Like a Rolling Stone

"Like a Rolling Stone" is a 1965 song by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.

During a difficult two-day preproduction, Dylan struggled to find the essence of the song, which was demoed without success in 3
4
time
. A breakthrough was made when it was tried in a rock music format, and rookie session musician Al Kooper improvised the organ riff for which the track is known. However, Columbia Records was unhappy with both the song's length at over six minutes and its heavy electric sound, and was hesitant to release it. It was only when a month later a copy was leaked to a new popular music club and heard by influential DJs that the song was put out as a single. Although radio stations were reluctant to play such a long track, "Like a Rolling Stone" reached No. 2 in the US Billboard charts (No. 1 in Cashbox) and became a worldwide hit.

Critics have described the track as revolutionary in its combination of different musical elements, the youthful, cynical sound of Dylan's voice, and the directness of the question "How does it feel?" "Like a Rolling Stone" completed the transformation of Dylan's image from folk singer to rock star, and is considered one of the most influential compositions in postwar popular music. According to review aggregator Acclaimed Music, "Like a Rolling Stone" is the statistically most acclaimed song of all time.[3] Rolling Stone magazine listed the song at No. 1 in their "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.[4] The song has been covered by numerous artists, from The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Rolling Stones to The Wailers and Green Day. At an auction in 2014, Dylan's handwritten lyrics to the song fetched $2 million, a world record for a popular music manuscript.[5]

"Like a Rolling Stone"
An album cover with a black background. Diagonally aligned, a photo of a man runs across one side of the cover. He is in a brown shirt and looks at the camera, turning the left side of his body towards it. To the right of him are large words printed on the black background, reading: "Bob Dylan", "Like a Rolling Stone", and "Gates of Eden".
Cover of the 1965 French single
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Highway 61 Revisited
B-side"Gates of Eden"
ReleasedJuly 20, 1965
Format7-inch single
RecordedJune 15–16, 1965
StudioColumbia Studio A, New York City[1]
GenreFolk rock[2]
Length6:13
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan
Producer(s)Tom Wilson
Bob Dylan singles chronology
"Maggie's Farm"
(1965)
"Like a Rolling Stone"
(1965)
"Positively 4th Street"
(1965)
Audio
"Like a Rolling Stone" on YouTube
Highway 61 Revisited track listing

Writing and recording

In the spring of 1965, after returning from the tour of England documented in the film Dont Look Back, Dylan was unhappy with the public's expectations of him, as well as the direction his career was taking, and seriously considered quitting the music business. In a 1966 Playboy interview, he described his dissatisfaction: "Last spring, I guess I was going to quit singing. I was very drained, and the way things were going, it was a very draggy situation ... But 'Like a Rolling Stone' changed it all. I mean it was something that I myself could dig. It's very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don't dig you."[6]

The song grew out of an extended piece of verse. In 1966, Dylan described its genesis to journalist Jules Siegel:

It was ten pages long. It wasn't called anything, just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred directed at some point that was honest. In the end it wasn't hatred, it was telling someone something they didn't know, telling them they were lucky. Revenge, that's a better word. I had never thought of it as a song, until one day I was at the piano, and on the paper it was singing, "How does it feel?" in a slow motion pace, in the utmost of slow motion.[7]

During 1965, Dylan composed prose, poems, and songs by typing incessantly. Footage in Dont Look Back of Dylan in his suite at London's Savoy Hotel captures this process. However, Dylan told two interviewers that "Like a Rolling Stone" began as a long piece of "vomit" (10 pages long according to one account, 20 according to another) that later acquired musical form.[8] Dylan has never publicly spoken of writing any other major composition in this way. In an interview with CBC radio in Montreal, Dylan called the creation of the song a "breakthrough", explaining that it changed his perception of where he was going in his career. He said that he found himself writing "this long piece of vomit, 20 pages long, and out of it I took 'Like a Rolling Stone' and made it as a single. And I'd never written anything like that before and it suddenly came to me that was what I should do ... After writing that I wasn't interested in writing a novel, or a play. I just had too much, I want to write songs."[9]

From the extended version on paper, Dylan crafted four verses and the chorus in Woodstock, New York.[10] In 2014, when the handwritten lyrics were put up for auction, the four-page manuscript revealed that the full refrain of the chorus does not appear until the fourth page. A rejected third line, "like a dog without a bone" gives way to "now you're unknown". Earlier, Dylan had considered working the name Al Capone into the rhyme scheme, and he attempted to construct a rhyme scheme for "how does it feel?", penciling in "it feels real", "does it feel real", "shut up and deal", "get down and kneel" and "raw deal".[11] The song was written on an upright piano in the key of A flat and was changed to C on the guitar in the recording studio.[12]

