Congrats to Bob Dylan on His First-Ever No. 1 Song, for the 17-Minute JFK Assassination Epic ‘Murder Most Foul’


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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It’s remarkable to sit back and read the following sentence: Bob Dylan had never had a No. 1 song on any Billboard chart under his own name — until this week.

Per Billboard, Dylan’s new song “Murder Most Foul” became his first track to top *any* Billboard chart, which it did with a reign atop the Rock Digital Song Sales chart.

This is all wild for a few reasons. One, Bob Dylan is a name that elicits strong reactions of reverence and acclaim. The man has a 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature under his belt, for one, and decades’ worth of iconic songs and albums, a mythical status and an undeniable allure.

But … no No. 1 hits until 2020 — and for a 17-minute song about the John F. Kennedy assassination, as well? That’s intense.

The song, premiered on March 27, was quite a surprise, and came with this comment from Dylan:

Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years. This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you. Bob Dylan

If you were surprised to hear Dylan never had a No. 1 before, wondering why none of his iconic songs had hit that milestone before, Pitchfork broke it down well, citing the Billboard report:

As Billboard points out, others have had No. 1 hits with songs Dylan wrote: Peter Paul & Mary in 1963 with “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and the Byrds in 1965 with “Mr. Tambourine Man.” His highest charting singles previously were a handful of No. 2 slots. “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1965 and 1966, respectively, and “Things Have Changed” rose to the No. 2 spot on the Adult Alternative Songs chart in 2000. He has a summer tour of the United States scheduled to begin in June.

Congrats to Bob Dylan on his first-ever No. 1 hit. That’s nothing to scoff at, even with the current uncertainty and upheaval in the music business.


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