9. 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'
By the summer of 1973 Bob Dylan was in danger of being written off as a has-been. His last album of new material was nearly three years in the past, and he'd barely been seen, popping up only at the occasional Band gig and the Concert For Bangladesh. But after he accepted a role in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, he agreed to cut a few tunes for the soundtrack. The clear highlight, which he recorded with Roger McGuinn at an L.A. studio, is about a weary gunman ready to pack it all in. The simple song worked perfectly in the film and gave Dylan a much-needed hit, setting the stage for his huge comeback tour the following year. The song has since been covered by everybody from Eric Clapton to Guns N' Roses and Avril Lavigne.