[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Bob_Dylan_Chronicles.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Bob Dylan at the start of his career.]]

->''"Oh, hear this, Robert Zimmerman, I wrote a song for you''\\
''About a strange young man called Dylan with a voice like sand and glue''\\
''His words of truthful vengeance, they could pin us to the floor''\\
''Brought a few more people on and put the fear in a whole lot more"''
-->--'''Music/DavidBowie''', "Song For Bob Dylan" - ''Music/HunkyDory''.

One of the most influential living songwriters in popular music, and an American cultural icon. Music critics refer to him by [[LastNameBasis last name alone]] (sometimes even just his first name will suffice), and references to his life and career seem to pop up everywhere. Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} is a great place to learn the particulars, so we'll stick to the tropetacular.

'''Bob Dylan''' (born 24 May 1941), born '''Robert Allen Zimmerman''' ([[DoNotCallMePaul no, you can't call him that]]), moved from Minnesota to UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity at age nineteen with a guitar, some flannel shirts, [[TheDrifter and not much else]]. Adapting his new surname in homage to Creator/DylanThomas, he performed folk songs in bohemian Greenwich Village coffee shops and bars with an affected accent, inspired by Music/WoodyGuthrie, and became a fixture of the local "folk scene"—which doubled as a leftist political circle deeply interested in the CivilRightsMovement. Dylan wrote songs specifically for this group, the most famous being "Blowin' In The Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'". Although these two {{protest song}}s are still his biggest claim to fame today—he's the guy who "brought politics" into music, somehow—this "topical" phase of his career lasted little more than twelve months.

In the summer 1965, he took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival with some rock musician buddies and an electric guitar. They plugged in, played very loud rock music with crazy-ass lyrics to some angry college kids, and thereby "[[GenreShift went electric]]." It was not a [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks popular decision]] at the time. His image from this period is the most enduring -- [[SunglassesAtNight dark sunglasses indoors]], [[MessyHair a giant dome of frizzy hair]], [[ScooterRidingMod mod wardrobe]], and [[TheStoner baked as a Belgian waffle]].

His most famous song from this "electric" period is "Like A Rolling Stone". Twice as long or loud as anything else on the radio at the time, with snarling lyrics about chrome horses and cat-loving diplomats, the song somehow rose to number two on the U.S. charts.

After a long world tour, full of [[FanDumb combative press conferences and booing crowds]], Dylan dropped off the radar in 1966, one year prior to the [[TheSixties ''Summer of Love."]] He did not perform at Woodstock (despite - or perhaps ''because of'' - the fact that it took place basically down the road from his house), and he did not protest the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar. Bob Dylan closed out the Sixties via duet with Music/JohnnyCash. He nonetheless remains synonymous with said decade's "turbulence": Music/JimiHendrix's cover of "All Along the Watchtower" plays over about 70% of all Sixties montages.

The other major Bob Dylan reference you might encounter is to his "born again phase", which began with his conversion to Christianity in the late 70s (he was born into a Jewish family and raised Jewish). Attendant to this were [[PanderingToTheBase a few nostalgic, audience-baiting tours]] and some angry but lyrically intricate ChristianRock albums. Dylan eventually returned to more secular themes, but has never quite abandoned the doomsaying [[TheEndIsNigh street preacher]] point of view. On the other hand, in his personal life, he's been seen celebrating the [[JewishHolidays High Holidays]] at various [[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} Chabad Lubavich]] Hasidic congregations; make of that what you will.

Dylan still records music, which [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible people still don't really "get"]], and is once again sacrosanct among music critics and record store employees. As ever, this is mostly on the strength of his lyrics—Dylan is nominated for the NobelPrizeInLiterature almost every year. Nonetheless, his nasal growl of a singing voice remains a point of contention among listeners. The stock Bob Dylan joke is that [[TheUnintelligible nobody can understand a word he says]], and he is usually depicted as talking exactly as he sings.

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!!Studio Discography:

* 1962 - ''Music/BobDylanAlbum''
* 1963 - ''Music/TheFreewheelinBobDylan''
* 1964 - ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin''
* 1964 - ''Music/AnotherSideOfBobDylan''
* 1965 - ''Music/BringingItAllBackHome''
* 1965 - ''Music/Highway61Revisited''
* 1966 - ''Music/BlondeOnBlonde''
* 1967 - ''John Wesley Harding''
* 1969 - ''Music/NashvilleSkyline''
* 1970 - ''Music/SelfPortrait''
* 1970 - ''New Morning''
* 1973 - ''Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid''
* 1973 - ''Dylan''
* 1974 - ''Music/PlanetWaves'' [[note]]A collaboration with Music/TheBand[[/note]]
* 1975 - ''Music/BloodOnTheTracks''
* 1975 - ''Music/TheBasementTapes'' [[note]]Recorded in 1967-1968. A collaboration with Music/TheBand[[/note]]
* 1976 - ''Desire''
* 1978 - ''Street Legal''
* 1979 - ''Music/SlowTrainComing''
* 1980 - ''Saved''
* 1981 - ''Shot Of Love''
* 1983 - ''Infidels''
* 1985 - ''Empire Burlesque''
* 1986 - ''Knocked Out Loud''
* 1988 - ''Down In The Groove''
* 1989 - ''Music/OhMercy''
* 1990 - ''Under The Red Sky''
* 1992 - ''Music/GoodAsIBeenToYou''
* 1993 - ''World Gone Wrong''
* 1997 - ''Music/TimeOutOfMind''
* 2001 - ''Love And Theft''
* 2006 - ''Modern Times''
* 2009 - ''Together Through Life''
* 2009 - ''Music/ChristmasInTheHeart''
* 2012 - ''Tempest''
* 2015 - ''Shadows In The Night''

