Monday, May 05, 2008

The Top 20 Dylan albums - encore

Thanks to Marcel Levesque:

“Nice site you have there, always worth a click.

“Interesting results, in some cases. The top 3 are hard to argue with and the drop-off is understandable as well, as those records set the bar high.

“Bones of Contention: if you're including Live 66 in your analysis (and I'm guessing many people may not have) then it should rank considerably closer to the top by virtue of Hwy61 and BoB being there. Of course the respondents may just have a different opinion of 'live' music.

“I think the last 3 albums are slightly overrated in this sampling, due primarily to their relative newness and the non-stop touring that showcases 2 of them to excess. TooM deservedly ranks top amongst them but is perhaps a little high on the list.

“Freewheelin' deserves to be less than #4. This record is truly a masterpiece even if some of the songs are now dated or overexposed. Hard Rain, Think Twice, GotNC, Blowin' and Masters... tough to top that for what was ostensibly a 'coming out' album.

“Of course, ask me again tomorrow and I'll think differently.

“Thanks for your work on this.”



The Top 20 Dylan albums – new ranking, by the experts

Blonde On Blonde is the most popular Dylan album among the experts – the fans - comfortably ahead of Blood On The Tracks and Highway 61 Revisited.

And these three are more popular by a considerable margin than any other Dylan album.

Readers of The Dylan Daily and an associated website were asked to submit a list of their top 5 Dylan albums, in a competition to win a copy of the new Rough Guide to Bob Dylan. Many thousands of readers visited the web pages outlining the competition; and almost 100 submitted their top 5 list. Thanks to everyone who entered.

The submissions were processed to create a definitive new list of The Top 20 Dylan Albums:

The Top 20 Dylan Albums

1. Blonde On Blonde (1966) 100 (index)
2. Blood On the Tracks (1975) 84
3. Highway 61 Revisited (1965) 74
4. Bringing It All Back Home (‘65) 43
5. Time Out Of Mind (1997) 21

6. "Love And Theft" (2001) 18
7. The Freewheelin’ (1963) 17
8. John Wesley Harding (1967) 14
9. Desire (1976) 12
10. Another Side Of Bob Dylan (‘64) 11

11. Oh Mercy (1989) 10
12. Modern Times (2006)
13. Street-Legal (1978)
14. Slow Train Coming (1979)
15. Infidels (1983)

16. Live 1966 (1998) 2
17. No Direction Home (2005)
18. Planet Waves (1974)
19. New Morning (1970)
20. The Times They Are A'-Changin’(‘64) 1

(The index figure at the end of each line has been calculated to indicate popularity relative to Blonde On Blonde.)

The new Top 20 raises numerous intriguing points for discussion by Dylan aficionados. My analysis to follow; your reactions will be especially welcome: please email your comments with the subject line “Top 20” to

Gerry Smith