As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 Album Deals, The Best of Bob Dylan is on sale for only $5. (Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each.
If I was on a merry-go-round that was rigged with a bomb and the only way I could save the lives of myself and all those precocious orphans who wanted to experience a little joy before returning to their Dickensian existence was to name my all-time favorite musician, I would wait until the digital counter on the bomb was down to two seconds and say, “Duh. Bob Dylan!”
For nearly six decades Dylan has been performing his unique and transformative folk-rock while evolving his sound and experimenting with different styles of music, from the laid-back country of 1967’s John Wesley Harding to the gospel-tinged (brought about by his conversion to Christianity at the time) double bill of Slow Train Coming and Saved and perhaps the ballsiest album of his entire career – 1985’s Empire Burlesque, which saw the venerable Dylan take a stab at emulating the popular New Wave synth-pop style of the day. Distilling an artist’s expansive discography that spans 35 studio albums and countless more live recordings, bootlegs, and box sets of unreleased songs into a single disc greatest hits package is a Herculean effort for even the most obsessed musicphile, let alone the good folks at Sony Music whose job it is to do just that.
Although calling this collection The Best of Bob Dylan is a major stretch, especially if you’re a longtime devoted fan of the mush-mouthed troubadour as I am, it makes a handy sampler for anyone who has yet to experience Dylan’s musical greatness.
1. Blowin’ in the Wind
2. The Times They Are A-Changin’
3. Mr. Tambourine Man
4. Like a Rolling Stone
5. Rainy Day Women #12 & #35
6. All Along the Watchtower
7. Lay, Lady, Lay
8. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
9. Tangled Up in Blue
11. Forever Young
12. Gotta Serve Somebody
14. Not Dark Yet
15. Things Have Changed
16. Summer Days
From his early protest tunes to his Oscar-winning theme to Curtis Hanson’s wonderful 2000 comedy-drama Wonder Boys, this collection is pretty much what someone who has yet to dig deeper into Dylan’s voluminous catalog would consider his best work. Naturally I would digress, but then again I am not a record company executive, just a humble Bob Dylan fan. I could write up an entire article of what I consider to be the true best of Dylan. Maybe I’ll do that in the near future. In the meantime this is a pretty good collection and a relative steal at only five bucks.
Side note: I can no longer listen to “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” without thinking of Slim Pickens’ death scene in Sam Peckinpah’s classic western Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Best movie death scene of all time, man. The best.
You can also purchase The Best of Bob Dylan on CD for $16.98 and get $1 in Amazon MP3 credit.
Note: when you purchase MP3s through Amazon, it stores your purchases to Amazon’s Cloud Drive; from there you can stream the music right from their online player. Also, if you have a Kindle Fire, your MP3 purchases will automatically be available for you to stream on your device. All your purchases are backed up and available for you to download at any time. You can download the files to your computer to load to an MP3 device and to your iTunes account if you have one. If you’d like to gift these MP3 purchases, you can – just click the “Give album or song as gift” button on the right on the product page. From there you enter the recipient’s email address and then select either specific songs to gift or the entire album.