Portal:Bob Dylan

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Introduction

Bob Dylan plays a guitar and sings into a microphone.
Dylan at Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, in June 2010

Robert Dylan (known professionally as Bob Dylan and born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who is regarded as a widely influential figure in popular culture. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied existing conventions of popular music, and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture, most notably on the six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" (1965).

Following his self-titled debut album in 1962, which mainly consisted of traditional folk songs, Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of the 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, featuring "Blowin' in the Wind" and the thematically complex composition "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall". For many of these songs he adapted the tunes and sometimes phraseology of older folk songs. Dylan went on to release the politically charged The Times They Are a-Changin' and the more lyrically abstract and introspective Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964. In 1965 and 1966, Dylan encountered controversy when he adopted the use of electrically amplified rock instrumentation and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960s, Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Blonde on Blonde (1966).

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