Bob Dylan turns 70 on May 24th, and the celebrations are just beginning. There will be more than a few tribute concerts, blog posts and special editions of print magazines. Rolling Stone gives it the cover treatment with "The 70 Greatest Dylan Songs," selected by a panel of journalists, academics and a few actual songwriters.
I'd been looking forward to getting my dead-tree copy, and after skimming though the selections and the sidebar lists ("Greatest Dylan Covers" and "Most Inscrutable Lyrics," my first reaction was hmmm, I bet I could squeeze a few blog posts out of this.
But once I checked out the additional online content, I had a bit less to work with. I was planning to do a list of the "Funniest Dylan Songs," but they had that covered already – though how they could leave out "Clothes Line Saga" is beyond me.
Rob Sheffield also scooped up several of my potential quibbles over Top 70 omissions (notably "The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar") in his "20 Overlooked Dylan Classics." And really, the panel did a great job – there's not a clunker in the bunch, even if they left out one of your favorites or included one that doesn't quite work for you, I'm not gonna argue with those people.
I will argue with the list of covers, though. The ones they picked were all obvious, worthy choices, but a longer list could go a lot deeper. There's no shortage of great Dylan covers, so I can wring some pixels out of that. They also omitted a list of the "Worst Dylan Songs," and I'm sure somebody else has done so, but I'm willing to take a stab at that. There's also the matter of songs Dylan has covered by other songwriters, which could be distilled into bullet points.
So if I play my cards right, I could have some ready answers to the perennial "What do I blog about today?" question for the next week and a half. Meet you back here.
PS: Scored 26 out of 30 on the "Ultimate" Bob Dylan Quiz.