Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series

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A search reveals that these volumes have been mentioned all over the place, but have never had a comprehensive thread.

Since last week's compelling Dylanival and the long ILM thread about it, I have been driven back to the Bootlegs 1-3. Slowly working my way through: still only up to 'She's Your Lover Now'. But crikey, that track almost deserves a thread of its own! So thrilling to hear things come together and fall apart, piano hold steady while guitarist stops and starts again; like the 'Keep It With Mine' where the producer tells Bob to keep going.

Other big theme I wanted to raise: Great Unreleased Songs. 'Mama, You Been On My Mind' and 'Farewell Angelina', never on an LP - yet standards for years, and finally available here! What about those? How did they become standards anyway: through actual bootleg-bootlegs? Why did he leave them off LPs in the first place?

So much to say. And I have not heard Vol 7 yet.

the bobfox, Thursday, 6 October 2005 14:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

search: blind willie mctell from volume 3.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like the 'Albert Hall' one very much. I think the tuning up is btter than most albums. I do a 'human beatbox' version of it. I do not like the 1975 one very much, apart from the solo performances. I have hardly listened to 1964 (but it is in my bag). I haven't heard or seen the latest one (but it is in the work DVD box in non-packaged format - maybe I will borrow it to make up for my disappointment at having taken home Rocky II and Car Wash only to find they were region one). I like 1-3, but I do not have it at home at present. I like Every Grain Of Sand better than the 'proper' version, and I like the Blood On The Tracks, erm, tracks.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think "She's Your Lover Now" would have been the best song on Blonde on Blonde.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

* We need: more outtakes from the Basement Tapes.

* 1st song on Vol 5/1975 should shut up forever anyone who still thinks "Dylan can't sing"

* "Wallflower" - one of his most underrated songs, David Bromberg's version is great

Keith C (lync0), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

bootleg 1-3 was actually my first exposure to dylan, since i was staying with a dylan fanatic who had just bought it, and i really flipped for it. "she's your lover now" is really fantastic... i also very much liked the really fast version of "it takes a train to laugh..."... the concert bootlegs of "mama you've been on my mind" that i've heard have always been very jaunty; did he ever play it as delicately as he did on that set? lastly, the basement outtake "santa fe" is the one i sing the most, since it's got a great melody and incoherent lyrics

dave k, Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She's Your Lover Now and Blind Willie McTell are the stars of the Bootleg Series 1-3 box set. I'm also really partial to Nobody 'Cept You, an outtake from Planet Waves which would have been the best song on it.

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I didn't know people loved 'She's Your Lover Now' so much! I am excited.

I adore that vol 5 version of 'Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You' - track one, even using the phrase 'Rolling Thunder'. Thrills!

the bobfox, Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I will isten to it again. I think there might be too many musicians, a la Concert For Bangladesh.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

On the Royal Albert Hall bootleg series, I am NOT a fan of the acoustic disc. I find it slow and just kinda overly mannered. The electric disc, however, is some of the best rock and roll ever played.

If you want to hear great acoustic Bob, you can't beat the three songs on Before the Flood: Don't Think Twice, It's Alright Ma and Just Like A Woman. All three are the best versions of those songs, and beat the piss out of the Royal Albert Hall acoustic stuff.

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Haha yes! Before the Flood is occasionally great

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the bear mountain picnic song gets me everydamntime...

i'm also happy for the recently uprooted love of "shes your lover now". i about break everytime it just quits like that. Vol. 7 proves that the blonde on blonde sessions, though interesting, don't quite pack the punch of the final versions. i can't imagine what would have become of syln. the vol. 2 version is rough, but warm. b o b has a late night frosty glow. it coulda been better or worse.

the vol. 2 version of santa fe is great, better than the genuine basement tape's makes you need to belt along with it.

i've gone on week long binges with each of the live records. Rolling Thunder got me to like "The Hurricane". The "It's Alright Ma" from 1964 brought back the almost crushing power of that song for me. And I still get chills with the 66 version of "Like A Rolling Stone".

all said, i love this series. i think it provides a brilliant look into how grand the dylan universe is.

bb (bbrz), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The '80s stuff on the first Bootleg comp is first-rate. "Blind Willie McTell," "Caribbean Wind," the E Street Band-performed version of "When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky" are some of his greatest songs.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Don't forget about Biograph:
"And I went back to find Isis just to tell 'er I love ARRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"