For the recording session, Dylan invited Mike Bloomfield from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to play lead guitar. Invited to Dylan's Woodstock home for the weekend to learn new material, Bloomfield recalled, "The first thing I heard was 'Like a Rolling Stone'. I figured he wanted blues, string bending, because that's what I do. He said, 'Hey, man, I don't want any of that B.B. King stuff'. So, OK, I really fell apart. What the heck does he want? We messed around with the song. I played the way that he dug, and he said it was groovy."[13]

The recording sessions were produced by Tom Wilson on June 15–16, 1965, in Studio A of Columbia Records, 799 Seventh Avenue, in New York City.[1][14][15] This would be the last song Wilson would produce for Dylan.[16] In addition to Bloomfield, the musicians enlisted were Paul Griffin on piano, Joe Macho, Jr. on bass, Bobby Gregg on drums, and Bruce Langhorne on tambourine,[15] all booked by Wilson. Gregg, Griffin, and Langhorne had previously worked with Dylan and Wilson on Bringing It All Back Home.[17]

In the first session, on June 15, five takes of the song were recorded in a markedly different style (3
4
waltz time, with Dylan on piano) from the eventual release. The lack of sheet music meant the song had to be played by ear. However, its essence was discovered in the course of the chaotic session. The musicians did not reach the first chorus until the fourth take, but after the following harmonica fill Dylan interrupted, saying, "My voice is gone, man. You wanna try it again?"[18] This take was subsequently released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.[18][19] The session ended shortly afterward.[20]

When the musicians reconvened the following day, June 16, Al Kooper joined the proceedings. Kooper, at that time a 21-year-old session guitarist,[21] was not originally supposed to play but was present in the studio as Wilson's guest.[22] When Wilson stepped out, Kooper sat down with his guitar with the other musicians, hoping to take part in the recording session.[23] By the time Wilson returned, Kooper, who had been intimidated by Bloomfield's guitar playing, was back in the control room. After a couple of rehearsal takes, Wilson moved Griffin from Hammond organ to piano.[23] Kooper approached Wilson and told him he had a good part for the organ. Wilson belittled Kooper's organ skills but did not forbid him to play. As Kooper later put it, "He just sort of scoffed at me ... He didn't say 'no'—so I went out there." Wilson was surprised to see Kooper at the organ but allowed him to play on the track. When Dylan heard a playback of the song, he insisted that the organ be turned up in the mix, despite Wilson's protestations that Kooper was "not an organ player."[24]

There were 15 recorded takes on June 16.[25] By now the song had evolved into its familiar form, in 4
4
time with Dylan on electric guitar. After the fourth take—the master take that was released as a single[16]—Wilson happily commented, "That sounds good to me."[26] Despite this, Dylan and the band recorded the song 11 more times.[27]

The complete recording sessions that produced "Like a Rolling Stone", including all 20 takes and the individual "stems" that comprise the four-track master,[28] were released in November 2015 on the 6-disc and 18-disc versions of The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966.[29]

Release

According to Shaun Considine, release coordinator for Columbia Records in 1965, "Like a Rolling Stone" was first relegated to the "graveyard of canceled releases" because of concerns from the sales and marketing departments over its unprecedented six-minute length and "raucous" rock sound. In the days following the rejection, Considine took a discarded acetate of the song to the New York club Arthur—a newly opened disco popular with celebrities and the media—and asked a DJ to play it.[1][30] At the crowd's insistence, the demo was played repeatedly, until finally it wore out. The next morning, a disc jockey and a programming director from the city's leading top 40 stations called Columbia and demanded copies.[1] Shortly afterward, on July 20, 1965, "Like a Rolling Stone" was released as a single with "Gates of Eden" as its B-side.[31][32][33]

Despite its length, the song is Dylan's most commercially successful release,[16][34] remaining in the US charts for 12 weeks, where it reached number 2 behind The Beatles' "Help!".[35][36] The promotional copies released to disc jockeys on July 15 had the first two verses and two refrains on one side of the disk, and the remainder of the song on the other. DJs wishing to play the entire song would simply flip the vinyl over.[37][38] While many radio stations were reluctant to play "Like a Rolling Stone" in its entirety, public demand eventually forced them to air it in full.[33][39] This helped the single reach its number 2 peak, several weeks after its release.[39] It was a Top 10 hit in other countries, including Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.[40][41][42][43]

