Bruce Springsteen Once Named His Favourite Bob Dylan Songs

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Deep down, every songwriter has a hero – someone they look up to. It can be heartening to know that even the greats have people they aspire to, talent they believe is unsurpassed. Capable of filling stadiums, Bruce Springsteen remains a devout Bob Dylan fan, citing the rock bard as a formative influence on his own work.

Indeed, when the New Jersey talent first emerged, he was just the latest to be tagged with the ‘new Dylan’ soubriquet. Chatting on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert a while back, Bruce Springsteen revealed that the press chatter did indeed influence him to alter his sound a little, and walk his own path.

“I became self-conscious about the Dylan comparison, so I moved away from [that style of songwriting] quickly,” he said. “Looking back I kind of had my own Dylan-Esque style. And I kind of wish I had never moved away from it so quickly.”

The host couldn’t resist pressing Springsteen, however, and asked him about his three favourite Bob Dylan songs. Quick as a flash, The Boss named Dylan’s epic single ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ citing it as a “history and culture changing piece of music”.

Elsewhere, he plumbed for Bob Dylan’s stunning ‘Blonde On Blonde’ highlight ‘Visions Of Johanna’ before name-checking the ‘Oh Mercy’ standout ‘Ring Them Bells’.

Quickly warming to this Dylan love-in, Bruce Springsteen named ‘John Wesley Harding’ as his favourite Bob Dylan album – perhaps unsurprising, given that Springsteen would also record his bleak outlaw song cycle ‘Nebraska’.

Re-visit the conversation below.

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In turn, Bob Dylan is a big admirer of Bruce Springsteen’s work. The fabled songwriter was even picked up by New Jersey police when attempting to locate The Boss’ childhood home – local residents didn’t recognise him.