100 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs

From "Just Like a Woman" to "John Wesley Harding," we count down the American icon's key masterpieces

Load Previous

93. "Pay in Blood" (2012)

Dylan said he had planned to record his first religious album in years before heading into Jackson Browne's L.A. studio with his touring band in early 2012. Instead, he kicked off the sixth decade of his career with Tempest, a brutally intense record steeped in a specifically American strain of violence and tragedy. "Pay in Blood" is swaggering and murderous; over an Exile-era Stones-y riff, Dylan spews cruel venom: "I'll drink my fill and sleep alone/I pay in blood but not my own." He could be a slave owner, a gunslinger or a politician. "It's called tradition," Dylan told Rolling Stone, describing the album. "And that's what I deal in."

Back to Top