Personnel

Themes

Unlike conventional chart hits of the time, "Like a Rolling Stone" featured lyrics that were interpreted as expressions of resentment rather than love.[44][45] Author Oliver Trager characterizes the lyrics as: "Dylan's sneer at a woman who has fallen from grace and is reduced to fending for herself in a hostile, unfamiliar world."[45] The song's subject, "Miss Lonely," previously opted for easy options in life—she attended the finest schools and enjoyed high-placed friends—but now that her situation has become difficult, it appears that she has no meaningful experiences to define her character.[45] The opening lines of the song establish the character's former condition:

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?[46]

And the first verse ends with lines that seemingly deride her current condition:

Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal[46]

Despite the obvious vitriol, the song's narrator also seems to show compassion for Miss Lonely, and expresses joy for her in the freedom in losing everything.[44] Jann Wenner commented: "Everything has been stripped away. You're on your own, you're free now ... You're so helpless and now you've got nothing left. And you're invisible—you've got no secrets—that's so liberating. You've nothing to fear anymore."[47] The final verse ends with the lines:

When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal[46]

The refrain seems to emphasize these themes:

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone[46]

Dylan biographer Robert Shelton gave this interpretation: "A song that seems to hail the dropout life for those who can take it segues into compassion for those who have dropped out of bourgeois surroundings. 'Rolling Stone' is about the loss of innocence and the harshness of experience. Myths, props, and old beliefs fall away to reveal a very taxing reality."[10]

Dylan humorously commented on the song's moral perspective at a press conference at KQED television studio on December 3, 1965. When a reporter, suggesting that the song adopted a harsh perspective on a girl, asked Dylan, "Are you hard on [people in your songs] because you want to torment them? Or to change their lives and make them know themselves?", Dylan replied while laughing, "I want to needle them."[48][49]

Commentators attempted to tie the characters in the song to specific people in Dylan's personal life in 1965. In his book POPism: The Warhol '60s, Andy Warhol recalled that some people in his circle believed that "Like a Rolling Stone" contained hostile references to him; he was told, "Listen to 'Like a Rolling Stone'—I think you're the diplomat on the chrome horse, man."[50] The reason behind Dylan's alleged hostility to Warhol was supposedly Warhol's treatment of actress and model Edie Sedgwick. It has been suggested that Sedgwick is the basis of the Miss Lonely character.[51] Sedgwick was briefly involved with Dylan in late 1965 and early 1966, around which time there was some discussion of the two making a movie together.[52] According to Warhol's collaborator Paul Morrissey, Sedgwick may have been in love with Dylan, and was shocked when she found out that Dylan had secretly married Sara Lownds in November 1965.[52] However, in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, Michael Gray argues that Sedgwick had no connection with "Like a Rolling Stone", but states "there's no doubt that the ghost of Edie Sedgwick hangs around Blonde on Blonde".[53]

Greil Marcus alluded to a suggestion by art historian Thomas E. Crow that Dylan had written the song as a comment on Warhol's scene:

I heard a lecture by Thomas Crow ... about "Like a Rolling Stone" being about Edie Sedgwick within Andy Warhol's circle, as something that Dylan saw from the outside, not being personally involved with either of them, but as something he saw and was scared by and saw disaster looming and wrote a song as a warning, and it was compelling.[54]

Joan Baez, Marianne Faithfull and Bob Neuwirth have also been suggested as possible targets of Dylan's scorn.[34][55][56] Dylan's biographer Howard Sounes warned against reducing the song to the biography of one person, and suggested "it is more likely that the song was aimed generally at those [Dylan] perceived as being 'phony'". Sounes adds, "There is some irony in the fact that one of the most famous songs of the folk-rock era—an era associated primarily with ideals of peace and harmony—is one of vengeance."[57]

Mike Marqusee has written at length on the conflicts in Dylan's life during this time, with its deepening alienation from his old folk-revival audience and clear-cut leftist causes. He suggests that the song is probably self-referential: "The song only attains full poignancy when one realises it is sung, at least in part, to the singer himself: he's the one 'with no direction home.'"[58] Dylan himself has noted that, after his motorcycle accident in 1966, he realized that "when I used words like 'he' and 'it' and 'they,' and talking about other people, I was really talking about nobody but me."[55]

Music video

In November 2013, 48 years after the release of the song, Dylan's website released an official music video for "Like a Rolling Stone".[59] Created by digital agency Interlude, the video is interactive, allowing viewers to use their keyboards to flip through 16 channels that imitate TV formats, including game shows, shopping networks and reality series. People on each channel appear to lip-sync the song's lyrics. Video director Vania Heymann stated, "I'm using the medium of television to look back right at us – you're flipping yourself to death with switching channels [in real life]."[60] The video contains an hour and 15 minutes worth of content in all [61] and features appearances from comedian Marc Maron, rapper Danny Brown, The Price Is Right host Drew Carey, SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy, Jonathan and Drew Scott of Property Brothers, and Pawn Stars cast members Rick Harrison and Austin "Chumlee" Russell.[62] The video was released to publicize the release of a 35 album box set, Bob Dylan: The Complete Album Collection Vol. One, containing Dylan's 35 official studio albums and 11 live albums.[59] The Guinness Book of World Records recorded it as the longest wait for an official music video.

