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

88. "Tombstone Blues" (1965)

Dylan claimed this  breakneck jeremiad against violence-gorged American political culture was influenced by conversations he heard at a bar that was frequented by police officers. "They'd be saying stuff like, 'I don't know who killed him, but I'm glad he's gone,' that type of thing," he said. That murky yet matter-of-fact sense of lawless brutality and systemic evil infuses lyrics in which John the Baptist plays torturer and Jack the Ripper sits at the head of the chamber of commerce. Musically, "Tombstone Blues" is just as vicious, with guitarist Mike Bloomfield echoing Dylan's torrential lyrical flow with brash, searing, Chicago-steeped blues fire.

Back to Top