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!!Live Discography:

* 1974 - ''Before The Flood'' [[note]]A collaboration with Music/TheBand[[/note]]
* 1976 - ''Hard Rain''
* 1979 - ''Bob Dylan Ad Budokan''
* 1984 - ''Real Live''
* 1989 - ''Dylan And The Dead'' [[note]]A collaboration with Music/TheGratefulDead[[/note]]
* 1993 - ''The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration'' [[note]]A various artists tribute to Bob Dylan, with Dylan himself appearing on it[[/note]]
* 1995 - ''MTV Unplugged''
* 2001 - ''Live 1961–2000: Thirty-Nine Years Of Great Concert Performances''
* 2005 - ''Live At The Gaslight 1962''
* 2005 - ''Live At Carnegie Hall 1963''
* 2011 - ''In Concert - Brandeis University 1963''

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!!His work features examples of:

* AfterTheEnd: "Talkin' WorldWarIII Blues" from ''Music/TheFreewheelinBobDylan'' plays it for BlackComedy.
* AltumVidetur: In the most bizarre moment on ''Music/ChristmasInTheHeart'' (which is saying a lot), he opens "O Come All Ye Faithful" with the original "Adeste Fideles" verse. His pronunciation isn't bad, but it's still Bob Dylan singing Latin.
* AppliedMathematics: "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" from ''Music/BringingItAllBackHome'' is an equation. "Love - 0 / ∞"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: "Shot Of Love" from ''Music/ShotOfLove'' .
--> ''Why would I want to, take your life, you've only murdered my father, raped his wife, tattooed my babies with a poisoned pen, mocked my God, humiliated my friend.''
* AStormIsComing: So many songs, but most notably "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", "All Along The Watchtower", "The Times They Are A-Changin'", "Blowin' In The Wind", "Shelter From The Storm", "When The Ship Comes In" and "Subterranean Homesick Blues".
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Judas Priest from "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Pries" from ''Music/JohnWesleyHarding''. So awesome that [[Music/JudasPriest this one heavy metal band]] took the name for itself.
* BalladOfX: "Ballad Of A Thin Man", "Ballad Of Hollis Brown", "Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest".
* TheBandMinusTheFace: Dylan's mid-60's touring band would go on to considerable success in their own right as, well, Music/TheBand.
* Creator/TheBeatGeneration: Dylan has listed Kerouac among his influences and actually became close friends with Creator/AllenGinsberg.
* BigNo: PlayedForLaughs (probably) in "In Search Of Little Sadie"
* BikiniBar: The "topless place" in "Tangled Up in Blue." from ''Music/BloodOnTheTracks''.
* {{Blackface}}: He never donned it directly, but rather wore ironic white-face make-up during the Rolling Thunder Revue. He has also been open about the influence of minstrelsy on his music, including naming his album ''Love and Theft'' after Eric Lott's academic book ''Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class.'' A minstrel named Oscar Vogel appears in ''Masked and Anonymous.''
* BlaseBoast: PlayedForLaughs ([[ShrugOfGod probably]]) by the introduction he used for years, starting in 2002. It's originally from an article about him, which Dylan apparently either found flattering or so hilarious he had to turn it into a RunningGag.
--> ''Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome: [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic the poet laureate of rock 'n' roll]]. The voice of the promise of TheSixties counterculture. [[GenreTurningPoint The guy who forced]] {{folk|Music}} into bed with {{rock|AndRoll}}. Who [[TheRockstar donned make-up]] in TheSeventies and disappeared into [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs a haze of substance abuse]]. Who emerged to [[ChristianRock find Jesus]]. Who was written off as [[OldSoldier a has-been]] by the end of TheEighties, and who [[HesBack suddenly shifted gears]] releasing some of the strongest music of his career [[OldMaster beginning in the late]] [[TheNineties Nineties]]. Ladies and gentlemen - Creator/{{Columbia|Records}} [[AllAPartOfTheJob recording artist]] Bob Dylan!''
* BreakTheHaughty: "Like A Rolling Stone".
* [[BreatherEpisode Breather Song]]: On ''Music/TheFreewheelinBobDylan'', the comical "Bob Dylan's Blues" and "I Shall Be Free" are there to help offset the album's heavier songs. While not quite as comical, the lyrically wry and up-tempo "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" serves a similar role on ''Music/BloodOnTheTracks''.
* BrickJoke: Responsible for possibly the longest brick joke ever. In 1964, when asked by a reporter what what product might entice him to sell out, Dylan replied, "Ladies' undergarments." Forty years later in 2004, he appeared in a Victoria's Secret ad.
* ButtMonkey: The narrator of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues".
* CallBack:
