[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Bob_Dylan_Chronicles.jpg]]

->''"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"

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. ThatOtherWiki is a great place to learn the particulars, so we'll stick to the tropetacular.

Bob Dylan (1941-), born Robert 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 DylanThomas, he performed folk songs in bohemian Greenwich Village coffee shops and bars with an affected accent, 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. This is about the time the Beatles were singing "Yesterday."

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 JohnnyCash. He nonetheless remains synonymous with said decade's "turbulence": 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.

Bob Dylan albums with their own page:

* Music/Highway61Revisited
----
!!His work features examples of:
* AfterTheEnd: "Talkin' WorldWarIII Blues" plays it for BlackComedy.
* AltumVidetur: In the most bizarre moment on ''Christmas in The Heart'' (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" is an equation. "Love - 0 / ∞"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: From the song "Shot of Love" - "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."
* ArtistDisillusionment: After his motorcycle crash, and with the Summer of Love occuring without him in the spotlight for a year, Dylan merely wanted to quietly recuperate and rekindle his broken relationship with his wife and kids in his home in Woodstock, NY. He was constantly accosted and harassed by the local hippies and countercultural leaders, who wanted him to lead the hippie revolution and go back on the rockstar treadmill again. He came to resent his role as a "voice of a generation", particularly after they (unsuccessfully) tried to get him to play the Woodstock Festival in 1969, and started to write throwaway albums like ''Dylan'' and ''Self Portrait'' to fulfill his contract and deliberately derail his legacy.
-->I was sick of the way my lyrics had been extrapolated, their meanings subverted into polemics and that I had been anointed as [[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard the Big Bubba of Rebellion, High Priest of Protest, the Duke of Disobedience, Leader of the Freeloaders, Kaiser of Apostasy, Arch-bishop of Anarchy, the Big Cheese]]. ''What the hell are we talking about?''
* 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 ''John Wesley Harding''. 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-'60s 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."
* {{Blackface}}: He never donned it directly, but rather wore ironic whiteface makeup 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: [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome the poet laureate of rock 'n' roll]]. The voice of the promise of TheSixties counterculture. [[GenreTurningPoint The guy who forced]] [[FolkMusic folk]] into bed with [[RockAndRoll rock]]. Who [[TheRockStar donned makeup]] 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/ColumbiaRecords Columbia]] [[AllAPartOfTheJob recording artist]] BobDylan!
* BreakTheHaughty: "Like a Rolling Stone".
* BreakawayPopHit: "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", from Creator/SamPeckinpah's ''Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid'', which Dylan scored and had a small role in.
* [[BreatherEpisode Breather Song]]: On ''The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'', 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 uptempo "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" serves a similar role on ''Blood on The Tracks''.
* 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.
* 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, ''Christmas in the Heart'', 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.
* 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'' outtake "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=726M-ErLYss See You Later, Allen Ginsberg]]."
* CoverAlbum: A bunch. ''Good As I Been To You'' and ''World Gone Wrong'' consist of solo acoustic performances of old folk standards, ''[[ExecutiveMeddling Dylan]]'' is an album of cover version outtakes, and ''Christmas In The Heart'' has him covering ChristmasSongs. Also, ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Bob Dylan]]'', ''[[IronicEpisodeTitle Self Portrait]]'' 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 ''Self Portrait'' 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}} Anviliciousness]]:
-->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 songwriting 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 [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming at every show]] for an entire tour.
* CrapsackWorld: Many of his songs, especially from the early '80s onwards.
-->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 ("Blind Willie [=McTell=]")
** Pretty much the entirity of 1997's ''Time Out of Mind'' 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 ''RollingStone'' is to be believed, UsefulNotes/BarackObama) do get permission.
* DyingTown: "North Country 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.
* EverybodyMustGetStoned: TropeNamer, 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 ''Desire'', "Romance in Durango" crossfades into "Black Diamond Bay".
** On ''The Bootleg Series: Vol. 3'', "When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky" crossfades 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"[[/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 & 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 TropeMaker 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 outtakes 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?"
* 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 ''Nashville Skyline'' is made of this. And even before, there was "I'll Be your Baby Tonight" from ''John Wesley Harding''.
** 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)"
-->Disillusioned words like bullets bark
-->As human gods aim for their mark
-->Make everything from toy guns that spark
-->To flesh-colored 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".
* JustLikeRobinHood: The title character in "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 upperclass white man who kills a poor black woman. This being Baltimore in the 60s, he receives only a six-month sentence.
** Very much inverted in "Percy's Song", 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.
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: Even with nine (and counting) volumes of the ''Bootleg Series'', there are still scores of unreleased songs (most of the ''Basement Tapes'', for starters), one out-of-print album (''Dylan'') and literally [[ArchivePanic thousands of live recordings]].
* 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 60s and 70s 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", "Most Likely You Go Your Way (and I'll Go Mine)". Incidentally, both of these are off of ''Blonde on Blonde''.
* LoveableRogue: The Jack of Hearts in "Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts".
* LyricalColdOpen: "Mixed-Up Confusion", "Winterlude", "Idiot Wind"
