Special Report

Bob Dylan’s Best Albums According to Billboard

Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

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.

37. Triplicate (2017)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #37 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 1

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Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

36. World Gone Wrong (1993)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #70 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 4

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

35. Fallen Angels (2016)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #7 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 3

34. Rough And Rowdy Ways (2020)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #2 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 4

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Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

33. Good As I Been To You (1992)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #51 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 8

32. Down In The Groove (1988)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #61 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 10

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Source: Fin Costello / Redferns via Getty Images

31. Under The Red Sky (1990)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #38 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 11

30. Shadows In The Night (2015)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #7 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 8

29. Shot Of Love (1981)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #33 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 9

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28. Knocked Out Loaded (1986)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #53 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 13

27. Saved (1980)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #24 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 11

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26. Tempest (2012)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #3 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 11

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

25. Christmas In The Heart (2009)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #23 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 11

24. Together Through Life (2009)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 15

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Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

23. Empire Burlesque (1985)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #33 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 17

22. Love And Theft (2001)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #5 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 26

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21. Street Legal (1978)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #11 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 23

Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

20. Biograph (1985)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #33 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 22

Source: Evening Standard / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

19. Oh Mercy (1989)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #30 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 23

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Source: David Redfern / Redferns via Getty Images

18. Dylan (1973)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #17 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 24

17. Infidels (1983)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #20 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 24

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Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

16. Planet Waves (1974)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #1 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 21

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15. Self Portrait (1970)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #4 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 22

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

14. Time Out Of Mind (1997)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #10 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 29

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13. Modern Times (2006)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 27

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

12. New Morning (1970)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #7 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 23

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Source: Courtesy of Docurama

11. Blood On The Tracks (1975)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 24

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Slow Train Coming (1979)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #3 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 26

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

9. Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #16 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 30

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Source: Steve Morley / Redferns via Getty Images

8. Blonde On Blonde (1966)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #9 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 34

7. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #22 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 32

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

6. Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #43 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 41

5. Desire (1976)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 35

Source: Chris Wood / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

4. John Wesley Harding (1968)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #2 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 52

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

3. Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #3 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 47

Source: William Lovelace / Getty Images

2. Nashville Skyline (1969)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #3 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 47

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Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

1. Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
> Peak position on Billboard 200: #6 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 43

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