Playlist: Bob Dylan overlooked songs by decade – the 1980s

Bob Dylan France 1981

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 80s. There will follow a post for all of his decades as a recording artist. The songs are included in the decade they were released.

Check out the 1960s list
Check out the 1970s list

Overlooked songs the 1980s

– Pressing On (Saved, 1980)
– What can I do for you (Saved, 1980)
– The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar (Shot of Love, 1981)
– Don’t fall apart on me tonight (Infidels, 1983)
– Sweetheart Like You (Infidels, 1983)
– Dark Eyes (Empire Burlesque, 1985)
– I’ll remember you (Empire Burlesque, 1985)
– Pretty Boy Floyd (Folkways: A Vision Shared — A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, 1988)
– Death is not the end (Down in the groove, 1988)
– Man in the long black coat (Oh Mercy, 1989)

Bob Dylan – What Can I Do For You (live in Toronto, 1980):

– Hallgeir

6 thoughts on “Playlist: Bob Dylan overlooked songs by decade – the 1980s”

  1. Covenant Woman is an incredible song. People talk about how great the live version is but the album cut is fantastic. I would also add Tell Me to the list.

  2. So many from the 1980’s!
    I’ll add Yonder Comes Sin. Even Bob has overlooked it so far 😉

    I’m hoping we get a full version on the next BS.

  3. Love this thread. How about Congratulations, Trouble, Covenant Woman, Under Your Spell, Most of the Time, In The Garden, What Was It You Wanted?, Something Is Burning… there are so many! Every Grain of Sand, too, but I don’t believe it is ever overlooked.

  4. I would add “What Was it You Wanted”,
    a great song from Oh Mercy about alienation with terrific swampy atmosphere.

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