Live performances

Dylan performed the song live for the first time within days of its release, when he appeared at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965 in Newport, Rhode Island.[63] Many of the audience's folk enthusiasts objected to Dylan's use of electric guitars, looking down on rock 'n roll, as Bloomfield put it, as popular amongst "greasers, heads, dancers, people who got drunk and boogied."[33] According to Dylan's friend, music critic Paul Nelson, "The audience [was] booing and yelling 'Get rid of the electric guitar'", while Dylan and his backing musicians gave an uncertain rendition of their new single.[33]

Highway 61 Revisited was issued at the end of August 1965. When Dylan went on tour that fall he asked the future members of The Band to accompany him in performing the electric half of the concerts. "Like a Rolling Stone" took the closing slot on his setlist and held it, with rare exceptions, through the end of his 1966 "world tour." On May 17, 1966, during the last leg of the tour, Dylan and his band performed at Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. Just before they started to play the track, an audience member yelled "Judas!", apparently referring to Dylan's supposed "betrayal" of folk music. Dylan responded, "I don't believe you. You're a liar!" With that, he turned to the band, ordering them to "play it fucking loud!".[63][a]

Since then, "Like a Rolling Stone" has remained a staple in Dylan's concerts, often with revised arrangements.[64] It was included in his 1969 Isle of Wight show and in both his reunion tour with The Band in 1974 and the Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975–76. The song continued to be featured in other tours throughout the 1970s and 1980s.[64]

Live performances of the song are included on Self Portrait (recorded at the Isle of Wight, August 31, 1969), Before the Flood (recorded February 13, 1974), Bob Dylan at Budokan (recorded March 1, 1978), MTV Unplugged (recorded November 18, 1994), The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert (recorded in Manchester, UK, May 17, 1966; same recording also available on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack), The Band's 2001 reissue of Rock of Ages (recorded January 1, 1972),[65] and The Bootleg Series Vol. 13: Trouble No More 1979–1981 (Deluxe Edition) (recorded June 27, 1981). In 2016, all Dylan's recorded live performances of the song from 1966 were released in the boxed set The 1966 Live Recordings, with the May 26, 1966 Royal Albert Hall performance released separately on the album The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert.

The July 1965 Newport performance of the song is included in Murray Lerner's film The Other Side of the Mirror, while a May 21, 1966 performance in Newcastle, England is featured in Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home, along with footage of the above-mentioned May 17 heckling incident.

Besides appearing on Highway 61 Revisited, the song's standard release can be found on the compilations Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Biograph, The Best of Bob Dylan (1997), The Essential Bob Dylan, The Best of Bob Dylan (2005), and Dylan. The mono version appears on The Original Mono Recordings. In addition, the early, incomplete studio recording in 3
4
time appears on The Bootleg Series Vol. 2.[19][66]

Legacy

The song's sound has been described as revolutionary in its combination of electric guitar licks, organ chords, and Dylan's voice, at once young and jeeringly cynical.[67] Critic Michael Gray described the track as "a chaotic amalgam of blues, impressionism, allegory, and an intense directness in the central chorus: 'How does it feel'".[67] The song had an enormous impact on popular culture and rock music. Its success made Dylan a pop icon, as Paul Williams notes:

Dylan had been famous, had been the center of attention, for a long time. But now the ante was being upped again. He'd become a pop star as well as a folk star ... and was, even more than the Beatles, a public symbol of the vast cultural, political, generational changes taking place in the United States and Europe. He was perceived as, and in many ways functioned as, a leader.[68]

Paul Rothchild, producer of The Doors' first five albums, recalled the elation that an American musician had made a record that successfully challenged the primacy of the British Invasion groups. He said, "What I realized when I was sitting there is that one of US—one of the so-called Village hipsters—was making music that could compete with THEM—the Beatles, and the Stones, and the Dave Clark Five—without sacrificing any of the integrity of folk music or the power of rock'n'roll."[69]

The song had a huge impact on Bruce Springsteen, who was 15 years old when he first heard it. Springsteen described the moment during his speech inducting Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and also assessed the long-term significance of "Like a Rolling Stone":

