asia Series". gagosian.com. September 10, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2012. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (September 26, 2011). "Questions Raised About Dylan Show at Gagosian". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2011. ^ "Bob Dylan Paid to License Asia Series Photos, Magnum Says". artinfo.com. October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. ^ "Gagosian Gallery artists: Bob Dylan". gagosian.com. November 20, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. ^ Smith, Roberta (December 13, 2012). "Revisionist Art: Thirty Works by Bob Dylan". nytimes.com. Retrieved December 14, 2012. ^ Parker, Sam (February 6, 2013). "Bob Dylan's 'New Orleans Series' Goes On Display In Milan". huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved February 9, 2013. ^ Güner, Fisun (August 24, 2013). "Bob Dylan: Face Value, National Portrait Gallery". TheArtsDesk.com. Retrieved August 26, 2013. ^ "The Legendary Bob Dylan Unveils Seven Iron Gates Sculpture". artlyst.com. September 24, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013. ^ "Mood Swings". Halcyon Gallery. November 1, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013. ^ Drawn Blank, Random House (November 15, 1994); Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series, Prestel (March 31, 2008); Bob Dylan: The Brazil Series, Prestel (October 25, 2010); Bob Dylan: The Asia Series, Gagosian Gallery (October 12, 2011); Revisionist Art: Thirty Works by Bob Dylan, Harry N. Abrams (March 26, 2013); Bob Dylan: Face Value, National Portrait Gallery (February 28, 2014)

Awards[edit]

Main article: List of awards received by Bob Dylan

Dylan has won many awards throughout his career including 11 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award and one Golden Globe Award; He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In May 2000, Dylan was awarded the Polar Music Prize. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May 2012.

^ "President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients". whitehouse.gov. April 26, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 

Personal life[edit]

Family[edit]

Dylan married Sara Lownds on November 22, 1965. Their first child, Jesse Byron Dylan, was born on January 6, 1966, and they had three more children: Anna Lea (born July 11, 1967), Samuel Isaac Abraham (born July 30, 1968), and Jakob Luke (born December 9, 1969). Dylan also adopted Sara's daughter from a prior marriage, Maria Lownds (later Dylan, born October 21, 1961). Bob and Sara Dylan were divorced on June 29, 1977. Maria married musician Peter Himmelman in 1988. In the 1990s, Dylan's son Jakob became well known as the lead singer of the band The Wallflowers. Jesse Dylan is a film director and a successful businessman.

Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, Dylan's daughter with his backup singer Carolyn Dennis (often professionally known as Carol Dennis) was born on January 31, 1986, and Dylan married Carolyn Dennis on June 4, 1986. The couple divorced in October 1992. Their marriage and child remained a closely guarded secret until the publication of Howard Sounes' Dylan biography, Down the Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan in 2001.

As of 2009, Dylan lives in Malibu, California, when not on the road.

Religious beliefs[edit]

Growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota, Dylan and his family were part of the area's small but close-knit Jewish community, and in May 1954 Dylan had his Bar Mitzvah. Around the time of his 30th birthday, in 1971, Dylan visited Israel, and also met Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the New York-based Jewish Defense League. Time magazine quoted him saying about Kahane, "He's a really sincere guy. He's really put it all together." Subsequently, Dylan downplayed the extent of his contact with Kahane.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dylan converted to Christianity. From January to April 1979, he participated in Bible study classes at the Vineyard School of Discipleship in Reseda, California. Pastor Kenn Gulliksen has recalled: "Larry Myers and Paul Emond went over to Bob's house and ministered to him. He responded by saying, 'Yes he did in fact want Christ in his life.' And he prayed that day and received the Lord."

By 1984, Dylan was distancing himself from the "born again" label. He told Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone magazine: "I've never said I'm born again. That's just a media term. I don't think I've been an agnostic. I've always thought there's a superior power, that this is not the real world and that there's a world to come." In response to Loder's asking whether he belonged to any church or synagogue, Dylan laughingly replied, "Not really. Uh, the Church of the Poison Mind." In 1997 he told David Gates of Newsweek:

In an interview published in The New York Times on September 28, 1997, journalist Jon Pareles reported that "Dylan says he now subscribes to no organized religion."

Dylan has been a supporter of the Chabad Lubavitch movement in the last 20 years, and has privately participated in Jewish religious events, including the Bar Mitzvahs of his sons and attending Hadar Hatorah, a Chabad Lubavitch yeshiva. In September 1989 and September 1991, he appeared on the Chabad telethon. Dylan reportedly visits Chabad synagogues; on Yom Kippur in 2007 he attended Congregation Beth Tefillah, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was called to the Torah for the sixth aliyah.