** He quotes the opening line of "Positively 4th Street" ("You've got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend") at the end of its follow-up single, "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?"
** "Stayin' up for days in the Chelsea Hotel/Writing 'Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands' for you" ("Sara")
** During a 1979 concert on his first "Christian" tour:
--> ''I told you "The Times They Are A-Changing" and they did! I said the answer was "Blowin’ In The Wind" and it was! And I'm saying to you now, Jesus is coming back.''
** "Po' Boy" from 2001 may be one to "Motorpsycho Nitemare":
--> ''My mother was a [[FarmersDaughter daughter of a wealthy farmer]]\\
My father was a TravelingSalesman, I never met him''
* CanonDiscontinuity: For a while after his conversion to Christianity, he refused to play any of his pre-Gospel songs.
** The 1973 album ''Dylan'' is largely this.
* ChekhovsGunman: "Brownsville Girl". The narrator and his girlfriend stop at the house of someone named Henry Porter, only to find out he's gone out for a while. Later in the song [[spoiler:this trope gets thoroughly averted and {{Lampshaded}}: "The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter was that his name wasn't Henry Porter", and Porter is never mentioned again.]]
* ChekhovsVolcano: "Black Diamond Bay".
* ChristmasSongs: Dylan's 2009 release, ''Music/ChristmasInTheHeart'', consists of various Christmas songs from Dylan's formative years, ''played straight''.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: In interviews he can come off as this, but how much of that is genuine and how much is an elaborate put-on is one of the eternal debates in his career.
* CoolHat: The feathered white fedora he dons in ''Film/TheLastWaltz'' certainly qualifies.
* CoolShades: Was rarely seen without his shades as part of his new rock star image in the mid-60's.
** Also featured in the cover photo for ''Infidels'' in 1983.
* {{Corpsing}}: At the start of "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" because the rest of the band missed their cue.
** Not to mention the ''Basement Tapes'' out-take "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=726M-ErLYss See You Later, Allen Ginsberg]]."
** You can hear him chuckle a little on "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" when he sings "''what'' did you meet" instead of "''who'' did you meet" and has to correct himself the second time.
* CoverAlbum: A bunch. ''Music/GoodAsIBeenToYou'' and ''World Gone Wrong'' consist of solo acoustic performances of old folk standards, ''[[ExecutiveMeddling Dylan]]'' is an album of cover version out-takes, ''Music/ChristmasInTheHeart'' has him covering ChristmasSongs, and ''Shadows In The Night'' is an all-Music/FrankSinatra cover album. Also, ''Music/BobDylanAlbum'', ''Music/SelfPortrait'' and ''Down In The Groove'' have more covers than original material.
* TheCoverChangesTheGender: He famously averted this in his take on "The House Of The Rising Sun". He also retained the female perspective of the original when he covered the British folk song "Young But Daily Growing" during the ''Basement Tapes'' sessions.
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning: Ray Price's 1968 country hit "Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go)" is addressed to a lover who the narrator thinks is trying to make him "a stand-in for an old love." When he covered it on ''Music/SelfPortrait'' two years later, the subtext of Dylan sending a message to listeners who believed that [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks He Changed, Now He Sucks]] was glaring almost to the point of {{Anvilicious}}ness:
--> ''Why must you always try to make me over?''
--> ''Take me as I am or let me go...''
--> ''You're trying to reshape me in a mold...''
--> ''In the image of someone you used to know
* CoverVersion: For an artist often praised more for his song-writing than his performances, Dylan loves doing other people's material - ranging from folk and blues songs to Music/FrankSinatra and Music/TheClash. After Music/WarrenZevon announced he had cancer, Dylan started playing 2-3 Warren Zevon covers [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments at every show]] for an entire tour.
* CrapsackWorld: Many of his songs, especially from the early 80's onwards. For instance, "Blind Willie [=McTell=]" from "The Bootleg Series".
--> ''Well, God is in his heaven''
--> ''And we all want what's His''
--> ''But power and greed''
--> ''And corruptible seed''
--> ''Seems to be all that there is''
** Pretty much the entirety of 1997's ''Music/TimeOutOfMind'' might be counted under this trope: Dylan sounds so depressed and sick of life on the album that some people expressed mild surprise that after recording it he didn't just go and jump off a bridge somewhere.
* DeadpanSnarker: Often in interviews, especially in his younger days.
-->'''Reporter:''' How many, would you say, could be classified as protest singers today?
-->'''Bob Dylan:''' Uh... how ''many''?
-->'''Reporter:''' Yes. Are there many?
-->'''Bob Dylan:''' I think there's about... 136?
* DoNotCallMePaul: You apparently have to get special permission to mention the name "Zimmerman" in his presence. Some people (including, if ''Magazine/RollingStone'' is to be believed, UsefulNotes/BarackObama) do get permission.
* DyingTown: "North Country Blues" from ''Music/TheTimesThetAreAChangin''
* EmergencyBroadcast: He mentions CONELRAD in "Talkin' World War III Blues".
* EpicRocking: "Desolation Row", "Highlands", "Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands", "Joey", "Brownsville Girl" and "Tempest" are all longer than ten minutes!
** And "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" isn't far off at just under nine.
* EveryScarHasAStory: "Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)" from ''Music/StreetLegal''.
--> ''If you don't believe there's a price for this sweet paradise''
--> ''Just remind me to show you the scars''
* EverybodyMustGetStoned: {{Trope Namer|s}}, from the chorus of "Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35"
** Which is a non-sexual DoubleEntendre. In the verses, "they'll stone you" refers to the kind of persecution symbolized by Biblical stoning. The chorus plays up the drug associations of the word.
** "Stoned" was originally a slang term for being drunk on alcohol, only later was it reserved for marijuana intoxication.
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: On ''Music/{{Desire}}'', "Romance In Durango" cross-fades into "Black Diamond Bay".
** On ''The Bootleg Series: Vol. 3'', "When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky" cross-fades into "Series Of Dreams".
* LeFilmArtistique: ''Renaldo And Clara''.
** And ''Masked And Anonymous''.
** ''Eat The Document''.
* FullNameUltimatum: At least two other artists[[note]]Music/JohnLennon in "God" and Music/DavidBowie in "Song For Bob Dylan" from ''Music/HunkyDory''[[/note]] have used the name "Zimmerman" to express their disillusionment with him. Music/TheByrds, on the other hand, used it as a joking retort to Dylan's joking TakeThat in "You Ain't Going Nowhere" ("Zimmerman" fit the melody and rhyme better than "Dylan").
* GayParee: Mentioned in "Not Dark Yet".
* Music/TheGratefulDead: Dylan toured with them in 1987, resulting in the live album ''Dylan And The Dead''...which fans of both acts would just as soon [[FanonDiscontinuity pretend never happened]].
* GreatestHitsAlbum: Several, with many of them helping to codify different approaches to this trope. 1967's ''Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits'' is still many listeners' gateway into his work and also gave "Positively 4th Street" its first album appearance. The double album ''Greatest Hits Volume II'' (1971) was probably the {{Trope Maker|s}} for the now-almost universal practice of including newly-recorded bonus songs on a Greatest Hits Album. It's also notable because Dylan chose the songs and did the track sequence. 1985's ''Biograph'' was a 5-record (and 3-CD) mix of hits, studio out-takes and live cuts that helped lay the groundwork for the CD box set boom. For a while those were it, but starting in the mid-90s there have been numerous career-spanning sets released.
* HangingJudge: In "Seven Curses" and "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts".
* HaveAGayOldTime: "Standing In The Doorway"--"I'm strumming on my gay guitar." But since it was written and recorded in 1997 it's a case of Dylan purposely using the old meaning to convey anachronism.
** A deliberate DoubleEntendre in "Caribbean Wind", where the line "as the gay night wore on" is immediately followed by "where men bathed in perfume."
* HeelRealization: "What Good Am I?" from ''Music/OhMercy''
* HilariousOuttakes: The false start to "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream", complete with producer Tom Wilson's helpless laughter.
* HyperlinkStory: "Lily, Rosemary & The Jack of Hearts", "Black Diamond Bay".
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: "Tell Me, Momma".
* IntercourseWithYou: "Lay Lady Lay".
** Actually, most of ''Music/NashvilleSkyline'' is made of this. And even before, there was "I'll Be your Baby Tonight" from ''Music/JohnWesleyHarding''.
** Subverted in the unreleased "If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You've Got to Stay All Night)".
-->It ain't that I'm askin' anything you never gave before
-->It's just that I'll be sleepin' soon, it'll be too dark for you to find the door
** "On a Night Like This" and "One More Weekend" are about Marital Intercourse With You.
* IsNothingSacred: "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" from ''Music/BringingItAllBackHome''
--> ''Disillusioned words like bullets bark''
--> ''As human gods aim for their mark''
--> ''Make everything from toy guns that spark''
--> ''To flesh-coloured Christs that glow in the dark''
--> ''It’s easy to see without looking too far''
--> ''That not much is really sacred''
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: After Columbia Records executive John Hammond signed Dylan and produced his debut album, the album only sold 5,000 copies in its initial release. Other Columbia executives started calling Dylan "Hammond's Folly".
* {{Jerkass}}: He comes across as a major one in ''Film/DontLookBack'', as Creator/RogerEbert notes in his [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/dont-look-back-1998 review]] of the film's 20th anniversary reissue:
