Playlist: Bob Dylan overlooked songs by decade – the 1960s

Bob Dylan recording Highway 61 Revisited in Columbia Studio A New York Summer 1965 Photograph by Don Hunstein
Photo by Don Hunstein

Hidden gems, buried treasures, deep cuts, forgotten or overlooked tracks, these songs have many descriptions. What are they?

Well, to me, it’s a great song that seldom (or never) is on the “best-of” lists of the artist, and it could have/should have been. They are sometimes alternative recordings or “out of print” releases.

I am talking about great songs that are often overlooked. We are talking about personal favorites that you wouldn’t rate among the artists top 20 (maybe), but deserve more praise and recognition than they get.

These are songs which takes its programming from non-single album tracks, B-sides, and other obscure songs.

While we were dissecting the Bob Dylan classics, other good songs fades into the background, and crucially, these tracks will help Dylan fans to discover “the whole story”.  As a Bob Dylan music fan, I have a responsibility to help introduce fellow Dylanologists to my own musical discoveries, particularly when they draw attention to forgotten brilliance. Bob Dylan has a vast catalog  that contain some “hidden” songs that his biggest fans know by heart  just as much. For every one of his songs that turned into classics, there are other essentials scattered through his production.

But let’s face it: there’s no such thing as a “buried treasure” in the Bob Dylan catalogue.  How can there be?
This is the most over-analyzed artist in the music history.  Most of what he has recorded are readily available in the form of an official CD/LP/Stream and more material are becoming available each year. So, these are songs that the hardened Dylan fan knows but are often overlooked by casual listeners. These are tracks that people at large might not know very well.

So what are these lists all about (there will be six of them)?
They are a collection of 10 tracks per decade, as chosen by me (Hallgeir), which you may not hear enough. Lists of fantastic stuff by an artist that has made a lot of great “unknown” stuff, but material that doesn’t get heavy rotation on the radio or the streaming services.

So with that in mind, and in celebration of the eternal hunt for lesser known genus, here are ten great overlooked songs recorded (but not necessarily written) by Bob Dylan from the 60s. There will follow a post for all of his decades as a recording artist. The songs are included in the decade they were released.

Overlooked songs the 1960s

– You’re No Good (Bob Dylan, 1962)
– Oxford Town (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963)
– Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963)
– Black Crow Blues (Another side of Bob Dylan, 1964)
– When the ship comes in (The Times they are a changing, 1964)
– Outlaw Blues (Bringing it all back home, 1965)
– Obviously Five Believers (Blonde on Blonde, 1966)
– Temporary Like Achilles (Blonde on Blonde, 1966)
– The Wicked Messenger (John Wesley Harding, 1967)
– Drifter’s Escape (John Wesley Harding, 1967)

Bob Dylan with Richards & Wood – When The Ship Comes In (BBC – Live Aid 7/13/1985):

– Hallgeir

8 thoughts on “Playlist: Bob Dylan overlooked songs by decade – the 1960s”

  1. I want to add one more here…. This late-summer my wife and I attended a neighborhood party and at some point I ran out of conversation so I ran home and brought back a guitar. A young fellow walked up and said, “Can I play one?” so I loaned him an instrument and out of nowhere he banged out a really spirited version of Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie……. great surprise, great tune. So to add to my list:

    6. Ramblin Gamblin Willie

  2. Kind of an intriguing thread here .. it might be said that nothing BD has done is at this point overlooked. But that being said,: if I use the criteria of “songs rarely covered by other people”… there ARE certain tunes, imho:

    1. Nice to see Oxford Town listed
    2. Down The Highway
    2. Motorpsycho Nightmare
    3. Spanish Harlem Incident
    4. Pledgin My Time
    5. Absolutely Sweet Marie

  3. North Country Blues!

    Tends to get lost in the shuffle on the album because of other similar songs – namely Hollis and Hattie.

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