The first time I heard Bob Dylan, I was in the car with my mother listening to WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind ... The way that Elvis freed your body, Dylan freed your mind, and showed us that because the music was physical did not mean it was anti-intellect. He had the vision and talent to make a pop song so that it contained the whole world. He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording could achieve, and he changed the face of rock'n'roll for ever and ever "[70][71]

Dylan's contemporaries in 1965 were both startled and challenged by the single. Paul McCartney remembered going around to John Lennon's house in Weybridge to hear the song. According to McCartney, "It seemed to go on and on forever. It was just beautiful ... He showed all of us that it was possible to go a little further."[72] Frank Zappa had a more extreme reaction: "When I heard 'Like a Rolling Stone', I wanted to quit the music business, because I felt: 'If this wins and it does what it's supposed to do, I don't need to do anything else ...' But it didn't do anything. It sold but nobody responded to it in the way that they should have."[72] Nearly forty years later, in 2003, Elvis Costello commented on the innovative quality of the single. "What a shocking thing to live in a world where there was Manfred Mann and the Supremes and Engelbert Humperdinck and here comes 'Like a Rolling Stone'".[73]

Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting it in half and spreading it over both sides of the vinyl, both Dylan and fans demanded that the full duration of the recording should be placed on one side and that radio stations play the song in its entirety.[74] The success of "Like a Rolling Stone" was influential in changing the music business convention regarding the length of singles, whereby they were restricted to durations of less than three minutes. In the words of Rolling Stone magazine, "No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time."[75] Richard Austin, of Sotheby's auction house, said: "Before the release of Like a Rolling Stone, music charts were overrun with short and sweet love songs, many clocking in at three minutes or less. By defying convention with six and a half minutes of dark, brooding poetry, Dylan rewrote the rules for pop music."[76]

In 1966, Dylan told Ralph Gleason: "Rolling Stone's the best song I wrote."[77] In 2004, speaking to Robert Hilburn, Dylan still felt that the song had a special place in his work: "It's like a ghost is writing a song like that, it gives you the song and it goes away. You don't know what it means. Except that the ghost picked me to write the song."[78]

More than 50 years since its release, "Like a Rolling Stone" remains highly regarded, as measured by polls of reviewers and fellow songwriters. A 2002 ranking by Uncut and a 2005 poll in Mojo both rated it as Dylan's number one song.[79][80] As for his personal views on such polls, Dylan told Ed Bradley in a 2004 interview on 60 Minutes that he never pays attention to them, because they change frequently.[81] Dylan's point was illustrated in the "100 Greatest Songs of All Time poll" by Mojo in 2000, which included two Dylan singles, but not "Like a Rolling Stone". Five years later, the magazine named it his number one song.[80][82] Rolling Stone picked "Like a Rolling Stone" as the number two single of the past 25 years in 1989,[83] and then in 2004 placed the song at number one on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[84] In 2010, Rolling Stone again placed "Like a Rolling Stone" at the top of their list of "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time".[4] In 2006, Pitchfork Media placed it at number 4 on their list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s".[85]

On June 24, 2014, Sotheby's sold Dylan's original hand-written lyrics of "Like a Rolling Stone" at a New York auction devoted to rock memorabilia.[11][76] The lyrics were sold for $2 million, a record price for a popular music manuscript.[76][86][87]

Accolades

List Publisher Rank Year of publication
500 Greatest Songs of All Time Rolling Stone 1 2010[4]
200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s Pitchfork Media 4 2006[85]
100 Greatest Rock Songs VH1 4 2000[88]
500 Songs That Shaped Rock Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 1995[89]
The 100 Greatest Songs of All Time Consequence of Sound 3 2012[90]
The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made Dave Marsh 7 1989[91]
The 40 Most Influential Records of the 20th Century Gary Pig Gold 1999[92]

Cover versions

Many artists have covered "Like a Rolling Stone", including David Bowie (with Mick Ronson),[93] the Four Seasons,[94] Sixto Rodriguez,[95] The Young Rascals,[96] Judy Collins,[97] Johnny Winter,[98] Cher,[99] Anberlin,[100] Spirit,[101] Michael Bolton,[102] The Creation,[103] David Gilmour,[104] The Surfaris,[105] Al Stewart,[106] John Mellencamp,[107][108] The Wailers,[109][110] Green Day,[111] DIIV,[112] Sebastian Cabot,[113][114] Bachman & Cummings and the Rolling Stones,[115] Nancy Sinatra.

