Bob Dylan’s lyrical prowess has never been kept secret or overlooked, and the Nobel Committee just honored the prolific singer-songwriter with the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.
While the win has kicked up some controversy in literary circles, it’s easy to argue that Dylan’s songwriting stands at the helm of his success. Very few artists adjust to the ebb and flow of musical tides quite like he’s done since the early ’60s. Fewer still pen lines that never lose their consequence or relevance in changing times.
His strange, relentless cadence is instantly recognizable. His iconic tracks continue to fill coffee shops, ride on radio waves, and fly in the face of generational difference. But sometimes, mastery is found in the last place you’d think to look. To honor his Nobel Prize win, let’s leave no stone unturned. Here are six Bob Dylan songs made famous by other artists.
1. “Wagon Wheel” — Old Crow Medicine Show
Dylan wrote what is now the chorus of this country-tinged favorite and ultimately scrapped it. Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show built it out with verses and released the final version of the track in 2013.
2. “The Mighty Quinn” — Manfred Mann
Dyan wrote and recorded “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)” in 1967. The following year, Manfred Mann released a cover that charted well in the United Kingdom. In 1970, the original version was added to Dylan’s “Self Portrait.”
3. “All Along the Watchtower” — Jimi Hendrix
Although Dylan’s original version is one of his most beloved songs, Jimi Hendrix gave it new life with his cover, which made it onto the guitar legend’s 1968 “Electric Ladyland.”
4. “Make You Feel My Love” — Adele
Fans go crazy when vocal powerhouse Adele performs her rendition of “Make You Feel My Love,” but she always gives Bob Dylan due credit. He wrote the song in 1997.
5. “Love is Just a Four Letter Word” — Joan Baez
Baez effectively helped Dylan get his career off the ground in the ’60s by covering his work, but this cover of “Love is Just a Four Letter Word” gained the most traction in 1968.
6. “Mr. Tambourine Man” — The Byrds
While it’s one of Bob Dylan’s most popular songs, the track didn’t make it to number one on the charts until The Byrds covered it. That being said, both versions did receive Grammys.
To learn more about Bob Dylan’s historic win, you can read this announcement from the New York Times.