7. 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'
Even the handful of people who bought Bob Dylan's 1962 self-titled debut LP probably didn't see The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan coming. The debut was mainly folk covers, with two rather unmemorable originals. But in the months after the record hit shelves, a flood of songs began pouring out of Dylan. His girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, also helped him take an active interest in the Civil Rights struggle.
The result was an absolutely staggering collection of songs that included "Blowin' in the Wind," "Masters of War," "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "Girl From the North Country." The disc landed in May 1963 and wasn't an immediate hit but around that time, Joan Baez (then at the peak of her fame) began bringing Dylan onstage during her solo concerts. Peter, Paul and Mary also scored a huge hit with their cover of "Blowin' in the Wind" that summer. All the attention caused countless young people across the country to pick up The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and it created the indelible image of Dylan as the lone folk troubador singing songs about injustice and war. It would prove to be a hard image to shake.