Bob Dylan’s decades-spanning career has undergone numerous ebbs and flows. Armed with an intensely deep knowledge of American music, he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene as the voice of dissent against various institutions of oppression. When he plugged in at the Newport Festival in 1965, the world’s foremost protest singer received some backlash of his own.

All was forgiven over the following years as he churned out classic album after classic album, sliding from one style or story to the next with unparalleled ease. To this day, he’s still touring and putting out albums with surprising consistency. Like a modern-day Shakespeare, Dylan’s created a canon so vast and vital that one need not peer behind the curtain to reap its endless rewards. That’s not to mention his profound influence on a slew of contemporaries, including everyone from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen. Put simply, the last half-century of music wouldn’t be remotely the same if not for this artist.

To determine the best Bob Dylan albums of all time, Stacker analyzed data from Best Ever Albums (last updated March 2021), where overall rank is determined by calculating the aggregate position of each album from more than 38,000 different top albums charts. The 38,000 charts referenced are a blend of publications’ charts (e.g. Rolling Stone, New Music Express, Stereogum, The Quietus) and people’s personal charts. In theory, the more charts that an album has appeared on and the higher its rank score, the better it will be. Only solo studio albums were considered, meaning no live albums, shared billings, or compilations.

Without further delay, here are Bob Dylan’s 25 best albums.

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