Guitarist Jimi Hendrix, performing with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, recorded a live version at the Monterey Pop Festival.[116] Hendrix was an avid fan of Bob Dylan, and especially liked "Like a Rolling Stone". "It made me feel that I wasn't the only one who'd ever felt so low ..." Hendrix said.[117] Hendrix skipped the third verse. Hendrix played the electric guitar, and music critic Greil Marcus described the atmosphere of the Hendrix recording thus:

Huge chords ride over the beginning of each verse like rain clouds; the tune is taken very slowly, with Hendrix's thick, street-talk drawl sounding nothing at all like Dylan's Midwestern dust storm.[118]

The song has also been covered in various languages. Hugues Aufray covered the song in French as "Comme des pierres qui roulent" ("Like Rolling Stones") (Aufray Trans Dylan, 1995), Austrian Wolfgang Ambros included an Austrian-German dialect version "Allan Wia a Stan" on his 1978 LP Wie Im Schlaf which reached position 8 in the Austrian charts for 8 weeks,[119] German band BAP created a dialect of Cologne version "Wie 'ne Stein" on its LP Vun drinne noh drusse and Lars Winnerbäck did a performance of the song in Swedish titled "Som en hemlös själ", literally "Like a Homeless Soul".[120] Articolo 31 recorded an Italian version titled "Come una Pietra Scalciata" (literally, "Like a Kicked-off Stone") for their 1998 album Nessuno.[121] Articolo 31's version is a hip-hop song which contains overdubs of a confused girl's voice, rapped parts and DJing. This version contains only three verses and is four and a half minutes long.[122]

Chart performance

Weekly singles charts

Chart (1965) Peak
position
Australia 7
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[40] 3
Dutch Top 40[42] 9
Dutch Single Top 100[123] 7
German Singles Chart[124] 13
Irish Singles Charts[41] 9
UK Singles Chart[43] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[125] 2
US Cashbox Top 100[126] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1965) Rank
US Billboard Hot 100[127] 41
US Cash Box [128] 38

Notes

  1. ^ Mickey Jones—the drummer for that part of the tour—maintains that it was not Dylan who said to "play it fucking loud", but most likely a member of their British road crew. Jones argues that in footage of the performance, the movement of Dylan's lips does not match the utterance, and that the words were spoken in a British accent (see Jones, Mickey in Down in the Flood).

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d Considine, Shaun, "The Hit We Almost Missed", The New York Times, December 3, 2004
  2. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Great Moments in Folk Rock: Lists of Author Favorites". www.richieunterberger.com. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  3. ^ "Top 6000 Songs of All Time". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Bob Dylan, 'Like a Rolling Stone' – 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  5. ^ Blistein, Jon. "Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' Lyrics Sell for $2 Million; Four-sheet draft includes scratched-out ideas, rhymes and doodles". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  6. ^ Hentoff, Nat. Playboy, March 1966, reprinted in Cott 2006, p. 97
  7. ^ Siegel, Jules. "Well, What Have We Here?", Saturday Evening Post, July 30, 1966, reprinted in McGregor 1972, p. 159
  8. ^ Heylin, 2009, p. 240. Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin speculates that Dylan typed a long piece of "vomit" as "quite possibly a conscious imitation of Kerouac's fabled 'scroll' version of On the Road.
  9. ^ Dylan interviewed by Marvin Bronstein, CBC, Montreal, February 20, 1966. Quoted by Marcus & 2005 (1), p. 70
  10. ^ a b Shelton 1986, p. 279
  11. ^ a b Kozinn, Allan (April 30, 2014). "Dylan's Handwritten Lyrics to 'Like a Rolling Stone' to Be Auctioned". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
  12. ^ Creswell 2006, p. 534
  13. ^ Marcus & 2005 (1), p. 110
  14. ^ Marcus & 2005 (1), p. 203
  15. ^ a b Marcus & 2005 (2), p. 110
  16. ^ a b c Gilliland 1969, show 32, track 3.
  17. ^ Irwin 2008, pp. 62–68
  18. ^ a b Marcus & 2005 (1), p. 234
  19. ^ a b Marcus & 2005 (1), pp. 203–210
  20. ^ Marcus & 2005 (1), p. 210
  21. ^ Gray 2006, pp. 386–387
  22. ^ Marcus & 2005 (1), p. 104
  23. ^ a b Kooper, Al (2005). No Direction Home (DVD). Paramount Pictures.
  24. ^ Marcus & 2005 (1), pp. 110–111
  25. ^ Irwin 2008, p. 72
  26. ^ Marcus & 2005 (1), pp. 211–225
  27. ^ Heylin 2009, p. 243
  28. ^ "Jam in Studio A with Bob Dylan". Bob Dylan Studio A Revisited. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  29. ^ "Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12". Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  30. ^ Braunstein, Peter (March 5, 1997). "Disco". American Heritage. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  31. ^ Krogsgaard 1991, p. 44
  32. ^ Jacobs, Ron (April 12, 2005). "Exploring the Unmapped Country". Counterpunch. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
  33. ^ a b c d Marcus & 2005 (3)
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Bibliography

