Bob Dylan's Greatest Songs of the 1980s

20 songs worth hearing from Dylan's most overlooked decade

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'Dark Eyes' (1985)
Ebet Roberts/Redferns9/20

'Dark Eyes' (1985)

In 1985, Dylan decided to made a modern-sounding record. Sadly, he couldn't have picked a single worse year to try that tactic. Records made in 1985 sound more dated now than the ones recorded at pretty much any other time in rock history. And the vision of Empire Burlesque studio collaborator Arthur Baker – best known for his work with dance acts like New Order, and a handful of Bruce Springsteen club remixes – didn't exactly line up with Dylan's. Baker did have one great idea, though: He suggested that Dylan end the album with one stripped down acoustic song. Dylan initially balked and claimed he didn't have such a song, but he got inspired after seeing a sad woman with "dark eyes" at at a New York hotel. He wrote this song that very night. Ten years later, he brought Patti Smith on tour with him and told her they could duet on any song in his catalog. She picked this one, and they closed out most of the shows with it. Look for it on YouTube.

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