Top Ten Dylan Covers of 1966

While it was usually rather difficult to improve on the Beatles' versions of their own songs, it was easier to make Bob Dylan's work more 'pop friendly', largely because of Bob's 'distinctive' singing style. This is not to detract from Dylan's voice and recordings, which had a warmth, complexity and authenticity all of their own, but his vocal style was not to everyone's taste and sales of his singles were inconsistent (he never had a #1).

Despite that, the brilliance of his songwriting was undeniable and many artists lined up to interpret his work in 1966, especially after the phenomenal success of the Byrds during the previous year with 'Mr Tambourine Man'. Even Elvis got in on the act in with 'Tomorrow is a Long Time' (something that Dylan was especially proud of). Highlights included Manfred Mann's 'Just Like a Woman', and the Byrds again with 'My Back Pages'. Not every cover worked, though. Cher, for example, seemed to struggle with the vocal rhythms in her version of 'Like a Rollin' Stone'.

Here are ten decent and/or notable Dylan covers from 1966, listed in alphabetical order:
  1. Blowin’ in the Wind (Stevie Wonder) (#36, UK; #9, US)
  2. Desolation Row (Les Sauterelles) (album track, 'Les Sauterelles')
  3. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Them) (album track, 'Them Again')
  4. Just Like a Woman (Manfred Mann) (#10, UK)
  5. Like a Rolling Stone (The Little Rascals) (album track, 'The Young Rascals')
  6. Mr. Jones [Ballad Of A Thin Man] (The Grass Roots) (album track, 'Where Were You When I Needed You')
  7. My Back Pages (The Byrds) (#30, US)
  8. She Belongs to Me (West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band) (album track, 'Volume One')
  9. Tomorrow is a Long Time (Elvis Presley) (album track, 'Spinout')
  10. Tom Thumb's Blues (Judy Collins) (album track, 'In My Life')