Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits

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Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits
A profile photograph of Dylan with a deep blue background
Greatest hits album by Bob Dylan
Released March 27, 1967 (1967-03-27)
Recorded 1962–1966
Genre Folk, rock
Length 40:21
Label Columbia
Producer John H. Hammond, Tom Wilson, Bob Johnston
Bob Dylan chronology
Blonde on Blonde
(1966)
Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits
(1967)
John Wesley Harding
(1967)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits is the first compilation album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on March 27, 1967 on Columbia Records, original catalogue number KCS 9463. It contains every Top 40 single Dylan enjoyed through 1967. It peaked at #10 on the pop album chart in the United States, and went to #3 on the album chart in the United Kingdom. Certified five times platinum by the RIAA, it is his best-selling album in the U.S.[3]

Content[edit]

Greatest Hits presented Dylan's first appearance on records after his praised Blonde on Blonde double-LP of May 1966 and his motorcycle accident of that summer. With no activity by Dylan since the end of his recent world tour, and no new recordings on the immediate horizon (the sessions that would in part be later released as the Basement Tapes were still months away), Columbia needed new product to continue to capitalize on Dylan's commercial appeal. Hence the appearance of this package, the label's first Dylan compilation and its first LP release with a $5.98 list price, one dollar more than that of standard releases.[citation needed]

Greatest Hits serves as Dylan's de facto singles collection for the 1960s. With the exception of, "The Times They Are a-Changin'", "It Ain't Me Babe", and "Mr. Tambourine Man", all tracks on this album were released as 45 rpm's in the United States during that decade. It is worth noting that "Times" made it to #9 as a single release in the United Kingdom and "Blowin' in the Wind" became a #2 hit single for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963. The remaining six tracks all made the Billboard Top 40 in 1965 and 1966. A truncated rock and roll version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" had been a number one hit for The Byrds in the summer of 1965, and the Turtles took a folk-rock version of "It Ain't Me Babe" to #8 the same year. Perhaps the most astounding thing concerning this collection is that it documents a time in America when the lyric complexity and philosophic bent of "Like a Rolling Stone", "Positively Fourth Street", and "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" could actually become top ten pop hits. "Positively 4th Street" was the only single of the collection not either later released on or taken off of a long-playing album, having been recorded during the sessions for Highway 61 Revisited.

When this album was remastered for its 1997 issue on compact disc 30 years later, a slightly longer alternate mix of "Positively 4th Street" was substituted for the original single version. In 2003, this album was released along with Dylan's two other greatest hits compilations in one four-disc boxed set, as Greatest Hits Volumes I–III.

An audiophile version of the album was released in August 2012, mastered by Steve Hoffman for the Audio Fidelity label as a 24-kt gold-plated CD. This disc is a limited edition of 5,000 individually numbered copies.[4] Like the 1997 remaster, this CD contains a longer version of "Positively 4th Street".

Artwork[edit]

The cover photograph of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits was taken by Rowland Scherman at Dylan's November 28, 1965, concert in Washington, D.C. The Bob Cato cover won the 1967 Grammy award for "Best Album Cover, Photography". The original album package also included Milton Glaser's now-familiar "psychedelic" poster[5] depicting Dylan. A similar image taken at the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 was selected for Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II, a compilation Dylan had much more control over.[citation needed] John Berg, Senior Art Director at Columbia Records, recognized that a backlit image such as Scherman's would work because of Dylan's unique sartorial style.[citation needed] It was his design, as well as Scherman's photo, that won the Grammy.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bob Dylan and all releases Columbia Records. Chart positions from Billboard Hot 100. In most cases the LP featured album versions in place of singles if such were not identical to single mixes.

Side one
No. Title Source Length
1. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"   Columbia 43592 released March 22, 1966; chart peak #2 4:40
2. "Blowin' in the Wind"   Columbia 42856 released August 13, 1963; did not chart 2:51
3. "The Times They Are a-Changin'"   The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:16
4. "It Ain't Me Babe"   Another Side of Bob Dylan 3:38
5. "Like a Rolling Stone"   Columbia 43346 released June 28, 1965; chart peak #2 6:12
Side two
No. Title Source Length
6. "Mr. Tambourine Man"   Bringing It All Back Home 5:31
7. "Subterranean Homesick Blues"   Columbia 43242 released March 8, 1965; chart peak #39 2:22
8. "I Want You"   Columbia 43683 released June 10, 1966; chart peak #20 3:09
9. "Positively 4th Street"   Columbia 43389 released September 7, 1965; chart peak #7 4:12
10. "Just Like a Woman"   Columbia 43792 released August 18, 1966; chart peak #33 4:53

Export editions[edit]

Great Britain and Ireland[edit]

The UK release of the album had a slightly different track listing. "Positively 4th Street" was omitted, but "She Belongs to Me", "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" were added.[6] In the UK, this album was followed up by Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits 2, which repeated the Blonde on Blonde songs from the first Greatest Hits and also added "Absolutely Sweet Marie", "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", "Gates of Eden", "Chimes of Freedom" and several others.[7] This album was different from the album called Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II in the US, which was released in 1971 and called More Bob Dylan Greatest Hits in the UK.

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits 2

Europe[edit]

Subtitled "Nobody sings Dylan like Dylan", this version was compiled in 1966. Only half of the 12 songs are also on the U.S. release. Songs from Blonde on Blonde are missing altogether.

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1967 Billboard 200 10[citation needed]
1967 UK Top 75 6[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "RollingStoneAlbumGuide's music". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  3. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum database retrieved 4 June 2012
  4. ^ Steve Hoffman Music Forums discussion thread
  5. ^ "Dylan Reproduction". Milton Glaser Works. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  6. ^ Strong, M.C. & Peel, J. (2002). The Great Rock Discography. The National Academies. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-84195-312-0. 
  7. ^ Humphries, P. (1995). Bob Dylan. p. 145. ISBN 0-7119-4868-2. 

External links[edit]