The 13 Best 21st-Century Bob Dylan Covers, From Adele to Miley Cyrus


Universal Music Publishing Group announced Monday (Dec. 7) that it had purchased Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of songs from the legend himself. Dylan’s work includes more than 600 songs, which have provided a soundtrack to the cultural shifts over the last six decades.

His influence and perspectives on love, society, the government, protests and war have led to countless covers of his timeless hits — as their messages often are still relevant to this day. And while Dylan has been making music for nearly 60 years, some of the best covers of his songs have been recorded in just the past two decades.

Below, we’ve compiled our 13 favorite 21st-century takes on Dylan’s songs:

Adele, “Make You Feel My Love”

Nothing like an Adele and Dylan combo to break our hearts in two. The “Hello” singer’s characteristically tender vocals add a level of sentimentality to an already emotional song.

Maroon 5, “I Shall Be Released”

Recorded for 2012’s Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, the gospel-influenced song got a fresh take thanks to Adam Levine’s vocals.

My Chemical Romance, “Desolation Row”

The band’s rocked-out spin on the 1965 song for the 2009 Watchmen soundtrack was released along with a music video, which featured MCR performing the track in front of a lively mosh pit.

Miley Cyrus, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”

Miley Cyrus teamed up with Johnzo West for this Chimes of Freedom tribute cover, where her Southern roots shine and raise the question as to why she hasn’t released an all-folk album.

Neko Case, “Buckets of Rain”

For her Live From Austin, TX live album, Neko Case effortlessly delivered Dylan’s comforting 1975 song.

Kesha, “It Ain’t Me Babe”

At the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, Kesha rocked a sleek white pantsuit covered in rainbows, hearts and palm trees to perform “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” letting the music do the talking as she was embroiled in a legal battle with former mentor Dr. Luke.

The White Stripes, “Isis”

Back in 2001, The White Stripes covered the 1976 song at London’s Kentish Town Forum.

The Black Keys, “The Wicked Messenger”

Featuring Dan Auerbach’s washed-out vocals and the duo’s identifiable production techniques, the take on “The Wicked Messenger” feels like a Black Keys original.

Kelly Clarkson & Ben Platt, “Make You Feel My Love”

Kelly Clarkson called on Ben Platt for her show’s Kellyoke segment in October 2019, where the powerhouse duo traded verses on “Make You Feel My Love” for a goosebump-inducing cover.

Green Day, “Like a Rolling Stone” 

The alt cover of Dylan’s 1965 classic was featured as a bonus track on the band’s 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown.

Alicia Keys, “Pressing On”

“Pressing On” was made for Alicia Keys’ soulful vocals, and the cover got an added element of warmth thanks to gospel choir harmonies.

Jason Mraz, “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall”

Jason Mraz contributed his cover of Dylan’s symbolic perspective on suffering and war for 2005’s  Listen to Bob Dylan: A Tribute.

Pearl Jam, “Masters of War”

Pearl Jam has played the 1963 song a number of times from 2003 and 2008, on tour and at talk shows.

Honorable Mention: Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”

OK, so this one’s technically not a full Bob Dylan cover, but it still has a really cool story. In 2004, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show added verses to an unfinished Dylan demo, which had just a chorus and melody, to create “Wagon Wheel.” In 2013, Rucker added his own countrified spin on the collaborative song and taking it to No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

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