Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits

Bob Dylan

Columbia, 1967

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


To the youth of today, it might seem downright silly that Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits was released after Dylan had been recording for a whopping five years and had seven albums under his belt.

What people might not realize was that, in 1967, Dylan was involved in a motorcycle accident which knocked him off the touring circuit for some time, and also kept him out of the recording studio. (The actual severity of the injuries Dylan suffered is subject for many a bar fight.) So, his record label was simply keeping the iron hot enough to strike until Dylan had recovered enough to return to the studio to record and release new material. (Their wish would come true at the end of 1967, when they released my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 John Wesley Harding… but that's getting ahead of ourselves.)

Yes, in 2017 (or whenever you're reading this review), it seems laughable for these ten tracks to be definitively called Dylan's “greatest hits” – but at the time, it was fairly accurate, and it turns out was a good retrospective of his career to that point.

Leaning slightly more on the electric side of his music (six tracks to only four acoustic), this disc proves to be a good introduction to Dylan that features both songs that should be familiar to most listeners (“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” “Like A Rolling Stone”) as well as a few slightly deeper nuggets of enjoyment (“I Want You”).

Naturally, any disc labeled as a “greatest hits” compilation will invite discussion-cum-arguments over what songs should have been included. But, overall, this is a well-chosen batch of songs with no bonus surprises (those kind of things were still a few years away from becoming marketing tools from hell, convincing people to buy the same songs for the fifth time just to get one unreleased track).

Granted, Dylan's career was still very much in its infancy, but with Dylan out of pocket for a while in '67, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits is one of those few best-of collections which dares to live up to its name. Even if you have all of Dylan's recorded output to this point, it is kind of nice to have his essence boiled down into one nice, neat package, and even almost 50 years after it came out remains highly recommended.

Rating: A

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© 2017 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia, and is used for informational purposes only.