June 16, 2015 11:55 PM

It was 50 years ago Tuesday that folk icon Bob Dylan finished recording a song that changed his career and has since inspired generations of singer-songwriters ever since.

Dylan, 74, wrote “Like a Rolling Stone” initially as prose, following a frustrating tour through England, but eventually set it to music. He recorded it at Columbia Records in New York, and he and his band did so without sheet music, meaning they played each take by ear. When it was released the following July, it became Dylan’s biggest commercial hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100, behind “Help!” by The Beatles.

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On Tuesday, Rolling Stone commemorated the anniversary with a lengthy history of the song, calling the lyrics “venomous” and citing that the “Miss Lonely” mentioned in the lyrics has been rumored to be Edie Sedgwick, Joan Baez or Marianne Faithfull.

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