When Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, he not only earned the distinction of becoming the first musician to do so, but Penn Jillette also referred to him as the Shakespeare of the current generation in an interview that same year with Reason.

Jillette said, “If we have anybody who’s Shakespeare in our time, it’s Dylan. ... All of his mining, you know, is going towards his heart and deeper into his brain.”

There’s no question Dylan has had an outsized influence on the music industry. He has transformed his music across genres, been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is decorated with several distinctions from Grammys to a Pulitzer special citation.

Wednesday is the singer’s 82nd birthday. Here’s a look at some of his most famous songs, the new movie about him and what he said about who influenced him and his faith.

Rock legend Bob Dylan keeps Utah fans on their toes

How many songs did Bob Dylan write?

Dylan has written over 600 songs, according to The New York Times. The Universal Music Publishing Group purchased Dylan’s entire collection in 2022 and it’s estimated his catalogue sold for over $300 million.

He’s written and performed songs in a variety of genres ranging from ballads to folk rock to country to jazz and other genres.

Up until 2020, Dylan didn’t have a song make it to the coveted No. 1 spot on any Billboard chart . Deadline reported his 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul” earned him his first No. 1 spot. It’s the final track on his album “Rough and Rowdy Ways” and the song details the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

What song did Bob Dylan say was the best ever written?

One time, Dylan revealed what he thought was the best song out there. According to American Songwriter, Dylan said “Wichita Lineman” written by Jimmy Webb was “the greatest song ever written.”

There have been other times where Dylan mentioned which songs he thinks are the best. Link Wray’s song “Rumble” is one of Dylan’s favorite songs, per American Songwriter. He also reportedly likes the songs “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles and “Pretty Maids in a Row” by The Eagles.

What was Bob Dylan’s biggest hit single?

It depends on the metrics. Dylan’s song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” stayed on the Billboard 100 for 16 weeks when it debuted on September 1973, according to Billboard. This song stayed on Billboard longer than his other songs.

As mentioned earlier, Dylan’s song “Murder Most Foul” in 2020 was the first song of his to earn a No. 1 spot on any Billboard charts.

Billboard reported, “Previously, Dylan had reached as high as No. 2 on the all-genre, multi-metric Billboard Hot 100 with “Like a Rolling Stone” (Sept. 4, 1965) and “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35” (May 21, 1966), along with a No. 2 best on the adult alternative songs airplay chart with “Things Have Changed” (May 13, 2000).”

His most streamed song on Spotify is “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” followed by “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and “Girl from the North County.”

What are Bob Dylan’s top 10 songs?

Rolling Stone listed Dylan’s top 10 songs.

  1. “Like a Rolling Stone.”
  2. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”
  3. “Tangled Up in Blue.”
  4. “Just Like a Woman.”
  5. “All Along the Watchtower.”
  6. “I Shall Be Released.”
  7. “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).”
  8. “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
  9. “Visions of Johanna.”
  10. “Every Grain of Sand.”

What is the Bob Dylan biopic?

There’s an upcoming Dylan biopic called “A Complete Unknown” starring Timothée Chalamet. According to Rolling Stone, the film will start production in August 2023.

Elle Fanning and Benedict Cumberbatch will reportedly star in the movie as well. The release date for the biopic is not yet known. Per Yahoo! Entertainment, it’s possible the film will release sometime in 2024 or early 2025.

What songs does Bob Dylan mention Utah in?

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Dylan has released a couple songs which mention Utah, according to the Deseret News. One of them is called “Ballad for a Friend.” The lyrics go, “A diesel truck was rolling’ slowly / Pulling’ down a heavy load / It left him on a Utah road.”

Another song of his which mentions Utah is “Sign on the Window.” He wrote, “Build me a cabin in Utah / Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout / Have a bunch of kids who call me ‘pa’ / That must be what it’s all about.”

Who is Bob Dylan’s influence?

Dylan’s main source of inspiration is Woody Guthrie. According to CBC, “One of Dylan’s biggest influences was folk legend Woody Guthrie. So much so, that in 1961, a young Dylan travelled to New York City in the hope that he could visit his ailing idol in the hospital. “I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie’s greatest disciple,” he wrote in his autobiography “Chronicles: Volume One.”

What does Bob Dylan say about his faith?

Dylan converted to evangelical Christianity as a result of some experiences he had in the late 1970s. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2022, Dylan said, “I’m a religious person. I read the scriptures a lot, meditate and pray, light candles in church. I believe in damnation and salvation, as well as predestination. The Five Books of Moses, Pauline Epistles, Invocation of the Saints, all of it.”

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