  • Bauldie, John, ed. (1992). Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-015361-6.
  • Cott, Jonathan, ed. (2006). Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-92312-1.
  • Creswell, Toby (2006). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-915-9.
  • Gill, Andy (1998). Classic Bob Dylan 1962–69: My Back Pages. Carlton. ISBN 3-283-00358-0.
  • Gilliland, John (1969). "Ballad in Plain D: An introduction to the Bob Dylan era" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  • Gray, Michael (2006). The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Continuum International. ISBN 0-8264-6933-7.
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  • Heylin, Clinton (2009). Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957–1973. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-843-4.
  • Irwin, Colin (2008). Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited. Flame Tree Publishing. ISBN 0-8230-8398-5.
  • Bob Dylan and the Band (2012). Down in the Flood ("Driving the Band – Mickey Jones & Tour '66" DVD bonus feature). New Malden, UK: Chrome Dreams.
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External links

Acclaimed Music

Acclaimed Music is a website created by Henrik Franzon, a statistician from Stockholm, Sweden in September 2001. Franzon has statistically aggregated hundreds of published lists that rank songs and albums into aggregated rankings by year, decade and all-time. Lists that are submitted by readers to magazines or websites are excluded from the aggregation. Author Michaelangelo Matos writes that "Franzon's methods are imperfect, but as indicators of overall critical appeal go, it's hard to beat."As of 2019, the site's aggregated lists name the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966) as the most highly rated album of all time, and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" (1965) as the most highly rated song of all time. Additionally, the Beatles are the most acclaimed band, Dylan is the most acclaimed male artist, and Madonna is the most acclaimed female artist.

Al Kooper

Al Kooper (born Alan Peter Kuperschmidt, February 5, 1944) is an American songwriter, record producer and musician, known for organizing Blood, Sweat & Tears (although he did not stay with the group long enough to share its popularity), providing studio support for Bob Dylan when he went electric in 1965, and bringing together guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the Super Session album. In the 1970's he was a successful manager and producer, notably recording Lynyrd Skynyrd's first three albums. He's also had a successful solo career, written music for film soundtracks, and has lectured in musical composition. He continues to perform live.

Eiji Okuda

Eiji Okuda (奥田瑛二, Okuda Eiji, born 18 March 1950) is a Japanese actor and film director. Born in Kasugai, Aichi, he was nominated for the Best Actor award at the 1990 Japanese Academy Awards for his performance in Sen no Rikyu. He won the award for best actor at the 37th Blue Ribbon Awards for Like a Rolling Stone.He made his directing debut in 2001, and has taken leading roles in front of the camera in the three films he has directed as of 2006.

He appeared in the Brazilian soap opera Morde & Assopra, of 2011, as a scientist in the first chapter. He also appeared in the film Dirty Hearts, also released in 2011, this time as the character Colonel Watanabe, officer of the Japanese Imperial Army, leader of Shindo Renmei and the great villain of the film

Glen Carroll

Glen Carroll (born January 8, 1960) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist. Carroll wrote and recorded "Like A Rolling Stone", the "Top 10 Album" in 2013 (according to 'The Aquarian Weekly' writers).

Highway 61 Revisited

Highway 61 Revisited is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on August 30, 1965 by Columbia Records. Having until then recorded mostly acoustic music, Dylan used rock musicians as his backing band on every track of the album, except for the closing track, the 11-minute ballad "Desolation Row". Critics have focused on the innovative way Dylan combined driving, blues-based music with the subtlety of poetry to create songs that captured the political and cultural chaos of contemporary America. Author Michael Gray has argued that, in an important sense, the 1960s "started" with this album.Leading with the hit single "Like a Rolling Stone", the album features songs that Dylan has continued to perform live over his long career, including "Ballad of a Thin Man" and the title track. He named the album after the major American highway which connected his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota, to southern cities famed for their musical heritage, including St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, and the Delta blues area of Mississippi.

Highway 61 Revisited peaked at No. 3 in the United States charts and No. 4 in the United Kingdom. The album was ranked No. 4 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". "Like a Rolling Stone" was a top-10 hit in several countries, and was listed at No. 1 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Two other songs, "Desolation Row" and "Highway 61 Revisited", were listed at No. 187 and No. 373 respectively.

Jimi Plays Monterey

Jimi Plays Monterey is a posthumous live album by Jimi Hendrix released in February 1986. The album documents The Jimi Hendrix Experience's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 18, 1967. As well as songs from the band's debut album Are You Experienced, Monterey also includes covers of "Killing Floor" (Howlin' Wolf), "Like a Rolling Stone" (Bob Dylan), "Rock Me Baby" (B. B. King) and "Wild Thing" (Chip Taylor). The version of "Wild Thing" on the album is one of the most notable live performances ever, as, in an iconic moment in rock history, he sets his guitar alight after the song and then smashes it.

Jimi Plays Monterey is also a short film directed by D. A. Pennebaker documenting the same performance as the album, also released in 1986. It is notable for containing several interviews with rock stars, and containing an art piece by Denny Dent during the performance of "Can You See Me", as the song was not filmed.

Like a Rolling Stone (film)

Like a Rolling Stone (棒の哀しみ, Bo no Kanashimi) is a 1994 Japanese film directed by Tatsumi Kumashiro.

List of artists who have covered Bob Dylan songs

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941) is an American singer–songwriter, author, poet and painter who has been a major figure in popular music for more than five decades. Many major recording artists have covered Dylan's material, some even increasing its popularity as is the case with The Byrds' cover version of "Mr. Tambourine Man".

This article is a list of musicians who have recorded and released their own version of a song written by Dylan.

Never Ending Tour 2011

The Never Ending Tour is the popular name for Bob Dylan's endless touring schedule since June 7, 1988.

Never Ending Tour 2012

The Never Ending Tour is the popular name for Bob Dylan's endless touring schedule since June 7, 1988.

No Direction Home

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan is a 2005 documentary film by Martin Scorsese that traces the life of Bob Dylan, and his impact on 20th-century American popular music and culture. The film focuses on the period between Dylan's arrival in New York in January 1961 and his "retirement" from touring following his motorcycle accident in July 1966. This period encapsulates Dylan's rise to fame as a folk singer and songwriter, and the controversy surrounding his move to a rock style of music. The title is taken from Dylan's 1965 single "Like a Rolling Stone".

Penpingion

Penpingion is one of the gatekeepers at Arthur's court in early Welsh Arthurian traditions in which he is subservient to Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr. He appears in two tales: Culhwch ac Olwen and Geraint fab Erbin, and is described as having supernatural abilities: he "goes about on his head to save his feet, neither looking to heaven nor to the ground, but like a rolling stone on a court floor".He takes part in the hunt for the Twrch Trwyth and is killed in the attempt.

Positively 4th Street

"Positively 4th Street" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965, reaching  No. 1 on Canada's RPM chart,  No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and  No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as  No. 206 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.The song was released between Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, as the follow-up to Dylan's hit single "Like a Rolling Stone", but was not included on either album. The song's title does not appear anywhere in the lyrics and there has been much debate over the years as to the significance or which individual the song concerns.

An unreleased promo spot of the song can be found on the No Direction Home DVD special features.

Steve Levy

Steve Levy (born March 12, 1965) is an American journalist and sportscaster for ESPN. He is known for his work broadcasting NHL hockey.

Stripped (The Rolling Stones album)

Stripped is an album by The Rolling Stones released in November 1995 after the Voodoo Lounge Tour. It contains six live tracks and eight studio recordings. The live tracks were taken from four 1995 performances, at three small venues, and include a cover of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", which was the first single from the album. The remaining eight tracks were acoustic studio re-recordings of songs from the Stones' previous catalogue, the exception being a cover of Willie Dixon's "Little Baby". The studio performances were recorded without overdubs.

The 1966 Live Recordings

The 1966 Live Recordings is a 36-CD boxset of live recordings from the 1966 Live Tour by Bob Dylan, released on Legacy Records in November 2016. It includes every known recording from the tour, including audience tapes. Most of the set was unreleased at that point and some tapes never circulated before.

Tom Wilson (record producer)

Thomas Blanchard "Tom" Wilson Jr. (March 25, 1931 – September 6, 1978) was an American record producer best known for his work in the 1960s with Bob Dylan, the Mothers of Invention, Simon & Garfunkel, the Velvet Underground, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Eddie Harris, Nico, Eric Burdon and the Animals, the Blues Project, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and others.

Winterland (album)

Winterland is a posthumous live box set by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released on September 13, 2011, by Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings, the four-disc collection documents the band's six performances at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California between October 10 and 12, 1968. A single disc "highlights" edition was released the same day. "Like a Rolling Stone" was released as the lead single from the collection on August 23, 2011, backed with "Spanish Castle Magic".Some of this material had previously been released by Rykodisc in 1987 on an album titled Live at Winterland.

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Compilations
The Bootleg Series
Bootlegs
Concert tours
Never Ending Tour
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