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Bob Dylan, (born [[Robert Allen Zimmerman]] in Hibbing, [[Minnesota]]) is amongst the greatest influences on the history of popular music.  

Initially he made his name as a [[folk singer]], specialising in [[protest songs]] in the style of [[Woody Guthrie]].  However, his artistic development moved so fast that he frequently left both critics and fans behind.  In 1965 (influenced by the [[folk rock]] of [[The Byrds]]) he angered [[folk music]] purists by performing with an electric [[rock and roll]] band and his new style of poetic, impressionistic lyrics were to have a lasting effect on the industry.

Shortly after the release of the double album "Blonde on Blonde" in 1966 Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident and used his convalescence to escape the pressures of stardom.  Retiring to [[Woodstock]] in [[New York State]] and playing with the musicians who would later become [[The Band]] his output became more influenced by traditional US and [[country music]], which can be heard on the albums "John Wesley Harding" and "Nashville Skyline", the latter of which is often considered to mark the beginning of an artistic decline.  After some mediocre output in the early 1970s ("What the hell is this shit?" asked [[Rolling Stone magazine]] about "Self Portrait"), he returned to form with "Blood On The Tracks", an excellent and honest portrayal of his estrangement from his wife.

In the late 1970s he became a born-again [[christian]] and released records of primarily religious songs, of which only the first, "Slow Train Coming" is worth attention.  He remained in the doldrums throughout 1980s whilst crossing the world on his "Neverending Tour."  The 1990s again saw something of a renaissance, first with "Oh Mercy" (1990) and later returning to his folk roots with "Good As I've Been To You"(1997) and "Time Out Of Mind"(2000).

Recommended albums:
* The Freewheelin Bob Dylan (1963)
* Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
* Highway 61 Revisited (1966)
* Blonde On Blonde (1966)
* Blood On The Tracks (1974)