Legendary songwriter and recording artist Bob Dylan made headlines earlier this year when Sony Music Entertainment announced that it had purchased Dylan’s entire recorded music catalog, including 39 studio albums and 16 bootlegs. The deal is estimated to have been worth $150 to $200 million. This came a year after Dylan sold his songwriting catalog to Universal for an estimated $250 to $300 million – making it easily one of the most valuable song catalogs.
Of the 39 studio albums Dylan has released since 1962, a whopping 37 of them have appeared on the Billboard 200, five of them – “Planet Waves,” “Blood on the Tracks,” “Desire,” “Together Through Life,” and “Modern Times” – reaching No. 1.
To rank Bob Dylan’s 37 charting albums, 24/7 Tempo reviewed performance data on the Billboard 200 album charts. Albums were ranked based on an inverse score wherein a week at No. 1 is worth 200 points, a week at No. 2 worth 199 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 200 worth one point. Only studio albums were considered. Billboard data is current through the week of August 20, 2022.
Click here to see Bob Dylan’s best albums according to Billboard
The top albums on our list are overwhelmingly his earlier works from the ‘60s and ‘70s, including “Desire,” which he recorded with Emmylou Harris; “Highway 61 Revisited,” a rocking departure from his acoustic folk recordings that features the hit “Like a Rolling Stone;” “Nashville Skyline,” a country album that presents a sentimental, crooning voice that Dylan achieved by quitting cigarettes; and – in the top slot – “Bringing It All Back Home,” which has been credited with pioneering the genre of folk rock, with its blend of electric and acoustic songs.
Many of Dylan’s 21st-century albums are further down the list, but have still seen success. His 32nd studio album, “Modern Times,” for instance, debuted at No. 1 on the charts in 2006. Upon the release of his latest album, “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” Dylan became the first artist to have a Top 40 album on the Billboard 200 every decade since the 1960s. He is undoubtedly one of 35 musicians with legendarily long careers.
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