--> ''What a jerk Bob Dylan was in 1965. What an immature, self-important, inflated, cruel, shallow little creature, lacking in empathy and contemptuous of anyone who was not himself or his lackey. Did we actually once take this twerp as our folk god?''
* JustLikeRobinHood: The title character in [[Music/JohnWesleyHarding "John Wesley Harding"]], though the real life John Wesley Hardin didn't fit the role at all.
* KarmaHoudini: "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll" tells the story of an upper-class white man who kills a poor black woman. This being Baltimore in the 60's, he receives only a six-month sentence.
** Very much inverted in "Percy's Song" from "Biograph", in which the singer relates the story of a friend who was in a car accident that killed four people, and got a 99-year prison sentence for manslaughter.
* TheKnightsWhoSaySquee: How a lot of fans, and apparently a lot of other artists tend to react to meeting him in person.
-->'''[[Music/TheWallflowers Jakob Dylan]]:''' I got to watch my heroes meet him and saw how they reacted, whether it was [[Music/TheClash Joe Strummer]] or Music/TomWaits. It was peculiar. I'm so stoked to meet Tom Waits, and he's so nervous to meet my dad. It's a head spin.
* KnockKnockJoke: He somehow manages to slip one into "Po' Boy".
* LargeHam: On some of his 60's and 70's tours his stage persona leaned in this direction. Even now, he'll ham it up a bit on some songs ("Ballad of a Thin Man" in particular).
* LongTitle: "(Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The) Memphis Blues Again" and "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)". Incidentally, both of these are off of ''Music/BlondeOnBlonde''.
* LoveableRogue: The Jack of Hearts in "Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts" from ''Music/BloodOnTheTracks''.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Mixed-Up Confusion" from "Biograph", "Winterlude" from "New Morning", "Idiot Wind" from ''Music/BloodOnTheTracks''.
* LyricalDissonance: "Positively 4th Street" and "Like A Rolling Stone" (bright, happy music accompanied by bitter words).
** "Oxford Town" from ''Music/TheFreewheelinBobDylan'' is a jolly-sounding up-tempo song (in the liner notes Dylan calls it "a banjo tune I play on the guitar") about the riots at the University of Mississippi when [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Meredith James Meredith]] enrolled there.
** The Basement Tapes-era tune "Get Your Rocks Off" pairs slow, bluesy music with silly, slightly off-colour lyrics. The absurdity of that pairing leads Dylan to start {{corpsing}} midway through the song
* MessyHair: Especially during the late 60's. He's the page picture.
* MindScrew: "Desolation Row" from ''Music/Highway61Revisited''
** Just "Desolation Row"? The same album also has "Tombstone Blues" which averages three mind screws per verse, and "Ballad of a Thin Man" which might as well be the trope namer.
** The second verse of "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" from ''Music/BringingItAllBackHome'' especially, where what is believed to be a newly discovered America is revealed to be already populated by its crazier twentieth century inhabitants.
** His [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantula_(book) "experimental prose poetry collection"]] ''Tarantula''.
* MiscarriageOfJustice: "Percy's Song" from ''Music/{{Biograph}}'', "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll" from ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin'', "Hurricane" from ''Music/{{Desire}}''.
* MoralityBallad: Too many to list. Most notable are probably "Like A Rolling Stone" from ''Music/Highway61Revisited'' and "Hurricane" from ''Music/{{Desire}}''
* MurderBallad: "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll" from ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin''
** "Ballad Of Hollis Brown" from ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin'' is an interesting [[SecondPersonNarration second person]] take on the trope.
* MusicOfNote: Dylan is one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, especially to singer-songwriters.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" from ''Music/BringingItAllBackHome''
--> ''Well, by this time I was fed up''
--> ''At tryin’ to make a stab''
--> ''At bringin’ back any help''
--> ''For my friends and Captain Arab''
* NewSoundAlbum: Several. ''Music/BringingItAllBackHome'' definitely qualifies, marking his transition to electric (which, as noted above, pissed off a substantial portion of his fan base). Prior to that, ''Music/AnotherSideOfBobDylan'' marked his transition from protest songs to impressionistic, expressive lyrics (which, as noted above, also pissed off a substantial portion of his fan base). Then there was the late 60's ''Music/JohnWesleyHarding'', which took a step back from the heavy pop instrumentation of the previous three albums and went for a much more sparse and acoustic country vibe - followed by ''Music/NashvilleSkyline'', which was pretty much full-on country with very straight-forward, unambiguous lyrics (which didn't as much piss off as mystify a substantial portion of his fan base: the albums were part of Dylan's plan to rid himself of said gigantic fan base, as he was getting quite annoyed with it). Significantly, the late 70's ''Music/SlowTrainComing'' marked Dylan's short-lived venture into gospel and Christian rock (which both pissed off ''and'' mystified a substantial portion of his fan base). 1997's ''Music/TimeOutOfMind'' saw Dylan shift towards a more blues folk style that has to some extent characterized all his output for the past 15 years.
