8 Great Hard Rock Bob Dylan Covers

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Bob Dylan is one of the most covered musicians of all time. Widely regarded as one of the most talented songwriters in history, Dylan’s material has lent itself to a huge variety of interpretations. From country (Johnny Cash and June Carter’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe”) to soul (Sam Cooke, “Blowin’ in the Wind”) to pop (Patti Labelle, “Forever Young”), Dylan’s songs have been covered by artists across any genre you can think of.

This list is narrowed down to the hard rock takes on Dylan’s repertoire. When he infamously “went electric” at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, he infuriated his fans and the folk music establishment by embracing rock and roll, a genre that folk purists at the time spurned as a teenybopper fad. The move turned Dylan into an early proponent of rock and roll as a serious art form and also showed that he was and always would be too punk to care what his fans think of him. Here’s a list of the hardest-rocking, most fuzzed-out, and loudest Bob Dylan covers of all time.

1. The Ramones, “My Back Pages”

The New York punks play this folksy Dylan classic in characteristically Ramones fashion, with blazing-fast power chords, pounding drums, and snotty, off-key vocals. But this isn’t a sarcastic punk parody designed for ridicule. This is a heartfelt, real tribute to Dylan without being drenched in punk’s irony. While Dylan was a reluctant leader of the counterculture and hippies in the 1960s, he was perhaps the only “hippie” that was also a big influence on the punks of the 1970s. The Ramones’ cover of “My Back Pages” epitomizes the enormous and complicated way Dylan has influenced everyone that has come after him.

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