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Bob Dylan Discusses Favorite Music, From Frank Sinatra To Free

Dylan’s current playlist also includes a song by Duff McKagan and a 1960s classic by the Kinks.

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Bob Dylan - Photo: Joseph Okpako/Redferns
Bob Dylan - Photo: Joseph Okpako/Redferns

Bob Dylan has named Metallica, Leonard Cohen, Brenda Lee, and Eminem among his favorite artists, and revealed that his current playlist includes a festive track by Frank Sinatra, a blues-rock gem by Free, and an Ella Fitzgerald classic. He makes the revelations as part of a new and rare interview with Jeff Slate for the Wall Street Journal, also featured on Dylan’s website.

Whatever Happened To Christmas?

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“I listen to CDs, satellite radio and streaming,” says Dylan. “I do love the sound of old vinyl though, especially on a tube record player from back in the day.” He adds of his recent listening: “I walk into things intuitively when I’m most likely not looking for anything. Tiny Hill, Teddy Edwards, people like that. Obscure artists, obscure songs. There’s a song by Jimmy Webb that Frank Sinatra recorded called, ‘Whatever Happened to Christmas,’ I think he recorded it in the 60s, but I just discovered it.

“Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘A-Tiskit, A-Tasket.’ Janice Martin, the female Elvis. Have you heard her? Joe Turner is always surprising me with little nuances and things. I listen to Brenda Lee a lot. No matter how many times I hear her, it’s like I just discovered her. She’s such an old soul. Lately, I discovered a fantastic guitar player, Teddy Bunn. I heard him on a Meade Lux Lewis – Sid Catlett record.”

Dylan reveals eclectic taste in his choice of artists old and new. “Performers and songwriters recommend things to me,” he says. “Others I just wake up and they’re there. Some I’ve seen live. The Oasis Brothers, I like them both, Julian Casablancas, the Klaxons, Grace Potter. I’ve seen Metallica twice. I’ve made special efforts to see Jack White and Alex Turner. Zac Deputy, I’ve discovered him lately. He’s a one man show like Ed Sheeran, but he sits down when he plays. I’m a fan of Royal Blood, Celeste, Rag and Bone Man, Wu-Tang, Eminem, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, anybody with a feeling for words and language, anybody whose vision parallels mine.”

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Other selections by the great bard include gems from the 1960s and 70s, one by the former Guns N’ Roses bassist, and a classical discovery. “‘Waterloo Sunset’ [by the Kinks] is on my playlist and that was recorded in the 60s. ‘[The] Stealer,’ the Free song, that’s been there a while too, along with Leadbelly and the Carter Family. There’s a Duff McKagan song called ‘Chip Away,’ that has profound meaning for me. It’s a graphic song…Dvorak, ‘Moravian Duets.’ I just discovered that, but it’s over 100 years old.”

Read uDiscover Music’s guide to the best Bob Dylan songs.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Martin

    December 22, 2022 at 1:35 am

    Free were great, especially for such a young band. Paul Rodgers is still doing it today, best voice in rock.

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