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What makes "Like A Rolling Stone" so importantqueen11 The first time I ever heard of Bob Dylan was when I opened up Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time (the 2011 update unfortunatlly), and saw him at #1 with the classic "Like A Rolling Stone." All I could think was here's a song I've never heard of by an artist I've never heard of, what's wrong with me?
Obviously, this list came with a crap-load of conteversy (for an example, some thought it was a name thing: ROLLING STONE Magazine, and "Like a ROLLING STONE [maybe so, the #2 song was "Satisfaction" by the ROLLING STONES]). It took me forever to find out this song's importance, and I hope this post helps you others who don't fully understand, either. So enough small talk; it's time for a little history lesson.
In 1965, the year of the song's release, it was the hight of the British Invasion. The Beatles had of the top five spots in the US charts, the Who swept England with "My Generation," and the Rolling Stones set a cornerstone for rock music with "Satifaction." But what did the charting songs "Satifaction," "My Generation," and "Ticket to Ride" have in common? They all timed at around the three minute mark. Not only that, the lyrics (for most of the charting songs) where all about love or falling in love, boring. But back then, if it wasn't British, short, and about love, it was crap.
Bob Dylan already had his spot in the music radar when the Byrds got a number one hit with his "Mr. Tambourine Man," and introduced the Beatles' to one of his great loves, weed (he thought they were already hooked because he confused the lyric "I can't hide" in "I Want to Hold Your Head" with "I get high;" I guess you could you could say him and the Beatles got "eight miles high" with him, get it?). Anyways, here he comes with a new song, "Like A Rolling Stone," and it was American, long (six minutes, double the length of what was going around), and not about love; it was the complete opposite of the material that was charting. It was so different, that Dylan himself didn't find it as a song at first. In his own words:
"It was ten pages long. It wasn't called anything, just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred directed at some point that was honest. In the end it wasn't hatred, it was telling someone something they didn't know, telling them they were lucky. Revenge, that's a better word. I had never thought of it as a song, until one day I was at the piano, and on the paper it was singing, 'How does it feel?' in a slow motion pace, in the utmost of slow motion."
The song became an international sucess; it hit the world like, well... a rolling stone. It peak at #2 in the US, and topped many other charts in many other countries. Al Kooper, the session organ player for the song, said the song "had no sheet music, it was totally by ear; it was total punk." "Like A Rolling Stone" totally changed the meaning of a great song with a single song. The song told the world a great song could come from anywhere in the world, it could be short or long, and there has to be true meaning behind the lyrics. It said all that while the lyrics had another great story of his own. Bob Dylan is a great lyiricist, musician, and singer/songwriter (well, not the best singer), and his skills were good enough to change the world.
Seriously! Youve never heard of bob before! - visitor
The rolling stones also cover this song, there are official and live versions on youtube, both excellant. - visitor
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