80 Artists Pick Their Favorite Bob Dylan Song For Bob Dylan’s 80th Birthday

(via Stereogum) by Ryan Leas

In the almost 60 years since Bob Dylan released his debut album, countless words have been spilled on his singular legacy. There are books and movies and over half a century’s worth of music journalism trying to dissect the mystery and pin down the multitudes. College courses unpack his lyrics. A Presidential Medal Of Freedom and a Nobel Prize and who knows how many other honors mark Dylan’s towering, seismic presence as not just a musician but a cultural and literary icon of the American Century. All of which is to say: You and I both know about Bob Dylan, and there’s little I could say to celebrate his 80th birthday that hasn’t been said many times before.

Instead, we chose to celebrate the occasion by surveying a vast array of musicians on their favorite Bob Dylan song. (Technically, there are picks from 86 musicians here, but we didn’t want to wait another six years to publish this. Consider it a bonus.) Below, you’ll find singer-songwriters working in a tradition most obviously indebted to Dylan, but you’ll also find young country stars and ascendent art-rockers and jazz boundary-pushers. You’ll find David Byrne writing an essay about one of Dylan’s most recent songs, and you’ll find David Crosby remembering the first time he saw Dylan play in the Village, and a whole lot more. All spoke to Dylan’s incomparable influence, the way he kicked open some kind of door or another no matter what form an artist works in. We were excited and stunned by all the thoughtful responses we received for this project, and we think you will be too. Happy birthday Bob Dylan!

Read more: Best Bob Dylan Songs According To 80 Musicians (stereogum.com)

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