Dylan has continued to perform songs from his gospel albums in concert, occasionally covering traditional religious songs. He has also made passing references to his religious faith—such as in a 2004 interview with 60 Minutes, when he told Ed Bradley that "the only person you have to think twice about lying to is either yourself or to God." He also explained his constant touring schedule as part of a bargain he made a long time ago with the "chief commander—in this earth and in the world we can't see."

In a 2009 interview with Bill Flanagan promoting Dylan's Christmas LP, Christmas in the Heart, Flanagan commented on the "heroic performance" Dylan gave of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and that he "delivered the song like a true believer". Dylan replied: "Well, I am a true believer."

^ Gray (2006), pp. 198–200.^ Himmelman turned down an invitation to perform on The Tonight Show when it became apparent that the performance would fall on the Jewish holiday Sukkot. "Peter Himmelman Puts Family Before Rock 'n' Roll". npr.org. October 12, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2011. ^ Sounes, pp. 371–373.^ "Dylan's Secret Marriage Uncovered". BBC News. April 12, 2001. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Adams, Guy (March 18, 2009). "How did Bob Dylan upset his neighbours? (The answer is blowin' in the wind)". The Independent (London). Retrieved July 14, 2010. ^ According to Robert Shelton, Dylan's teacher was "Rabbi Reuben Maier of the only synagogue on the Iron Range, Hibbing's Agudath Achim Synagogue". See Shelton, pp. 35–36.^ Heylin (2000), p. 328.^ "People, May 31, 1971". TIME. May 31, 1971. Retrieved December 9, 2010. ^ Heylin (2000), p. 329.^ Heylin (2000), p. 494.^ Gray (2006), pp. 76–80.^ Rolling Stone, June 21, 1984, reprinted in Cott (ed.), Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews, p. 288.^ Gates, David (October 6, 1997). "Dylan Revisited". Newsweek. Retrieved June 8, 2010. ^ Pareles, Jon (September 28, 1997). "A Wiser Voice Blowin' In the Autumn Wind". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.  Reprinted in Cott, Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews, pp. 391–396.^ Fishkoff, p. 167.^ Heylin (1996), pp. 317, 343.^ Sheva, Arutz (September 24, 2007). "Day of Atonement Draws Dylan to the Torah". Arutz Sheva—Israel National News. Retrieved September 11, 2008. ^ Leung, Rebecca (June 12, 2005). " "Dylan Looks Back". CBS News. Retrieved February 25, 2009. ^ Flanagan, Bill (interviewer) (November 28, 2009). "Bob Dylan gives interview to The Big Issue". music-news.com. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 

Legacy[edit]

Dylan has been described as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, musically and culturally. He was included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century where he was called "master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation". In 2008, The Pulitzer Prize jury awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." President Barack Obama said of Dylan in 2012, "There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music." In their 2008 assessment of the "100 Greatest Singers", Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at number seven. Rolling Stone then ranked Dylan at number two in its 2011 list of "100 Greatest Artists" of all time, while "Like A Rolling Stone" was listed as the "Greatest Song of all Time." In 2008, it was estimated that Dylan had sold about 120 million albums worldwide.

Initially modeling his writing style on the songs of Woody Guthrie, the blues of Robert Johnson, and what he termed the "architectural forms" of Hank Williams songs, Dylan added increasingly sophisticated lyrical techniques to the folk music of the early 1960s, infusing it "with the intellectualism of classic literature and poetry". Paul Simon suggested that Dylan's early compositions virtually took over the folk genre: "[Dylan's] early songs were very rich ... with strong melodies. 'Blowin' in the Wind' has a really strong melody. He so enlarged himself through the folk background that he incorporated it for a while. He defined the genre for a while."

When Dylan made his move from acoustic folk and blues music to a rock backing, the mix became more complex. For many critics, his greatest achievement was the cultural synthesis exemplified by his mid-1960s trilogy of albums—Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. In Mike Marqusee's words:

Between late 1964 and the summer of 1966, Dylan created a body of work that remains unique. Drawing on folk, blues, country, R&B, rock'n'roll, gospel, British beat, symbolist, modernist and Beat poetry, surrealism and Dada, advertising jargon and social commentary, Fellini and Mad magazine, he forged a coherent and original artistic voice and vision. The beauty of these albums retains the power to shock and console."

