4 of Bob Dylan’s Favorite Songs

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Since he is generally considered one of the best songwriters of all time, it’s hard to imagine Bob Dylan looked up to anyone. But, even the freewheelin’ troubadour has to glean inspiration from somewhere and he has expressed his love for a few of his fellow musicians – albeit with nonchalance.

Though at times he has kept his fandom under wraps, he has let a few bits of praise slip out into the public consciousness. Find four of Bob Dylan’s favorite songs, below.

1. “Wichita Lineman” – Jimmy Webb

Dylan’s love for “Wichita Lineman” can be concisely summed up. “The greatest song ever written,” he once decreed on the cover of Dylan Jones’ Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World’s Greatest Unfinished Song. The lyrics are reminiscent of some of Dylan’s folk parables, so it makes sense he would lend his favor to the track.

2. “Rumble” – Link Wray

Everyone from Paul McCartney to Iggy Pop has heralded Link Wray’s “Rumble.” Dylan made his love for the song known by co-opting it as the opening number for all five of his 2005 London shows, shortly after the death of Wray.

3. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – the Beatles

Bob Dylan and the Beatles were inspired by one another endlessly. Though folk legend’s influence on the Fab Four is more well-documented, Dylan once told biographer Anthony Scaduto he knew the group was the future of music from the first listen.

“They were doing things nobody was doing,” he said. “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid…I knew they were pointing the direction of where music had to go.”

4. “Pretty Maids in a Row” – the Eagles

Dylan has cited a number of the Eagles songs as inspiration including “New Kid in Town,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Pretty Maids All in a Row.” The latter of which he claimed “could be one of the best songs ever,” per a conversation with The New York Times.

Photo by PL Gould/IMAGES/Getty Images

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