* NoTimeToThink: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "No Time To Think".]] from ''Music/StreetLegal''
* NonActorVehicle: His attempts at acting in ''Hearts Of Fire'', ''Flashback'' and ''Masked And Anonymous''.
* NotChristianRock: Although Dylan frequently incorporates religious imagery in his work.
** On the other hand, his trio of "born again"-period albums (''Music/SlowTrainComing'', ''Saved'', ''Shot of Love'') could [[strike:probably]] definitely be categorized as straight-up ChristianRock.
* NotStayingForBreakfast: "Simple Twist Of Fate" from ''Music/BloodOnTheTracks''
* NotableMusicVideos: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgC77nc22ec video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues"]] from ''Film/DontLookBack'' is often considered to be the UrExample of non-diagetic videos (i.e. music videos that aren't just the [[PerformanceVideo artist playing the song]] or an audience as the artist plays).
* OneManSong: "Blind Willie [=McTell=]", "Don't Ya Tell Henry", "George Jackson", "Joey", "John Wesley Harding", "Lenny Bruce", "Silvio", "Song To Woody", "Temporary Like Achilles", "Mr. Tambourine Man".
* OneWomanSong: "Absolutely Sweet Marie", "Angelina", "Farewell Angelina", "Hazel", "Isis", "Jolene", "Maggie's Farm", "Nettie Moore", "Peggy Day", "Queen Jane Approximately", "Rita May", "Sara", "To Ramona", "Visions of Johanna", "Winterlude" (yes, that's the name of the woman in the song).
* OntologicalMystery: Experienced by the title character in "Drifter's Escape".
* PaterFamilicide: "Ballad Of Hollis Brown" from ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin''
* PopCulturalOsmosisFailure: He was at the receiving end of this once, as he was almost arrested in 2009 for loitering in New Jersey. At the time he wasn't carrying ID and the officers that accosted him had never heard his name before.
* PrecisionFStrike: "Hurricane" from ''Music/{{Desire}}''
** Also from the live version of "Like A Rolling Stone" in Manchester, 1966. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Don't call Dylan "Judas".]]
---> ''"I don't believe you... You're a '''liar!''' PLAY IT FUCKING LOUD!"''
* PretenderDiss: The {{Rockumentary}} ''Film/DontLookBack'' of Dylan making more-or-less friendly fun of Donovan.
** And Music/JohnLennon was convinced "Fourth Time Around" from ''Music/BlondeOnBlonde'' was one directed at Music/TheBeatles.
*** It was in effect an answer song to "Norwegian Wood." Lennon later was able to appreciate the humour.
* PrideBeforeAFall: "Foot Of Pride" from "The Bootleg Series".
* PrincessInRags: "Like A Rolling Stone" from ''Music/Highway61Revisited''. The trope could have almost been named "Napoleon In Rags", this song is one of the most iconic portrayals of that trope.
* ProductionForeshadowing:
** In 1963, two years before switching from folk to rock, he released two songs where he was backed by a band: "Corrina Corrina" and "Mixed-Up Confusion".
** Parts of the Daniel Lanois-produced ''Music/OhMercy'' sound like an early preview of the Daniel Lanois-produced ''Music/TimeOutOfMind''.
* ProtestSong: Again, too many to list. Though the most famous would have to be "Hurricane," "The Times They Are A-Changin," and "Masters Of War." Many critics believe "Only a Pawn in Their Game" to be this trope's stand-out example. Dylan eventually became disillusioned with protest songs, and distanced himself from them in "My Back Pages":
--> ''Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth\\
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed\\
Lies that life is black and white\\
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed\\
Romantic facts of musketeers\\
Foundationed deep, somehow\\
Ah, but I was so much older then\\
I’m younger than that now.''
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: His band for the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975-76 had this flavour. There was Music/DavidBowie's ex-guitarist (Mick Ronson), a guitarist who had previously written a couple songs for TheMonkees (Steve Soles), a tall skinny guy from Texas (T-Bone Burnett), the guy who played bass on Music/DonMcLean's [[Music/AmericanPie "American Pie"]] (Rob Stoner), a boyish-looking guy who'd previously been in a band called Quacky Duck & His Barnyard Friends (David Mansfield), a Latin violinist who Dylan had hired after he saw her walking down the street (Scarlet Rivera), and Andrew Wyeth's nephew (Howie Wyeth) on drums, among others.
* RearrangeTheSong / EvolvingMusic: Constantly, throughout his entire career. Being a folk musician at heart, Dylan sees every new performance of a song as a new interpretation of it. It's been said that he never plays a song the same way twice; that's a ''slight'' exaggeration, but not by much.