Dylan's work began to receive detailed scrutiny from academics and poets in regard to his lyrics. Literary critic Christopher Ricks published a 500-page analysis of Dylan's work, placing him in the context of Eliot, Keats and Tennyson, claiming that Dylan was a poet worthy of the same close analysis. Former British poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion argued that his lyrics should be studied in schools. Since 1996, academics have lobbied the Swedish Academy to award Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Dylan's voice also received critical attention. New York Times critic Robert Shelton described his early vocal style as "a rusty voice suggesting Guthrie's old performances, etched in gravel like Dave Van Ronk's." David Bowie, in his tribute, "Song for Bob Dylan", described Dylan's singing as "a voice like sand and glue". His voice continued to develop as he began to work with rock'n'roll backing bands; critic Michael Gray described the sound of Dylan's vocal work on "Like a Rolling Stone" as "at once young and jeeringly cynical". As Dylan's voice aged during the 1980s, for some critics, it became more expressive. Christophe Lebold writes in the journal Oral Tradition, "Dylan's more recent broken voice enables him to present a world view at the sonic surface of the songs—this voice carries us across the landscape of a broken, fallen world. The anatomy of a broken world in "Everything is Broken" (on the album Oh Mercy) is but an example of how the thematic concern with all things broken is grounded in a concrete sonic reality."

Dylan's oeuvre has influenced several musical genres. As Edna Gundersen stated in USA Today: "Dylan's musical DNA has informed nearly every simple twist of pop since 1962." Punk musician Joe Strummer praised Dylan for having "laid down the template for lyric, tune, seriousness, spirituality, depth of rock music." Other major musicians who acknowledged Dylan's importance were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Syd Barrett Joni Mitchell, and Tom Waits. Dylan significantly contributed to the initial success of both the Byrds and the Band: the Byrds achieved chart success with their version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and the subsequent album, while the Band were Dylan's backing band on his 1966 tour, recorded The Basement Tapes with him in 1967, and featured three previously unreleased Dylan songs on their debut album.

Some critics have dissented from the view of Dylan as a visionary figure in popular music. In his book Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom, Nik Cohn objected: "I can't take the vision of Dylan as seer, as teenage messiah, as everything else he's been worshipped as. The way I see him, he's a minor talent with a major gift for self-hype." Australian critic Jack Marx credited Dylan with changing the persona of the rock star: "What cannot be disputed is that Dylan invented the arrogant, faux-cerebral posturing that has been the dominant style in rock since, with everyone from Mick Jagger to Eminem educating themselves from the Dylan handbook."

Fellow musicians also presented dissenting views. Joni Mitchell described Dylan as a "plagiarist" and his voice as "fake" in a 2010 interview in the Los Angeles Times, in response to a suggestion that she and Dylan were similar since they had both created personas. Mitchell's comment led to discussions of Dylan's use of other people's material, both supporting and criticizing him. In 2013 Mitchell told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in an interview that her remarks in the Los Angeles Times had been taken "completely out of context", and that the interviewer was a "moron". Mitchell added: "I like a lot of Bob's songs. Musically he's not very gifted. He's borrowed his voice from old hillbillies. He's got a lot of borrowed things. He's not a great guitar player. He's invented a character to deliver his songs."

Talking to Mikal Gilmore in Rolling Stone in 2012, Dylan responded to the allegation of plagiarism, including his use of Henry Timrod's verse in his album Modern Times, by saying that it was "part of the tradition".

If Dylan's work in the 1960s was seen as bringing intellectual ambition to popular music, critics in the 21st century described him as a figure who had greatly expanded the folk culture from which he initially emerged. Following the release of Todd Haynes' Dylan biopic I'm Not There, J. Hoberman wrote in his 2007 Village Voice review:

Elvis might never have been born, but someone else would surely have brought the world rock 'n' roll. No such logic accounts for Bob Dylan. No iron law of history demanded that a would-be Elvis from Hibbing, Minnesota, would swerve through the Greenwich Village folk revival to become the world's first and greatest rock 'n' roll beatnik bard and then—having achieved fame and adoration beyond reckoning—vanish into a folk tradition of his own making.

Prior to the June 2014 sale of the original lyrics of "Like a Rolling Stone", written on four sheets of hotel stationery by Dylan in 1965, Richard Austin, of Sotheby's, New York, said: "Before the release of Like a Rolling Stone, music charts were overrun with short and sweet love songs, many clocking in at three minutes or less. By defying convention with six and a half minutes of dark, brooding poetry, Dylan rewrote the rules for pop music."