Old School (sexyDancer), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

re: the 1966 acoustic sets--I beg to differ. Those are among my favorite Dylan recordings of all time. So slow, sad and beautiful. I think Dylan's really digging deep--losing himself completely in the songs. He often sounds so otherworldy and lonely that it's a shock when the applause comes after the songs end. In its own way, I think those sets are just as radical as the electric set (which I also loooooove). And there's some of the wildest harmonica work of the man's career--check out the long excursion he takes at the end of Tambourine Man. I can dig the Before the Flood stuff, but it's a little bit too amped up for my tastes.

tylerw, Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

As far as acoustic live Dylan goes, I've always loved his vocal on "Just Like a Woman" from Bangladesh. He sings his guts out.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

how is that Gaslight performance that was just released?

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

what i want to know is why "can you please crawl out your window", the glockenspiel version, was never released or used in the doc. it's easily in my top 5 dylan songs--as exuberant as live 65.

naturemorte, Thursday, 6 October 2005 19:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Crikey, yes, Urgent & Key: that was a 45 - but I'm afraid I have never heard it in my life, not that I can remember. What does it sound like?

the bellefox, Thursday, 6 October 2005 19:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I love the 1964 disc (vol 6). Dylan sounds so eager to entertain his audience, as opposed to the bitter stance he took during the next two years (both sides of him were captured so well in the Scorcese doc). He sings his guts out on songs like "Who Killed Davey Moore" and "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" with power that I didn't know he had in him before I heard this record.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 6 October 2005 19:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

'Mama, You Been On My Mind' and 'Farewell Angelina', never on an LP - yet standards for years, and finally available here! What about those? How did they become standards anyway: through actual bootleg-bootlegs?

dunno about "FA" but "MYBOMM" was covered by a few people--as the Scorsese doc makes clear, his publisher made sure his songs got covered.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Thursday, 6 October 2005 19:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

One night I discovered something totally insane. If you have the DVD disc that came with the Rolling Thunder volume then play Isis. When you see the part when the sweaty guitarist's eyes are all bulging from cocaine and he tries to bite Dylan's left-hand fingers, back it up a bit and play it in slow motion. That whole fucking weird scene played in slo-mo is truly mesmerizing and a bit disturbing.

Justin Farrar (Justin Farrar), Thursday, 6 October 2005 20:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Joan Baez put out "FA" first I think, and she made it famous.

I've had the the first box for a few years and been meaning to pick up vols. 4-7. Some faves from it that haven't been mentioned much:

Seven Curses (I'm sucker for mystical revenge/stolen virginity/evil lawmen/wronged man folklore stuff)
Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence ("She's turnin' me into an old man/and man, I ain't even 25!")
If Not For You (It's prettier than the official version)
Nobody 'Cept You (Good call kornrulez)
Seven Days (Since i dig this and the rolling thunder biograph tracks, how urgent is it for me to pick up Vol.5? And also is the 1st version w/the dvd worth tracking down?)
Foot of Pride (The homesick blues, nearly 20 years of schoolin' later, and still on the day shift)
Tell Me (Bob can do Pop)

thanks for answering my question before I posted it. that sounds cool.

Marxism Goes Better With Coke (Charles McCain), Thursday, 6 October 2005 20:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

'Mama, You Been On My Mind' and 'Farewell Angelina', never on an LP - yet standards for years, and finally available here! What about those? How did they become standards anyway: through actual bootleg-bootlegs?
dunno about "FA" but "MYBOMM" was covered by a few people--as the Scorsese doc makes clear, his publisher made sure his songs got covered.

-- Matos-Webster Dictionary (michaelangelomato...), October 6th, 2005.

Most notably and beautifully by Rod Stewart.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 6 October 2005 20:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Another good one from The Bootleg Series box is the demo of Every Grain of Sand, which I prefer to the Shot of Love version...much more intimate without the Bobettes.

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Thursday, 6 October 2005 20:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Barking dog!

Marxism Goes Better With Coke (Charles McCain), Thursday, 6 October 2005 20:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Although the 3rd disc of Bootleg Series 1-3 is kind of throwaway, and the 2nd disc has a lot of great alternate versions of album tracks, that first disc is very worthwhile; in fact, over the last 5 years, I've probably listened to that first disc more than anything else Dylan-related.

1st Disc Standouts:
"Hard Times in New York Town"
"House Carpenter" (Is this a cover or an original? It's become one of my Dylan favorites)
"Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues"
"Rambling, Gambling Willie"
"Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues"
"Who Killed Davey Moore?"
"Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie" (if for nothing else, those ending lines:

"You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown"

Suzy Creemcheese (SuzyCreemcheese), Thursday, 6 October 2005 21:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Am I alone in my complete awe of "Moonshiner"?

