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Probably the greatest songwriter of all time, and managed to survive (if not initate) many of the changes in popular music over the last fifty years. Though he's basically mumbing through shows nowadays and has produced a lot of filler too. But if you stay popular for that long that is sort of inevitable.
Dylan is over rated, has some decent music, but definitely not worth the accolades he has received, there were and still are singer-songwriters who are better, I'd put him as average to tell the truth, rather listen to Lightfoot, Croce, Beatles, or a myriad of other musicians that put out far superior music, in a word his music is pretty bland mostly
About right I would say, he is one of the greatest lyricists in rock and introduced the folk mentality to rock and gave it a conscience.
In my personal opinion most overrated artist of all time.Let me clarify something first, I do not hate him I hate is image of being the best artist of all time and is rated by rolling stones and one of the best of all time. He shouldn't be on any "best ever" lists because if he is anything it is most certainly not that.
Bob Dylan is a bad writer. Compare him with any decent figure from literature and his writing is shallow, random at times, devoid of figurative language, uncontrolled and undevised: in short, juvenile. His status as a "visionary poet" or what not is largely to do with aggressive media hegemony for the last 50 years; and also because people are too lazy to read a book and discover true writing talent and craft. That being said, there is a certain magic when you fuse his voice, words and music together and I quite enjoy him. Let's remember, if our "youth music" icons weren't hugely and deliberately over-rated and coolified/sexified, nobody would be interested in the shallow and low quality music/writing they create: not in any serious way anyway.
I am sorry to see that 51% of you all don't know jack about music. I don't know and I don't want to know what you listen to in your free time. But first, his voice, like Bruce Springsteen or Tom Waits, is part of his shtick (get it?) Probably seeing how 51% of you are complete idiots and know nothing about Bob Dylan. Every good artist has one, that is what makes them unique. Next is the largest misconception about music of all time, that you must be able to shred like Jimi or Jimmy, or Dimebag in order to be a good guitarist. Is it cool to see Hendrix and Clapton and Page just wail for a good 5 minutes, yes, but it gets old after awhile. At least Bob isn't just being like: "Hey, I'm gonna do what everybody else is doing and appeal to the meatheads of society (that's the 51%) and just scale my strat forever". Bob Dylan understands people and is able to connect with them, that's why he is still producing music while all the british bands have faded away, their music had no substance, it will not last. Fortunately, idiots like you do not represent educated opinions. I can see if you don't care for his music but never say that he is overated or a lousy artist. History has and will prove you wrong.
I'll admit that I have not given Bob Dylan an extensive listen... but I'll go out on a limb and say he's overrated anyway...
I do not own a single Dylan record, but I have tried to listen to Bob Dylan many times, mostly due to fan and critical acclaim. I'm always blown away by how annoying his voice is. Now, I love Tom Waits, so God knows I can take an "edgy" approach to singing; but Dylan often seems to be plainly tone def and not even trying to sing to the straight-forward accompanying music. I think the tunes are usually nice and the songwriting has potential, but I don't feel Dylan actually wants to sound good or sing with the music... Perhaps some people enjoy that kind of "statement," but I find it obnoxious.
Now, his voice is why I think Dylan is just pretty bad, but why is he overrated? Well, that's obvious: he has loads of devoted and defensive fans by his side. I don't doubt that Dylan's tunes have touched certain peoples hearts (that included influential musicians, in fact), but when people start preaching about his "essentialness," or "genius," and that everyone should appreciate his so called talents, that's when you get into overrated territory. Dylan's music is inherently divisive, and I don't really think Dylan's fans should expect all music-lovers to love Dylan. The same goes for Waits, or any other artist who is obviously not singing to make "good music." Unfortunately, it seems Dylan's music has that aura about it where people are tempted to listen to it just because he's really "cool" and "important" in certain circles. Well, to me, it just seems like a case of the emperors new clothes, because Dylan's talents as a singer are pretty plainly lacking even to layman musicians. So yeah, based on fervor Dylan's fans defend him and often insist he's "essential for any lover of music"... He's overrated.
