Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan

Summary

"Mr. Tambourine Man" is a song written, composed, and performed by Bob Dylan, who released his original version of it on his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. The Byrds also recorded a version of the song that they released in the same year as their first single on Columbia Records, reaching number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart, as well as being the title track of their first album, Mr. Tambourine Man. The Byrds' recording of the song was influential in initiating the musical subgenre of folk rock, leading many contemporary bands to mimic its fusion of jangly guitars and intellectual lyrics in the wake of the single's success.

This song has been covered by many artists, including Judy Collins, Odetta, Melanie, and William Shatner. The song's popularity led to Dylan recording it live many times, and it has been included in multiple Dylan and Byrds compilation albums. It has been translated into other languages, and has been used or referenced in television shows, films and books.

The song has a bright, expansive melody and has become famous in particular for its surrealistic imagery, influenced by artists as diverse as French poet Arthur Rimbaud and Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. The lyrics call on the title character to play a song and the narrator will follow. Interpretations of the lyrics have included a paean to drugs such as LSD, a call to the singer's muse, a reflection of the audience's demands on the singer, and religious interpretations. Dylan sings the song in four verses, of which The Byrds used only the second for their recording. Dylan's and The Byrds' versions have appeared on various lists ranking the greatest songs of all time, including an appearance by both on ''Rolling Stone's'' list of the 500 best songs ever. Both versions also received Grammy Hall of Fame Awards.

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