* LyricalDissonance: "Positively 4th Street" and "Like A Rolling Stone" (bright, happy music accompanied by bitter words).
** "Oxford Town" is a jolly-sounding uptempo 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.
* MessyHair: Especially during the late 60s. He's the page picture.
* MindScrew: "Desolation Row"
** 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" especially, where what is believed to be a newly discovered America is revealed to be already populated by its crazier twentieth century inhabitants.
* MiscarriageOfJustice: "Percy's Song", "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll", "Hurricane".
* MoralityBallad: Too many to list. Most notable are probably "Like A Rolling Stone" and "Hurricane"
* MurderBallad: "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll".
** "Ballad of Hollis Brown" is an interesting [[SecondPersonNarration second person]] take on the trope.
* MusicOfNote
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: From "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream":
-->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. ''Bringing It All Back Home'' definitely qualifies, marking his transition to electric (which, as noted above, pissed off a substantial portion of his fan base). Prior to that, ''Another Side of Bob Dylan'' 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 ''John Wesley Harding'', which took a step back from the heavy pop instrumentation of the previous three albums and went for a much more sparse and accoustic country vibe - followed by ''Nashville Skyline'', 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 ''Slow Train Coming'' 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 ''Time Out Of Mind'' saw Dylan shift towards a more blues folk style that has to some extent characterized all his output for the past 15 years.
* NonActorVehicle: His attempts at acting in ''Hearts Of Fire'', ''Flashback'' and ''Masked & Anonymous''.
* NotChristianRock: Although Dylan frequently incorporates religious imagery in his work.
** On the other hand, his trio of "born again"-period albums (''Slow Train Coming'', ''Saved'', ''Shot of Love'') could [[strike:probably]] definitely be categorized as straight-up ChristianRock.
* NotStayingForBreakfast: "A Simple Twist of Fate"
* NotableMusicVideos: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgC77nc22ec video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues"]] 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).
* 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"
* 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"
** Also from the live version of "Like a Rolling Stone" in Manchester, 1966. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Don't call Dylan "Judas".]]
--->"I don't believe you... You're a '''liar!''' PLAY IT FUCKING LOUD!"
* PretenderDiss: The {{Rockumentary}} ''Don't Look Back'' of Dylan making more-or-less friendly fun of Donovan.
** And JohnLennon was convinced "Fourth Time Around" was one directed at Music/TheBeatles.
*** It was in effect an answer song to "Norwegian Wood." Lennon later was able to appreciate the humor.
* PrideBeforeAFall: "Foot of Pride"
* PrincessInRags: "Like a Rolling Stone". 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".
* 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 standout example. Dylan eventually became disillusioned with protest songs, and distanced himself from them in "My Back Pages".
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: His band for the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975-76 had this flavor. There was 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 Don [=McLean's=] "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"
* ReclusiveArtist: A mild case - he tours a lot more than most established artists, but gives few interviews, and is ''very'' private about his personal life - to the point where he's kept at least one marriage and one child secret for years. Given how fanatical [[http://expectingrain.com/dok/who/w/webermanaj.html some of his fans]] have been at times, it's probably understandable.
* 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".
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: "Hurricane" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol", most prominently
* RockstarSong: "Like A Rolling Stone"
* SarcasticTitle: "With God On Our Side"
* SecondPersonNarration: "Like a Rolling Stone," "Ballad of a Thin Man," and "Queen Jane Approximately," all of them from one album (''Highway 61 Revisited'').
** Done to disturbing effect in "Ballad of Hollis Brown".
* SelfBackingVocalist: His cover of Music/SimonAndGarfunkel's "The Boxer" (from the ''Self Portrait'' album) employs this.
* SelfParody: His early song "Talkin' Hava Negeilah Blues" was a parody of his Woody Guthrie-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 first album was titled "Bob Dylan", the second "The Freewhelin' Bob Dylan" and the fourth "Another Side of Bob Dylan".
* ShoutOut: Hundreds, ranging from biblical figures to Alicia Keys. No, she doesn't know why either.
** ShoutOutToShakespeare: Frequently.
--->Theatre/{{Othello}} told Desdemona,
--->"[[ImColdSoCold I'm cold, cover me with a blanket]]
--->By the way, what happened to that [[{{Hamlet}} poisoned wine]]?"
--->She said, "[[SubvertedTrope I gave it to you, you drank it...?]]"
*** There's also the one from "Desolation Row":
---->Now [[{{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.
* ShrugOfGod: Just try getting him to explain certain of his songs, not to mention his earlier proclivity for deliberately messing with reporters' heads.
** See also "Ballad of a Thin Man."
** When asked what his songs were about, he once replied "[[MathematiciansAnswer Oh, some are about three minutes, some are about four minutes...]]"
* 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"...
* StayInTheKitchen: Hinted rather unsubtly in "Sweetheart Like You."
* {{Supergroup}}: TheTravelingWilburys, with Music/GeorgeHarrison, TomPetty, [[ElectricLightOrchestra Jeff Lynne]] and Music/RoyOrbison.
* StealthInsult: "Like a Rolling Stone." Don't believe us? Just look [[RichesToRags here.]]
* 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 [[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 lighthearted one occurs in "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere": TheByrds recorded their cover of the song in 1969, 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: ''Blonde on Blonde'', ''Nashville Skyline'', ''Self Portrait'', ''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."
* 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 Woody Guthrie-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 ''Blonde On Blonde'' (1966) he exaggerates that style almost to the point of SelfParody. On ''John Wesley Harding'' (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 ''Nashville Skyline'' (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}} on this with his version of "[[Music/SimonAndGarfunkel The Boxer]]" on ''Self Portrait'', 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 ''Time Out of Mind'' 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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