I've given Dylan many, many chances. With an open mind I've asked Dylan fans which album will get me past the abrasive exterior of his music and see this heart of greatness everyone is talking about. After doing this several times I have concluded that his music is indeed terrible. Not mediocre, not just unremarkable, but horribly scathing on every level. I'll start with the obvious. His voice is terrible. It is abrasive and most of his songs are markedly without melody. Most singers could have their songs rendered on a violin for example. You'd say "i know that tune" when you hear it. But Dylan vocals on a violin? Doesn't work because in lieu of singing he most often hems and haws. Do you think I'm being facetious when I say that? No. It's really what he's doing up there so yeah, even the hardcore fans agree his voice is deplorable. Think about how Jimi Hendrix had to actually fabricate a melody himself just do do his rendition of All Along the Watchtower. The next topic is his extremely dull music writing. You can buy books that teach you to play dozens of Dylan songs using ONLY 3 CHORDS! What the hell? To me that just indicates that whatever malformed, half-baked ideas popped into his mind were so readily lauded by his sycophantic followers that he believed them to be full-fledged songs and didn't put any care into refining them. He just spewed out a few random chords and the people accepted it as a song. Surely we can't call this guy the moat influential songwriter, can we? There is so little substance to his song structure that this would be completely unfair to real song writers, even the Beatles in pop-mode! Why did Dylan bother to play the harmonica? He doesn't have a clue about harmonica technique. He just inhaled and exhales randomly on a harmonica in the correct key. Literally anyone can do that. I guess he gets some credit for having the ability to choose the correct harmonica? I mean, look at Neil Young's harmonica playing. It wasn't great, but he was playing melodies and purposefully composing things on it. Between his non-musical singing, rudimentary guitar playing, and uninspired harmonica playing, this man was surely a poor musician and songwriter at best. But what about his lyrics? The moat influential and profound lyricist of fthe last 50 years, if not all time? This claim is equally confusing to the others. It seems that many of his lines were driven by the rhyme, and the actual content is childish and vapid. People talk about Dylan's lyrics as though they spearheaded the civil rights movement. The Times They Are A changin' is at best a vague description of some sort of thing happening in like society or something. Please tell me this isn't the profound Dylan, the one that opened the world's eyes to America's social problems. The lyrics in that song could be set to virtually and turbulent time in any western nation. Maggie's Farm? Vague, nondescript, poorly written formulaic mush. But he cashed in on a social change and somehow gets some credit for it. I've tried, people. There must be SOMETHING to this man's works for so many people to be so insanely devoted to him. Really, there must be SOMETHING. I'm up for more recommendations. I swear I'll give it chance. I'm waiting for that moment that I hear something from him and just say "wow." So far this has not happened. Quite the opposite is elicited from me. Why is he so popular? Did the media back him, jump on him and elevate him to his current godlike status? I don't know. Was his music so sheerly powerful that the world embraced him? Somehow I doubt it. And ah yes, the last component of the Dylan equation is his fans. The fans that uniformly think those who do not appreciate Dylan's music are innately unable to comprehend it. No exaggeration there. I've been told so many times that I'm not able to understand. I find that to be a knee-jerk reaction to a pretty good argument, that his voice and melody are poor, his songwriting far sub-par, his lyrics vague, descriptive, and reactive. I really, really like a lot of music from that time period. So why can I "understand" moat of the other major players in that scene, having not lived through that time? Maybe its because so much of that music was appealing aesthetically as well as rich in content. Dylan is lacking in every area that makes a musician great. Why do I feel this way? Surely in the face of popular opinion I must be wrong.
Very good songwriter, lousy singer. Very little of his material is original. He got most of his style and material from earlier performers.
I liked Dylan's early work but after Blood On The Tracks I can say that I don't care about his work. Yep I haven't listened but from what I've heard by default I think he did his most prolific work then. After that I think most people stopped listening because I'm not so sure he had anything left to say (or mumble). I think people just go on "auto-praise" as a result of his early work. As for people saying the Beatles suck? You had to be there when the radio only played lyrical singles with no meaning. It's like saying I saw this guitarist and he could play like Hendrix. Maybe but Hendrix invented guitar playing in his own style. You can't take talent that truly was an original style & apply a 2012 rule as a measure of what is cool now. It was new then & if people are still talking about bands 50+ yrs later then I think it is fair to say that they did something significant. Remember; Brittany, Jessica, Madonna, Kylie? Who? Right- exactly. Dylan has audiences leave his concert in droves because they come to see the legend that was not the mumbler that is actually trying to impress now. There was an article in the NY Times about should Dylan retire? I say tend to your garden Bobby baby, just stay away from the bat crap that nearly killed you a few yrs ago. Let it go dude- at one time you were great & now you just sound like an irrelevant old has been. Why do you even tour, do you need the money? Because it is plain to see you don't get it. THE TIMES THEY HAVE A CHANGED BUT YOU HAVEN'T- maybe if you sing about how irrelevant you are it would actually be relevant. You can exit the stage now, your legacy will now do the work for you. Good bye and a job (that used to be) well done.
His whiny voice is actually unpleasant to listen to. And the harmonica is second only to bagpipes in its ability to grate. I think I would put on a Bob Dylan CD at home if I was trying to get someone to leave!
Bob Dylan is a broad brush lyricist like Rolf Harris is as painter. Seurat like subtlety is not his forte.
His harmonica playing is like an asthmatic in orgasm and he is not that great a guitarist.
However, overall his songs have quality that outweigh his lack of individual talents.
He is an American Robbie Burns.
