5 Must-Hear Songs Bob Dylan Co-Wrote With Other Music Stars

Here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan, who was born on May 24, 1941. The folk-rock legend is considered one of the greatest and most influential songwriters in pop music history, and he’s prolifically churned out tunes for more than 60 years.

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Dylan usually composes songs by himself, but he has also collaborated with others numerous times over the years, including with some other well-known artists.

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In honor of Dylan’s 83rd birthday, here’s a look at five interesting songs he co-wrote with other artists, all of whom happen to be Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees like him:

“Ballad of Easy Rider” – The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn (1969)

“Ballad of Easy Rider” was a song that Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn recorded as the theme of the classic 1969 counterculture film Easy Rider.

Dylan had been approached by the film’s star and co-writer Peter Fonda to write a song for the movie, but Dylan declined. Instead, he scribbled a couple of lines of lyrics and told Fonda to give them to McGuinn.

[RELATED: 3 Bob Dylan Songs that Will Make Any Folk Fan Tear Up]

McGuinn then wrote a song around the lyrics. Roger recorded the tune with him on guitar and Byrds member Gene Parsons on harmonica, and the track was heard over Easy Rider’s closing credits. When Dylan saw himself listed as a co-writer of the song in the credits, he demanded that his name by removed.

The Byrds also recorded another version of “Ballad of Easy Rider” and used it as the title track to their 1969 album. It also was released as a single, and reached No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“I’d Have You Anytime” – George Harrison (1970)

Dylan had befriended The Beatles in 1964, and while the singer/songwriter was living near Woodstock, New York, George Harrison came to visit him over Thanksgiving in 1968.

During his stay, Harrison co-wrote “I’d Have You Anytime” with and Dylan. The ballad features lyrics that were inspired by Harrison’s wish for Dylan to let his guard down and become better friends with him.

Harrison featured “I’d Have You Anytime” as the lead song of his chart-topping third solo album, the classic All Things Must Pass.

Dylan and Harrison would later go on to play together in the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.

“Jammin’ Me” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1987)

In 1986, Dylan used Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as he backing band for his True Confessions Tour. This led to a friendship between Dylan and Petty.

Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell had written the music for “Jammin’ Me” and gave a demo of the tune to Petty. One day, while Petty and Dylan were working on some music together, they came up with lyrics to the song, using words picked from newspapers and heard on TV.

“Jammin’ Me” was featured on Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1987 album Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough). The song was released as a single and peaked at No. 18 on the Hot 100.

As with Harrison, Dylan also later played with Petty in the Traveling Wilburys.

“Love Rescue Me” – U2 (1988)

“Love Rescue Me” was co-written by Dylan and U2 frontman Bono. As the story goes, Bono was in Los Angeles during U2’s Joshau Tree tour and woke up with a song idea in his head that he thought was by Dylan.

He then drove to Dylan’s home in nearby Malibu, California, and presented the song to Bob, who said it wasn’t something he wrote. Dylan then helped Bono finish the tune, which initially was called “Prisoner of Love.”

U2 recorded “Love Rescue Me” at famous Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, for its chart-topping 1988 album, Rattle and Hum. Dylan contributed backing vocals on the tune.

“Waiting for the Morning Light” – Gene Simmons (2004)

In what can only be described as a bizarre collaboration, Dylan co-wrote a song called “Waiting for the Morning Light” with KISS bassist/singer Gene Simmons that’s featured on Simmons’ 2004 solo album, A–hole.

According to an interview Simmons did with The Pulse of Radio, in 1991, he decided to see if Dylan would write a song with him, so he called Bob’s manager and simply asked.

“All of a sudden within two days, an unmarked van shows up at my house and Bob gets out with an acoustic guitar in his hand,” Simmons recalled. “[And he] tells his driver, ‘I’ll see you at the end of the day,’ comes up and we start strumming. I mean it was just like that.”

In a 2003 interview with Billboard, Simmons shared more about their collaboration.

“We understood each other right away. He picked up an acoustic guitar, and we just tossed it back and forth, ‘How ’bout this, how ’bout that?’” the rocker shared. “And he started to strum, because he—at least with me—tended to talk and strum guitar at the same time. And as soon as I heard the first three or four chords, I went, ‘Wait, wait, what’s that? Do that again.’ So I went and started to write a lyric around that.”

“Waiting for the Morning Light” is a melodic ballad about a guy who’s lamenting a romantic breakup.

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