The greatest song writer of modern times (or any time) turns 80 today. A prodigious artists, he released his first record in 1962 and his last in 2020, with no noticeable fallow period. He's written countless classic songs, and released dozens of superb albums. His songs come in all forms, from simple ballads and love songs to epic musical stories, taking in blues, country, rock, folk, jazz and probably a few things I'm not even aware of. Those songs have been covered by artists from myriad musical genres and adapted into wildly differing styles. (In fact he surely must be the most covered artists of all time).
He has an image in popular culture of being unable to sing, but anyone who's listened to him will know that his voice is very musical. This, coupled with his abilities as a musician and composer has allowed him to create some truly beautiful melodies. But it's the lyrics he weaves through those melodies that really sets Dylan apart. Dylan has a gift for language that is simply unparalleled in music. He has an eye for poetic imagery worthy of Ezra Pound or T.S. Eliot (fighting in the captain's tower).
For me personally, Dylan has literally been an ever present factor in my life. I have been listening to his music since birth, grew to love it as a child when my parents played it, and if anything have grown to love it even more as I've become older. The songs have taken on new dimensions as I've aged, fallen in and out of love, got married, had kids, lost people I cared about and hopefully matured enough to know that I didn't know as much as I thought I did. As Dylan himself sang "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now".
The Guardian have asked a load of famous people for their favourite Dylan song
but I'm much more interested in the favourite Dylan song of the musical luminaries of rllmuk. So let's hear your thoughts on this colossus of popular culture at this major milestone in his life.
My offering: It's very hard to pick a favourite song when I love so many of them, and a few of the likely contenders are mentioned in that Guardian article (Desolation Row and Hard Rain's Gonna Fall are songs I listen to on an almost daily basis), so in the interests of variety I'll choose one of those epic stories I mentioned. A song that never fails to raise a smile, wherein Bob Dylan discovers America.