^ Cocks, Jay (June 14, 1999). "The Time 100: Bob Dylan". shrout.co.uk/TIME. Retrieved October 5, 2008. ^ "The 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winners Special Awards and Citations". pulitzer.org. November 10, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2014. ^ Cite error: The named reference itzkoff1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Bono. "Bob Dylan – 100 Greatest Singers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 September 2012. ^ Robertson, Robbie. "Bob Dylan – 100 Greatest Artists". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 August 2012. ^ "Bob Dylan Like a Rolling Stone lyrics to go on sale". BBC News. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014. ^ "Highest Selling Artists worldwide (Album Sales Only)". bigfooty.com. December 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2014. ^ Dylan, pp. 243–246.^ Dylan, pp. 281–288.^ Dylan, pp. 95–97.^ "Bob Dylan". Britannica Online. Retrieved October 5, 2008. ^ Fong-Torres, The Rolling Stone Interviews, Vol. 2, p. 424. Reproduced online:"Rolling Stone interview (1972)". Bob Dylan Roots. June 6, 1972. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2009. ^ Marqusee, p. 139.^ Ricks, Christopher (2003). Dylan's Visions of Sin. Penguin/Viking. ISBN 0-670-80133-X. ^ MacLeod, Donald (July 13, 2004). "Ricks profile: Someone's gotta hold of his art". The Guardian (London). Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Motion, Andrew (September 22, 2007). "Andrew Motion explains why Bob Dylan's lyrics should be studied in schools". The Times (London). Retrieved October 10, 2008. ^ "Finally and Formally Launched as a Candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1997". expectingrain.com. May 24, 2002. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Ball, Gordon (March 7, 2007). "Dylan and the Nobel" (PDF). Oral Tradition. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ "Dylan's Words Strike Nobel Debate". CBS News. October 6, 2004. Retrieved September 7, 2008. ^ Flood, Alison (September 19, 2012). "Bob Dylan's Nobel odds rise, but not his chances". London: The Guardian. Retrieved September 20, 2012. ^ Shelton, pp. 108–111.^ Gray (2006), p. 413.^ Lebold, Christophe (March 1, 2007). "A Face like a Mask and a Voice that Croaks: An Integrated Poetics of Bob Dylan's Voice, Personae, and Lyrics". Oral Tradition. Retrieved May 3, 2010. ^ Gundersen, Edna (May 17, 2001). "Forever Dylan". USA Today. Retrieved September 9, 2014. ^ "Bob Dylan: His Legacy to Music". BBC News. May 29, 2001. Retrieved October 5, 2008. ^ Lennon: "In Paris in 1964 was the first time I ever heard Dylan at all. Paul got the record (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) from a French DJ. For three weeks in Paris we didn't stop playing it. We all went potty about Dylan.": Beatles, (2000), The Beatles Anthology, pp. 112–114.^ McCartney: "I'm in awe of Bob ... He hit a period where people went, 'Oh, I don't like him now.' And I said, 'No. It's Bob Dylan.' To me, it's like Picasso, where people discuss his various periods, 'This was better than this, was better than this.' But I go, 'No. It's Picasso. It's all good.' "Siegel, Robert (June 27, 2007). "Paul McCartney interview". A.V. Club. Retrieved October 13, 2008. ^ "They asked me what effect Bob Dylan had on me," Townshend said. "That's like asking how I was influenced by being born." Flanagan, (1990), Written In My Soul, p. 88.^ "Bob Dylan, I'll never be Bob Dylan. He's the master. If I'd like to be anyone, it's him. And he's a great writer, true to his music and done what he feels is the right thing to do for years and years and years. He's great. He's the one I look to." Time interview with Neil Young, September 28, 2005. Reproduced online : Tyrangiel, Josh (September 28, 2005). "Resurrection of Neil Young". TIME. Retrieved September 15, 2008. ^ Cite error: The named reference RS500 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Song for Bob Dylan on the album Hunky Dory, David Bowie, 1971^ In 2007, Ferry released an album of his versions of Dylan songs, Dylanesque^ Mojo: What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album? Nick Cave: "I guess it's Slow Train Coming by Bob Dylan. That's a great record, full of mean-spirited spirituality. It's a genuinely nasty record, certainly the nastiest 'Christian' album I've ever come across." Mojo, January 1997^ Maes, Maurice (December 31, 2001). "Nick Cave and Bob Dylan". Nick Cave Collector's Hell. Retrieved September 15, 2008. ^ Time Out interview with Patti Smith, May 16, 2007: "The people I revered in the late '60s and the early '70s, their motivation was to do great work and great work creates revolution. The motivation of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan or The Who wasn't marketing, to get rich, or be a celebrity.""Patti Smith: interview". Time Out. May 16, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2008. ^ Barrett, Syd. "Bob Dylan Blues". pink floyd.org. Retrieved May 4, 2010. ^ Hilburn, Robert (May 19, 1991). "The Impact of Dylan's Music 'Widened the Scope of Possibilities'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 18, 2011. ^ "Tom Waits on his cherished albums of all time". Observer Music Monthly (London). March 22, 2005. Retrieved January 8, 2007. ^ Paul Nelson (11 September 1975). "Bob Dylan The Basement Tapes". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved 4 May 2014. ^ Hoskyns, pp. 153–157.^ Cohn, pp. 164–165.^ Marx, Jack (September 2, 2008). "Tangled Up In Blah". The Australian. Retrieved October 5, 2008. ^ Diehl, Matt (April 22, 2010). "It's a Joni Mitchell concert". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ Larson, Bethany (April 23, 2010). "Folk Face-Off: Joni Mitchell vs. Bob Dylan". Flavorwire.com. Retrieved August 4, 2011. ^ Wilentz, Sean (April 30, 2010). "Is Bob Dylan a Phony?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^ "Joni Mitchell on Bob Dylan, CBC Music Exclusive". CBC Music Exclusive, YouTube. June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013. ^ Cite error: The named reference nytTimrod was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Gilmore, Mikal (September 27, 2012). "Bob Dylan Unleashed". rollingstone.com. Retrieved January 11, 2013. ^ Hoberman, J. (November 20, 2007). "Like A Complete Unknown". The Village Voice. Retrieved October 5, 2008. ^ Kozinn, Alan (April 30, 2014). "Dylan's Handwritten Lyrics to 'Like a Rolling Stone' to Be Auctioned". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 