A much more talented comtempory was Phil Ochs. He could sing and play the guitar well. Hss lyrics and tunes were better modulated and subtle.
In addition he kept faith with good causes a lot longer whereas Dylan was mich more commercialily minded.
He went electic not to get money but to aid what he saw as the revolution for good.
Of course privately he was a bit of a s--t but nobody is perfect.
Pop Weasel...You are brain dead. Dylan is/was not part of pop music. Who the hell dances to his music? Without Dylan's influence, the Beatles would have stuck to making pop music. Which they're early output was definitely Pop. His writing style changed music forever. Get a clue.
sorry..he should have taught... darg.. i am from thailand sorry. i study dylan to learn how to speak gooder.
he shouldn't have taught the english language... :)
i won't just say that bob dylan is overrated, i will say bob dylan is the single most overrated talentless sell out hack to ever grace the earth. the only explanation of his success i can possibly imagine is mass brainwashing. bob is not a poet, if he was a poet he would have written books. bob is claiming to be a musician, which he is not. pop music at it's worst.
His songs make me feel empty. His lyrics are largely imbued w/ unadulterated, pedantic nonsense. I'm starting to believe that his lionized stature is a direct result of the media.
Arguing that he has a bad voice and is therefore overrated doesn't make sense. No one rates him as the best singer of all time or even a very good singer. Critics/ Dylan aren't claiming that's his schtick because it isn't. Clearly. He's a poet!
Genius song writer AND Musician. Extremely influential but has a terrible voice. Just about right.
A great writer of stories. Sadly though he's like a chef that cooks cooks a fantastic steak, only with terrible sides, and we all know no matter how good the steak is, the sides complete the whole experience.
Bob dylan was amazing, some of the most powerful stuff I've ever heard, who ever said he was overrated, you guys should be ashamed, I'm only 16 and I know what real music is, real music takes talent and heart, whatever you guys listen to like that Rap, R&B, tectonix or whatever, that is all computerized shit, this is just disgusting
To be called overrated by a generation (of which I am a part) that has collectively embraced such talents as: Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, N'Sync, Limp Bizkit etc. etc. should be a badge of honor for Bob.
Nothing against good old Bob, but in my humble opinion Bob doesn't even come close to the likes of, say... Townes van Zandt or Mickey Newbury...
But i do love to play Blonde on blonde every now and again, great album! Bob can't help it that everyone feels compelled to write something about him ;-) Poor Bob... Bless him...
But hell, now it's time for some Mickey Newbury on my record player... Mickey rules!!
Highway 61 revisited is the greatest pop album ever released. I love it because its lyrics are epic and I am an English major who enjoys stories in songs.
No matter what anyone says, Dylan is the most important /greatest songwriter in the twentieth-century. His career has spanned fifty years and he's still doing stuff I like (see the Christmas video). Dylan has a sense of humor and was the first commercially successful artist to, at the height of his powers, splay his audience with a parody album, Self-Portrait. A literate man with the musical sensibility to change the tempos and structures of his songs live on the spot, Dylan is almost an overachiever: Blood on the tracks, Blonde on blonde, freewheelin', love and theft, modern times, Bringing it all back home, desire, infidels, nashville skyline, street legal, time out of mind, basement tapes, and FINALLY the inimitable Bootleg Series, which practically sounds like a whole career on its own. Frankly, there is no one like Dylan, and the only other two artists who even come close are Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, and everybody knows those guys are bozos (hahaha, JK o' course!).
everyone on this site needs to stop fornicating all over the beatles. they are not the best band ever BY A LONG SHOT. Bob Dylan is way better than the beatles.
good to listen to if you're tired cause it will put you to sleep real fast
Don't really enjoy his tunes.
Great songwriter, pretty mediocre/borderline bad musician.
Hey "werwer", 1. Where did you get ur name? And 2. Who is a relevant artist? Akon? Britney Spears?
Listen, being old doesn't mean he's an irrelevant artist.
BOB DYLAN SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS....really bad
A truly real American original.
seriously, this hack should be in the dictionary under the word overrated. talentless bs, the only reason he's still consider slightly relevant is because of silly nostalgia. i can't understand why anyone would want to subject their ears to this.
He is a great song writer. However as his voice getes raspier and raspier he gets worse and worse. As long as somebody else sings his music hes great. Thats why I think hes about right. Not highly talked about but most people still know who he is.
"The sky's not yellow, it's chicken"...
The man is a poet. I've never particularly liked his voice but his songwriting talent is undeniable
Hmm... single-handedly responsible for bringing folk rock to the mainstream, and spawning all kinds of modern rock greats... and people think he's overrated? Don't you see - that must mean he's actually underrated.
never got the appeal of bob dylan. his music is really boring.
