"Idiot Wind" is a song by Bob Dylan, which appeared on his album Blood on the Tracks. The song is likely to have been written, or at least begun, in the summer of 1974, after Dylan's comeback tour with The Band that year.[1]

"Idiot Wind"
Song by Bob Dylan
from the album Blood on the Tracks
ReleasedJanuary 1975
RecordedDecember 27, 1974 at Sound 80 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan
Producer(s)Bob Dylan
Blood on the Tracks track listing


Dylan first recorded "Idiot Wind" in New York City in September 1974 during the initial Blood on the Tracks sessions. That December, working on a suggestion from his brother, Dylan re-recorded half the songs on Blood on the Tracks, including "Idiot Wind", in Minneapolis. The re-recorded versions were radical departures from the original recordings, and "Idiot Wind" saw a tremendous change, including the adding of a full band backing from an essentially solo acoustic recording. The re-recording, made on December 27, 1974, was issued on Blood on the Tracks.

Individual outtakes from the New York "Idiot Wind" sessions were released in 1991 on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 and in 2018 on the single-CD and 2-LP versions of The Bootleg Series Vol. 14: More Blood, More Tracks, while the complete New York sessions were released on the deluxe edition of the latter album.[2] The deluxe version of The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 also included a remix of the December 1974 master issued on Blood on the Tracks.[3]

A raucous live version from May 23, 1976 is included as the closing track to Hard Rain.


The song was #16 on American Songwriter magazine's The 30 Greatest Dylan Songs.[4]

Some of the lyrics of "Idiot Wind" are mentioned in the song "Only Wanna Be with You" by American band Hootie & the Blowfish. The use of Dylan's lyrics reportedly led to an out-of-court settlement, with Dylan receiving money from Hootie & the Blowfish.[5]

Swedish musician Amanda Bergman used to perform under the stage name Idiot Wind.

Canadian poet Rob Winger titled the third section of his second collection, The Chimney Stone, after "Idiot Wind".

Singer-songwriter Lou Reed cited "Idiot Wind" as a song he wished he had written.[6]

Peter Kaldheim's 2019 novel Idiot Wind: A Memoir was published by Canongate.[7]



  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Idiot Wind allmusic review". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  2. ^ "More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 to Be Released on November 2 | The Official Bob Dylan Site". www.bobdylan.com. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  3. ^ "More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 to Be Released on November 2 | The Official Bob Dylan Site". www.bobdylan.com. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  4. ^ Schlansky, Evan (2009-04-20). "The 30 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs: #16, "Idiot Wind"". americansongwriter.com. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  5. ^ Greene, Andy (2013-07-19). "Darius Rucker on 'Wagon Wheel' and the Future of Hootie". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  6. ^ "403: Forbidden - HostGator". Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  7. ^ "Idiot Wind by Peter Kaldheim - Canongate Books". canongate.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-15.

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