50 Best Songs of 2012

Taylor made weapons-grade teen pop; Kanye put his brain on cruise-control, dubstep kingpins and stadium rockers invited us all to their parties

9

Bob Dylan, 'Pay in Blood'

bob dylan
Courtesy of Sony Music

In one of his most vicious songs ever, Dylan conjures a demonic figure – military brass, politician, CEO, pick your poison – while guitars glint like a switchblade. "Our nation must be saved and freed," he announces, explaining the deal with "I pay in blood, but not my own." It's like a pilot pitch for a "Masters of War" miniseries.

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