--> ''This is called "I Don't Believe You." It used to be like that, now it goes like this.''
** The same applies to lyrics, especially to songs that (presumably) carry a lot of personal meaning for him. For instance, compare "If You See Her, Say Hello" [[http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/if-you-see-her-say-hello before]] and [[http://expectingrain.com/dok/div/ifyouseeher.html after]] his divorce. And "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" has at least a few dozen verses by now.
** As illustrated [[http://dylanchords.info/16_bott/tangled_up_in_blue.htm here]], "Tangled Up In Blue" is probably his most tinkered-with song lyrically.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: "Positively 4th Street", "Idiot Wind"
* RedScare: Satirized in "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues".
--> ''I discovered - RED STRIPES ON THE AMERICAN FLAG!''
* RefrainFromAssuming: The song is ''not'' "Everybody Must Get Stoned," it's "Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35".
* ReligionRantSong: The DeconstructiveParody of Literature/TheBible in "Jokerman" from "Infidels".
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: "Hurricane" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol", most prominently.
* RockstarSong: "Like A Rolling Stone" from ''Music/Highway61Revisited''.
* {{Rockumentary}}: D A Pennebaker's ''Film/DontLookBack'' [sic] from Dylan's 1965 tour of the UK is one of the [[TropeMakers earliest examples]]. Dylan followed it up with the [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs slightly less coherent]] ''Eat The Document'', filmed during the 1966 tour, which remains unreleased (though bootleg copies circulate). There's also Creator/MartinScorsese's 2005 documentary ''No Direction Home''.
* SarcasticTitle: "With God On Our Side" from ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin''.
* SecondPersonNarration: "Like A Rolling Stone", "Ballad Of A Thin Man", and "Queen Jane Approximately", all of them from one album (''Music/Highway61Revisited'').
** Done to disturbing effect in "Ballad Of Hollis Brown" from ''Music/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin''.
* SelfBackingVocalist: His cover of Music/SimonAndGarfunkel's "The Boxer" (from the ''Music/SelfPortrait'' album) employs this.
* SelfParody: His early song "Talkin' Hava Negeilah Blues" from "The Bootleg Series" was a parody of his Music/WoodyGuthrie-influenced style during that phase of his career ''and'' his Jewish background (which he was still covering up). He introduces "Hava Nagila" as "a foreign song I learned in Utah."
* SelfTitledAlbum: His debut release. ''Music/TheFreewheelinBobDylan'' and ''Music/AnotherSideOfBobDylan'' are semi-examples.
* ShoutOut: Hundreds, ranging from biblical figures to Music/AliciaKeys. No, she doesn't know why either.
** Dylan himself has received various shout-outs by other artists too. We've got an entire page for that: ''[[ReferencedBy/BobDylan Referenced By: Bob Dylan]]''
* [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare Shout-Out: To Shakespeare]]: Frequently.
--> ''Theatre/{{Othello}} told Desdemona,''
--> ''"[[ImColdSoCold I'm cold, cover me with a blanket]]''
--> ''By the way, what happened to that [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} poisoned wine]]?"''
--> ''She said, "[[SubvertedTrope I gave it to you, you drank it...?]]"''
*** There's also the one from "Desolation Row":
--> ''Now [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} Ophelia]], she's 'neath the window''
--> ''For her I feel so afraid''
--> ''On her twenty-second birthday''
--> ''She already is an old maid''
--> ''To her, death is quite romantic''
--> ''She wears an iron vest''
--> ''Her profession's her religion''
--> ''Her sin is her lifelessness''
--> ''And though her eyes are fixed upon''
--> ''[[Literature/TheBible Noah’s great rainbow]]''
--> ''She spends her time peeking''
--> ''Into Desolation Row.''
* SillyLoveSongs: A few scattered here and there throughout his career, especially on ''Music/NashvilleSkyline'', ''New Morning'' and ''Music/PlanetWaves''.
* SingingVoiceDissonance: He's suprisingly soft-spoken when he talks. His speaking voice is also less throaty.
* SmokingIsCool: [[http://www.last.fm/music/Bob+Dylan/+images/13979651 Exhibit A]].
* SomethingBlues: "Subterranean Homesick Blues", "Workingman's Blues # 2", "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", "North Country Blues", "Black Crow Blues", "Outlaw Blues", "Tombstone Blues", "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"...
* SpidersAreScary: Probably the effect he was going for in naming his experimental novel ''Tarantula''.
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: "Brownsville Girl"
--> ''Seems like a long time ago, long before the stars were torn down''
* StayInTheKitchen: Hinted rather unsubtly in "Sweetheart Like You."
* StealthInsult: "Like A Rolling Stone". Don't believe us? Just look [[RichesToRags here]].
* {{Supergroup}}: TheTravelingWilburys, with Music/GeorgeHarrison, Music/TomPetty, [[Music/ElectricLightOrchestra Jeff Lynne]] and Music/RoyOrbison.