Sung with such beauty, control, and weight, I can't get over it. Devastates me every time.

Taylor, Friday, 7 October 2005 01:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

xpost "his publisher made sure": yes, pinefox, his "Mama You Been On My Mind" and a bunch of other demos were sent around by the publisher, so Fairport took "Percy's Song" and others, and the whole Lo & Behold album, by Dean Coulson, McGuiness, Flint, and others, was from publisher's demos, I think, or most of it, anyway. Seems like the Brits jumped on more of the prime goodies than Americans did,initially, although of course Baez did a double-LP of his stuff soon enough (Any Day Now, right?)There were a couple of LPs of demos issued by the old TMQ (Trademark of Quality, with a pig-rubber-stamp as trademark) booters, although mostly they did comps from various sources too (So "Mama" and other demos are with Minnesota apartment tapes, Basement Tapes, Isle of Wight, etc. on the VD Waltz comp; I've never heard a whole album of demos, alas.)In some cases, it was a matter of just having too much stuff, not wanting to flood the market, and/or what he did last month too different from this month's, and this month, it's time for an album! Then in 70s, not wanting the 60s overflow to wash away the later stuff; plus, when he finally did a legit version of Basement Tapes, and it did well, he was surprised:"I thought everybody already had that!" The boots were popular and well-enough known, he prb thought legit issues would increase pressure by being seen as potboilers, at that point, even f they didn't upstage, so either way, they were a problem, until he needed the money and the cred bad enough, and had by that time become enough of a Historical Landmark that the Bootleg Series seemed only right and proper. Thing is, though, hearing the tracks left off the 70s-80s stuff, in favor of some of the crappier items that did make the cut, really show how unsure of himself he can be, for all the Bardic charisma, etc. So, in that respect, the songs of his fabled past are *still* a problem for his sense of credibility, which is why they've been so carefully rationed (still tons of things; it'll be like Hendrix and Trane and Miles issues, only moreso, cause more songs, not just 9000 versions of 900 songs)But basically, questions of judgement/crediblity are part of his history too, not so much of an issue (if he makes another bad album, and he will, big deal, cos the song-suply'll never end, til the world does, and when it does, his stuff will spill over to somewhere:the good, bad, great, and meh;I can see it, the probability of that now, even while this thought ends.)

don, Friday, 7 October 2005 02:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Regarding "She's Your Lover Now," the Dylan Scrapbook released in conjuction with No Direction Home has a lyric sheet for that tune. I'm not sure if the sheet is made to look authentic, or if it's a replica of the original, but the lyrics end where the song on the second Bootleg disc ends.
I always had the impression that the wheels just fell off, and that the song was meant to be longer.

Jason Dent (jason dont), Friday, 7 October 2005 03:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"you, you just sit around and ask for ashtrays... can't you REACH?"

100% WJE (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 7 October 2005 05:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"blind willie mctell" is very close to being his best performance, if not his best song, ever.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 7 October 2005 05:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It is Don't Look Back that is in the box at the work where we work, not No Direction Home. I watched a couple of minutes last night before deciding that it was best to wait till my karma had reached its optimum level and then watch it.

Listened to some Live 64, did not think much of it really. But I shall persevere.

Crawl Out Your Window is on Biograph, I think, Pinefox. Should you wish, I could copy it for you when I rescue it from "storage". I also have a J. Hendrix version recorded for the BBC Light Programme.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Friday, 7 October 2005 07:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah crawl out your window is on biograph but it's a a sub-par version--i'm talking specifically about the glockenspiel version. the one on biograph is a little laid-back, but the glockenspiel version is really energetic and crazy. when he launches into the third chorus he does one of those soulful nasal whines that only dylan can do.


naturemorte, Friday, 7 October 2005 07:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"House Carpenter" (Is this a cover or an original? It's become one of my Dylan favorites)

It's a cover - it's a ridiculously old trad song. A great version is on Harry Smiths' Anthology of American Folk Music.