Cite error: There are <ref group=a> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=a}} template (see the help page).

Bibliography[edit]

Main article: Bob Dylan bibliography

Dylan has published Tarantula, a work of prose poetry, Chronicles: Volume One, the first part of his memoirs, several books of the lyrics of his songs, and six books of his art. He has been the subject of many biographies and critical studies of his work.

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eMusic Features

1

Bob Dylan, Another Self Portrait

By Winston Cook-Wilson, Contributor

There are plenty of misconceptions about Self Portrait — more than enough to prevent even some hardcore Dylan fans from seeing the appeal of a compilation compromised largely of its outtakes. Most importantly, there's the common rumor (partially propagated by the artist himself in the 1980s) that Dylan became suddenly interested in recording other people's songs in an effort to make a deliberately "bad" album. But the move toward other people's material was not a… more »

0

May Your Song Always Be Sung

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

"Singer/songwriter" has gradually come to be applied to nearly everyone who both writes and performs songs, especially if they happen to play guitar and are billed under their own names rather than as members of a band. But it used to have a particular meaning, in some cases, that was a little more specific: a singer who performed self-written songs that were meant for other people to sing, too. That's a tradition that's not nearly… more »

0

Top 10 Overlooked Bob Dylan Songs

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Half a century into his career, Bob Dylan's amassed a gigantic catalogue of original material. He's released a string of greatest-hits albums, and his touring repertoire is well over 100 songs. But he's also got some remarkable songs that have been overshadowed by their companions - songs that, in anyone else's career, would be high points. In honor of the release of his 35th(!) album, Tempest, we invite you to listen to these overlooked gems in… more »

0

Six Degrees of Bob Dylan’s Desire

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of Bob Dylan’s Desire

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Icon: Bob Dylan

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Bob Dylan didn't get to be the greatest living songwriter by repeating himself. He's reinvented his style and technique with nearly every record he's made in the course of his half-century career; he's been the political spitfire of The Times They Are A-Changin', the mysterious joker of The Basement Tapes, the domestic ruminator of New Morning, the indignant holy roller of Slow Train Coming, the aging Romeo of Time Out of Mind. The only constants… more »

0

Icon: Bob Dylan

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Bob Dylan didn't get to be the greatest living songwriter by repeating himself. He's reinvented his style and technique with nearly every record he's made in the course of his half-century career; he's been the political spitfire of The Times They Are A-Changin', the mysterious joker of The Basement Tapes, the domestic ruminator of New Morning, the indignant holy roller of Slow Train Coming, the aging Romeo of Time Out of Mind. The only constants… more »

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