His Recent Version Of Tom Petty Hit Recalls Ten Of Dylan’s Best Cover Songs

His Recent Version Of Tom Petty Hit Recalls Ten Of Dylan’s Best Cover Songs

The past few weeks have been noteworthy for Bob Dylan, who has been in the news for various reasons. His verbose reply to having won the Nobel Prize for Literature has been published, and copies are now available for purchase.

Another bootleg collection of his music has become available for the first time, a multi-disc extravaganza that centers around his three albums dedicated to Christianity, Slow Train Coming, Saved, and Shot of Love. The set also includes never before released live tracks and left over material from the sessions for those three records.

Dylan recently covered the Tom Petty hit “Learning To Fly” to honor his late protégée, who was also his band mate in the Traveling Wilburys. In a career that has spanned nearly six decades, Dylan has much preferred recording his own songs, and the covers he has made usually reach into genres beyond rock or folk.

He even recorded an entire album of standards by Frank Sinatra, the critically acclaimed Shadows in the Night from 2015. Among the ten classics Dylan takes on for that record, two of the best are “Some Enchanted Evening” and “The Night We Called It a Day.”

Before dedicating an entire record dedicated to Sinatra songs, Dylan would only occasionally sing the lyrics of someone else. Still, when you have been recording for as long and as often as Dylan, you are bound to amass quite a number of cover songs.

Here are ten of the best songs covered by Dylan.

Baby Let Me Follow You Down from Bob Dylan

According to the introduction, he learned this song from fellow folk singer Eric Von Schmidt.

Early Mornin’ Rain from Self-Portrait

Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot wrote this ballad, later turned into a hit by Peter, Paul and Mary.

A Fool Such As I from Dylan

Bill Trader penned this tune, which later became a hit for legends such as Elvis Presley and Hank Snow.

They Killed Him from Knocked Out Loaded

Johnny Cash, who twenty years before had collaborated with Dylan on Nashville Skyline, covered this Kris Kristofferson tribute to martyrs just a few years before Bob made his own adaptation.

Rank Strangers To Me from Down in the Groove

Proving that he had roots in bluegrass as well as folk and country, Dylan recorded his own version of this classic by the Stanley Brothers.

Grand Coulee Dam from Line 1961-2000

There might never have been a transformation from Robert Zimmerman had it not been for Woody Guthrie, who composed this as part of his collection of songs about government projects in the Northwest.

The Cuckoo (Is a Pretty Bird) from Live at the Gaslight

Peter, Paul, and Mary recorded the most recognized version of this folk standard, written by Clarence Ashley.

The Girl on the Greenbriar Shore from The Bootleg Series

Written by A.P. Carter of the Carter Family, this classic was made even more popular when picked up by Ralph Stanley.

Why Can’t We Be Friends from Together Through Life

Lee Oskar and War asked this optimistic question, which became the title track from the album that contained the huge hit “Low Rider.”

See That My Grave Is Kept Clean from The Original Mono Recordinsgs

Dylan most likely learned this song from Blind Lemon Jefferson, a colleague of Guthrie and Leadbelly.