Eagles track Bob Dylan called ‘one of the best songs of all time’

If you craned your neck skyward and sought out the highest of musical echelons, Bob Dylan would be proudly sitting about fifty feet above that with the smirk of a Nobel Prize winner tucked firmly under his nose. The freewheeling troubadour is a singer-songwriter who has transcended genres, styles and generations to become one of the most culturally relevant voices of the past hundred years. It’s safe to say that what Bob Dylan didn’t oversee in his tenure as one of the greatest isn’t worth seeing.

Such mastery of music led the singer to be constantly asked about his favorite bands, songs or albums. It’s a pursuit of personal favorites that we imagine has left Dylan a little numb to the public demand for information that lies behind the requests. The singer-songwriter is rarely interested in such affairs outside of his once-beloved radio show. During an interview, however, Dylan would oblige and provide a list of his favorite Eagles and Rolling Stones tracks, noting one of the former’s efforts as “one of the greatest songs of all time” – perhaps. be the highest praise.

Last year, the conversation erupted when Dylan sat down with Douglas Brinkley of The New York Times to discuss his new album Rough and rowdy ways. The record is one of Dylan’s finest, which speaks volumes about his longevity and sincere eye for societal musings. One of the songs on the album, “I Contain Multitudes”, was a track that many would now consider one of his best: “It’s the kind of thing where you accumulate stream-of-consciousness verses and then leave him alone and come shoot things,” Dylan told Brinkley.

“In this particular song, the last verses came first. So that’s where the song was going all the way. Obviously, the catalyst for the song is the title line. It’s one of those where you write it on instinct, sort of in a trance-like state. Most of my recent songs are like that. The lyrics are real, tangible; they are not metaphors. The songs seem to know each other, and they know that I can sing them vocally and rhythmically. They sort of write each other and rely on me to sing them.

The release of the previous single, “Murder Most Foul”, saw Dylan reflect on a century of pop culture, noting many of the musicians and icons of the past decades in song, including Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles. Brinkley asks Dylan his favorite Eagles numbers and gets a straight answer: “‘New Kid in Town’, ‘Life in the Fast Lane’, ‘Pretty Maids All in a Row’,” he notes, before add a huge congratulatory mark, “This might be one of the best songs of all time.”

Written by Joe Walsh, who was not featured in Dylan’s song, the track was released on the Eagles’ seminal album in 1976. Hotel California and gave the usually shy Walsh a chance to shine. During an interview with the BBC in 1981, Walsh explained: “For the Eagles to be really worthwhile as a group, it was important that we co-wrote things and we shared things. “Pretty Maids” is kind of a melancholic reflection on my life so far, and I think we tried to portray it as a statement that would be valid for people of our generation about life so far.

“Heroes, they come and go…Henley and Frey really thought it was a good and meaningful song and helped me a lot to put it together. I think the best thing to say is that it’s a kind of wistful observation on life that we hoped would be a valid statement for people of our generation.

The song may not be the most revered song from their hugely influential album, but it certainly has some extra weight behind it now. If you were looking for a time when your work was truly recognized as a songwriter, having Bob Dylan call it “one of the greatest songs of all time” is about as perfect as it gets.

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