Greatest-hits volumes are often hit-and-miss propositions not because of what they contain, but because of what's missing. Filtering the top selections from the six formative, life-altering albums Dylan made between 1963 and 1966 is an arbitrary process but one performed impeccably on this set. Home to his biggest chart successes as well as his most influential songs, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits is a veritable template for any aspiring singer-songwriter, an American history lesson, and a seminal release for anyone new to his work â€“ as well as for audiences that find some of his deeper cuts an acquired taste. Every signature facet of Dylan is represented, and done so authoritatively. Serious, protest folk anthems ("Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times Are A-Changin'") sit alongside defiant rock statements ("Positively Fourth Street"), landscape-changing epics ("Like a Rolling Stone"), beautiful blues-inspired odes ("I Want You"), and surrealist dreamscapes ("Subterranean Homesick Blues"). Infused with literary poetry, impassioned emotion, and career-making performances, this material doubles as a definitive account of American culture and society, and functions as a soundtrack to the era's social movements.
Gathered in one place, it's no wonder the songs here gave Dylan what remains the biggest-selling album of his career. Accept nothing less than the best version in existence.