7 of the best Bob Dylan covers of all time, from Adele to Simply Red

23 May 2018, 15:39

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is a true one-off, and fans have loved his unique and thought-provoking music for decades.

Countless artists have attempted to cover his songs over the years, which is no easy feat.

We've selected our favourite relaxing Dylan covers of all time from artists that perhaps you wouldn't have expected to have taken on the folk icon.

1. Adele - 'Make You Feel My Love'

As much as we love Bob, we're sure that even he would agree he doesn't exactly have the best 'voice' in the world!

However, he does write beautiful songs, and that's where an artist like Adele can step in. This was arguably the song that turned Adele from a popular singer to an international superstar, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it was an Adele original.

Bonus fact: Billy Joel actually released the song first, before Bob's own version was available to hear.

2. George Harrison - 'If Not for You'

Bob first recorded this song in a session with his future Travelling Wilburys bandmate George, and later in the same year the former Beatle made his own version on his All Things Must Pass album.

A year later, it was also a hit for Olivia Newton-John!

3. The Byrds - 'Mr Tambourine Man'

Bob Dylan first recorded this song in 1965, and what seemed like a few minutes later The Byrds released their own version.

The folk rock band's harmonising vocals worked perfectly with the ballad, and it became one of their signature songs. We also have a soft spot for the William Shatner version. You heard that right.

4. Norah Jones - 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight'

Norah Jones could sing the phonebook and it would sound soothingly amazing, but this is one of her finest cover versions.

This song was also a top 10 hit in the UK for a collaboration between Robert Palmer and UB40.

5. Magnet - 'Lay Lady Lay'

Bob Dylan first wrote this song for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but wasn’t submitted in time to be included in the finished film. 

This cover version is by Norwegian singer-songwriter Even Johansen, known as Magnet. Featuring English singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes on vocals, it was later used in the soundtrack for the 2005 movie Mr & Mrs Smith. And it's rather gorgeous.

6. Sam Cooke - 'Blowin' in the Wind'

One of Bob's most iconic songs, this is also one of the most famous protest songs, dealing with issues of peace, war and freedom of the time.

Many artists have covered it over the years, including soul legend Sam Cooke. Not only was he impressed enough by the song to start performing it, but it inspired him to compose 'A Change is Gonna Come'.

7. Simply Red - 'Positively 4th Street'

Yes, you might not have put Simply Red and Bob Dylan in the same area, but this works brilliantly.

Originally a Bob Dylan single in 1965, Mick Hucknall transformed it into a slice of adult contemporary pop for his 2003 album Home.