I love Bob Dylan, but I really don't care if you don't. There is no other artist that I feel such a deep connection to when I listen to his music. His lyrics are very poetic and he is a great story teller. People who don't like him just don't understand.
dylan is neither underrated or overrated. hes bob dylan
I apologise to the forum for my last post. When I see that Black eyed peas and avril Lavigne are rated higher than dylan and the beatles I realise that I have wandered on to the junior school section. Sincere apologies
I think people should state their age when criticising artists. I have read on so many forums:- dylan is overated or the beatles, or hendrix or the Stones. It is easy for a 20 year old to state this. Music is very often of an era and belongs to that era. I am not an elvis fan because he was not of my time. To diss dylan because he has an 'annoying voice' is from someone who dosn't get it and is a very puerile musical criticism. As for comments about catchy songs? dylan was not primarily about catchy songs. he wrote consistently better lyrics and songs than anyone. his output and quality has diminished over the years but the plaudits as the most important artist of the 20th century is richly deserved. And Cynigal - be proud of having the taste to admire pure genius
Ouch! I hate to admit it. I'm a Dylan fan, have been since I was 7 years old and forced to recite Subterranean Homesick Blues for my folks' friends. Well, not forced really. It was more like "Oh how cute, she knows all the words by heart... Okay, that's enough now honey.... Honey? Honey! That's $%%*! enough already!!!!" I still know it by heart too. "Johnny's in the basement mixin' up the medicine, I'm on the pavement thinkin' 'bout the government....etc. etc." see? SEE? Dylan should rate Superstellar, only, he is friggin' everywhere these days! Highly disturbing to those of us who stuck it out through the dark years between "Street Legal" and "Empire Burlesque", who used to pride ourselves in his obscurity, who loved those bizarre songs nobody else could stand. And hell, anybody half as Cynical and grumpy as I am has to send a semi-reverential shout out to Dylan, with his attitude (Capital TUDE) and his dark, often snide lyrics. But this PBS special, Syndicated Radio Show, presidential award mumbo jumbo has got to stop! It just has to. Next thing you know, he'll win the Nobel Peace prize or something, I'm sorry but that is seriously crossing the line. I like my Dylan underappreciated and obscure, thank you.
I agree with ariko
Whilst he remains one of the greatest lyricists ever, his melodies fail too match up. Also his singing voice is dull, flat and boring.
Bob dylan has an annoying voice, i guess he has good lyrics and maybe he's a cool character but its not enough. his melodies are very plane and his voice is a torture device.
While I like some of Bob's songs I have to say that he isn't all of that. His voice is monotone and it seems he is just reading most of the time and he tends to take himself too seriously. Too many 60's folk think he is a prophet... time to move on.
A brief look into Dylan's catalog will provide you with quite a few "catchy songs". Hurricane, Like a Rolling Stone, All along the Watchtower, Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Blowin' in the Wind. And that's just off the top of my head.
Big-time overrated. People act like he was some sort of prophet. How about writing a catchy song?
If you sit down and listen to his music, it begins to sound like beautiful poetry set to fitting music. Bob is great, and in my opinion proved that you didn't have to have a good voice when you're a great artist.
When Woody Guthrie was on death's door, young folk musicians the nation over pilgrimaged to see him and sing with him before his death. Bob Dylan was one of those, and in fact borrowed his unique vocal style from the dying Guthrie. The only problem is that what Dylan took for style was actually the speech slurred side effect of the illness taking Guthrie's life.
He's written some good songs. So have a lot of other people. His voice is contrived. It's nauseating how much is made about him.
The man has the most annoying voice in rock history and his pretentious lyrics and overly long songs are largely unlistenable.
Bob Dylan is very overrated, at least in the US. Because his songs are not very strong on a purely musical level, his music is not particular popular on an international level.
Everyone who has a problem with Dylan needs to give a listen to Nashville Skyline to get even a taste of what a diverse and ridiculous (in a good way) talent Dylan is/was.
To the people who say that dylan is boring and doesnt change genres all I can respond with is 2 albums: Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde
I actually like Bob Dylan (in small amounts). Although his lyrics are good, I think he's overrated.
I agree with boring, but I would have to add mind-numbing, lacking creativity, ugly, uninspiring, outdone by his son (Wallflowers? yikes...), and, well, I just don't get why any one would listen to his music. The one guy would tried to get me to like Dylan was unable to show me any music that I could get the least bit excited about. I think he listened to him only to impress other people, which he wasn't doing.
I think Bob Dylan really sucks. People say he can change his genre of music, but I haven't heard him sing anything but boring folk. I would love to see him belt out some REAL ROCK or some POP. But what he generates is for old, stodgy, naval gazers.
I disagree. He can change the genre and style of music that he plays in ways that few other artists and bands can. He is also a master wordsmith. I also think that his voice is not as bad as people say it is (which is why i put him as underrated).
Most overrated American musician in history.. bores me to tears.