Having released 38 studio albums and dozens of other projects (live albums, singles, box sets, etc.), Bob Dylan doesn’t make it easy on the casual listener. Like Prince and Neil Young, he maintains an oeuvre so dense newcomers hardly know where to start. It’s worth trying to scratch the surface, though, especially if you’d like to catch him at the Xcel this October. Dig into his discography, by all means (Highway 61 Revisited is a good place to start). But if you’d like to hear Dylan’s songwriting through voices you already know, here are five covers of his songs by contemporary artists.
Adele – Make You Feel My Love
Adele covered this somber cut in 2008 for 19, her debut album. Written by Bob Dylan, the song was first performed by Billy Joel before it ended up on Dylan’s Time Out of Mind (1997).
Kesha – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Kesha was so moved by this track from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) that she ended up in tears singing it for mega-tribute Chimes of Freedom. She’s long adored the native Minnesotan and has since covered his “It Ain’t Me Babe” and “I Shall Be Released.”
Enrique Iglesias – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
This Spanish-speaking mega-star is best known for sexy ballads (“Be With You”) and club hits (“Bailando,” “El Perdón”). But lately, Iglesias has taken to covering one of Bob Dylan’s most iconic tunes live, and crowds around the world are singing along. (Song starts at 2:40.)
Blind Boys of Alabama – Every Grain of Sand (feat. Justin Vernon)
The Blind Boys of Alabama have been in the game since before Bob Dylan was born, predating his 1941 arrival by two years. While working with Justin Vernon in 2013, the whole gang covered “Every Grain Of Sand” from Shot of Love (1981).
Queens of the Stone Age – Outlaw Blues
Queens of the Stone Age are presently abuzz, thanks to their new album Villains. A few years ago, they fuzzed up “Outlaw Blues” from Dylan’s 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.