* SuddenDownerEnding: ''Planet Waves'' and ''Empire Burlesque'' are musically bright albums that are heavy on love songs, but they both end with Dylan, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica, performing a personal, serious song ("Wedding Song", "Dark Eyes").
* TakeThat: "Maggie's Farm" (written long before [[UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher the Iron Lady]]'s time, although the later covers by Music/TheSpecials and Music/RageAgainstTheMachine did not overlook the coincidence)
** "Positively 4th Street"
** "Ballad of a Thin Man"
** "Just Like a Woman"
** A more light-hearted one occurs in "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere": Music/TheByrds released their cover of the song in 1968, during which Roger [=McGuinn=] accidentally switched one of the original lines around and sang "Pack up your money, pick up your tent". Dylan re-recorded the song in 1971 for a greatest hits compilation, rendering the lyric as "Pack up your money, put up your tent, [=McGuinn=], you ain't goin' nowhere". [=McGuinn=] in turn responded on a 1989 cover of the song with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, singing "Pack up your money, pick up your tent, Zimmerman".
** TakeThatCritics: From a 2012 interview, when asked about accusations that he's borrowed lines from others.
---> ''Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It's an old thing – it's part of the tradition. It goes way back. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. [[PrecisionFStrike All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell.]]''
* TarotMotifs: The card for The Empress is on the back cover of ''Desire'', and ''Street-Legal'' is loaded with tarot references (''especially'' "Changing of The Guards").
* TextlessAlbumCover: ''Music/BlondeOnBlonde'', ''Music/NashvilleSkyline'', ''Music/SelfPortrait'', ''New Morning''.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: His older songs, especially.
* TitleOnlyChorus: "Angelina"
** "I Want You" comes close. The only other words besides the title phrase are "so bad" and "honey".
* TooManyCooksSpoilTheSoup: His reason for the failure of the album "Under the Red Sky."
* TwelveBarBlues: One of the basic ingredients of his song-writing. Many of his songs can be classified as having tweaked blues structures. Probably the straightest examples of Twelve Bar Blues in his work are "Down The Highway", "Outlaw Blues" and "Meet Me In The Morning".
* TheUnintelligible: Not the songs themselves, for the most part, but guaranteed that any parody of him will be this.
** Somewhat subverted with "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody "Bob", which features lyrics composed entirely of well-enunciated (if twangy) palindromes.
** This trope is the reason he was so often Covered -- other artists' versions were just more marketable because they were easier to understand.
* VocalEvolution: While he has more-or-less always had the famous nasal gruffness, there have been some subtle changes over the years. On his first two albums he has a Music/WoodyGuthrie-influenced drawl. On his other pre-electric albums he almost shouts a lot of the lyrics. On his first two electric albums he went with a plain but forceful way of singing, emphasizing certain syllables. On ''Music/BlondeOnBlonde'' (1966) he exaggerates that style almost to the point of SelfParody. On ''Music/JohnWesleyHarding'' (recorded late 1967) his timbre begins to sound like that which pervaded his 70's work: a sharpness in his louder sections, a hoarseness in quieter ones. A major departure from that was his crooning voice on ''Music/NashvilleSkyline'' from 1969. Bootleg tapes confirm that this was very similar to the voice he used when he first started playing folk clubs in his Minnesota college days, so it was a deliberate change on Dylan's part. Dylan went so far as to hang a {{Lampshade|Hanging}} on this with his version of "[[Music/SimonAndGarfunkel The Boxer]]" on ''Music/SelfPortrait'', done as a duet between Classic Dylan and ''Skyline'' Dylan. The close of the 70's gave us a wavering, sneering quality to his singing voice, raspy as ever. Starting in the late 80s he developed a strange slurring style that led to all the jokes about him needing a translator. Since ''Music/TimeOutOfMind'' in 1997 his voice is more noticeably hoarse, so he's adopted a softer style of singing to compensate.
* WhatsAnXLikeYouDoingInAYLikeThis: The refrain of "Sweetheart Like You": "What's a sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this?"
* WordSaladLyrics: "Desolation Row" is about a lynching. All of it. Really.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: "Changing Of The Guards", beginning with a CallBack to his debut album 16 years earlier, and ending with
--> ''"Gentlemen!" he said, "I don't need your organization''
--> ''I've shined your shoes, I've moved your mountains and I've marked your cards''
--> ''But Eden is burning! Either get ready for elimination''
--> ''Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards"''

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