28. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (1964)
When people describe Dylan as the "spokesman of a generation," they are thinking of the man best defined by "The Times They Are A-Changin'." And while Dylan would later bluntly reject that title, he consciously sought it with this passionate anthem. A masterpiece of political songwriting, it addresses no specific issue and prescribes no concrete action, but simply observes a world in violent upheaval. (That the song was released just months after the assassination of John F. Kennedy only lent it more power.) Dylan sings in the voice of a bard or prophet, in cadences that are clearly biblical – in his words, "short, concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way."