Before I began looking into the career and music of Bob Dylan, it hadn't really dawned on me what a great songwriter he is. In my memory he was a seminal folk / protest singer who put poetry to music rather than wrote songs - a kind of Leonard Cohen / Woody Guthrie hybrid who just happened to be around at the right time to make a big impact.
But having compiled a list of nearly 30 songs that I am familiar with and replayed them in my mind ( and on some surviving old vinyl ) I have finally realised what all the fuss was about. These really are great songs - highly individual creations and not just words set to re-hashed folk melodies. Dylan was as much a musician as a poet.
Most of what can be said about Dylan has been said already, and I don't feel particularly qualified to add anything new. I'll simply state that Dylan was much more than the icon and guiding spirit of a generation - it's clear to me now that he was also one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived.