5 Deep Cut Albums Every Bob Dylan Fan Should Own

Bob Dylan is the person to point to when it comes to American songwriting. He combines roots elements, rock styles, blues and more, all wrapped together—sewn, if you will—with his other-worldly lyricism. There’s a reason why the fella is called The Bard.

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While most music fans are acquainted with Dylan’s most important albums, from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963 to The Times They Are a-Changin’ in 1964, Highway 61 Revisited in 1965, and Blonde on Blonde in 1966, there are many other albums in the artist’s prolific catalog to check out.

[RELATED: Ranking 4 Bob Dylan Penned Songs That Went No. 1]

To wit, below are a handful of Dylan records that are worth buying and listening to and falling in love with, just like his classics listed above.

1. Bob Dylan (1962)

While most debut records get a lot of attention, this 1962 release isn’t one of Dylan’s most iconic albums, largely because it was recorded quickly over a matter of a few days and features a number of cover songs. But some of the songs on the album continue to stand out today, including “In My Time of Dyin'” and House of the Risin’ Sun.” But it’s Dylan’s original song, “Song to Woody” for his hero Woody Guthrie that remains iconic.

2. Desire (1976)

This 1976 album opens with hit after hit. The first song is “Hurricane,” written as an ode to the falsely imprisoned boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The next song is “Isis,” perhaps the most elaborate and greatest breakup song of all time. Other tracks that stand out on the album include “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below),” which was later covered by the White Stripes.

3. Good as I Been to You (1992)

The 1992 LP features many fine songs but none better than Dylan’s rendition of the classic folk song, “Froggie Went a Courtin’.” The wending and winding folk song features the story of an animal courtship and wedding party that, when snug with Dylan’s signature vocal rasp, is just sublime. Another great song on the album includes the Dylan rendition of the song, “Blackjack Davey.”

4. Time Out of Mind (1997)

The 1997 album opens with the iconic Dylan song, “Love Sick.” The organ-driven song shows Dylan singing as if barely hanging onto life by a thread. The spare track gets into your heart, soul, and sinews. While the rest of the album is terrific, this song is worth listening to on repeat for days.

5. Tempest (2012)

The 2012 album was something of a comeback for Dylan, who started his recording career a whopping 50 years prior. There are many incredible songs on this moody, brilliant album, but it concludes with an ode to John Lennon called, “Roll On John,” which is worthy of many spins for Dylan, Beatles, and music fans alike.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1

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