Come Back Johnny B (Johnney B), Friday, 7 October 2005 07:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I don't know the glockenspiel version.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Friday, 7 October 2005 07:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"blind willie mctell" is very close to being his best performance, if not his best song, ever.

seconded; amazing song/performance, totally spellbinding

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Friday, 7 October 2005 08:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Although the 3rd disc of Bootleg Series 1-3 is kind of throwaway

Madness. I can't really say if it's the best disc but it's definitely the one I've listened to most. 'Foot of Pride','Every Grain', 'Blind Willie McT', 'Angelina', 'Seven Days' = throwaway??

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Friday, 7 October 2005 08:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what's his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is"

So classsssssic.
Also turned me on to "St James Infirmary", from which the melody is lifted. Checl out Bobby Blue Bland's version if you have the chance.

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Friday, 7 October 2005 08:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

crawl out your window is great, indeed ! (and yeah, the glockenspiel version is best).
it's easily amongst my favorite bob's trax.
guess i'm ready to grab the latest bootleg series now !

AleXTC (AleXTC), Friday, 7 October 2005 08:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I almost started this thread myself after doing a search for it last week! Surprised one did not exist til now, thx for starting.

Vol. 1-3 I heard before a lot of the albums, and it's the thing that made me obsessive about Dylan. Had a 90 cassette of tracks, mostly discs 1 & 2, that I completely wore out that summer and beyond. It started with "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie". Upon hearing the original version of say "If Not For You" without the "Ready George?" and a certain wobbly reckless energy of a lot of the tracks on 1-3, the originals sounded rather polished or staid. "Santa Fe" is another good example. Even "Idiot Wind" at the end of Vol. 2 is more biting and mean than the album vers.

Vol. 4 opened my eyes in a big way to the pre-'66 material, as I'm sure it did for a lot of people. I actually prefer disc 1, particularly the devestatingly sad "Desolation Row" and Dylan's expressive harp playing thoughout. Almost like he's testing the audience with his harp playing, similar in aggression to part 2 "Play it fucking loud". I find the guitar playing on disc 1 tattered, like he means it, it all fits the mood nicely.

Vol. 5 I bought when it came out and only listened a handful of times. Need to return to it. I remember it sounding very punk rock, though.

Vol. 6 is the 1964 disc, right? Never bought that.

Vol. 7 don't have yet.

mcd (mcd), Friday, 7 October 2005 12:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

about she's your lover now--i thought the scrapbook lyrics sheet was weird too--because there IS a last verse. He sings it on the solo piano outtake of the song--which has yet to see official release. anyone who loves that song oughtta seek it out, though. it's incredible--extremely slow and wasted-sounding. with the release of the latest bootleg series, this is probably the major remaining outtake to remain officially unreleased.

but anyway, i love the bootleg series' one and all, but part of me wishes that Dylan (or Columbia) would do like Elvis Costello and just reissue the albums each with a bonus disc of outtakes/live stuff/etc. Of course they just did that big SACD reissue series a few years ago, so that's unlikely to happen any time soon.

tylerw, Friday, 7 October 2005 13:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Seek out: Lou Reed's cover of "Foot of Pride."

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 7 October 2005 13:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ah, there are two ways of doing this: a "Bootleg" series, and 'extra disc'..

The fall reissues have an extra disc, but as they mostly have Peel sessions, they are pointless if you have that "Ah, the Fall Peel Sessions box set, you guys" set.

mark grout (mark grout), Friday, 7 October 2005 13:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

curious about that she's your lover now piano outtake...
there's another "song" i've been wondering about : it's a tune he plays on accoustic guitar at the end of "eat the document".
is this a proper song ? a demo ? a cover ?

AleXTC (AleXTC), Friday, 7 October 2005 13:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

that's "i can't leave her behind". as far as i know, that's the only recording of the song. but it's amazing--vocally one of Dylan's most tender moments. You can get an mp3 of that (and the she's your lover now outtake and a whole bunch more) at

tylerw, Friday, 7 October 2005 13:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah, his singing, the melody, the guitar playing... beautiful indeed. so it's a song of his, then ? incredible that didn't get released !?
anyway, thanks !

AleXTC (AleXTC), Friday, 7 October 2005 14:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah it's one of his. the story goes that him and Robbie Robertson would stay up all night on the 1966 UK tour writing dozens of new songs--and then the next day neither one could remember them.

tylerw, Friday, 7 October 2005 14:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am still working my way through 1-3 in order. Slowly. I am now halfway through 'You Changed My Life'.

Latest discoveries:

'Tangled Up In Blue' - a centrepiece of the set to me when I first heard it - is it in E, and the LP version in G?

'Call Letter Blues' is doing more for me than before: some poignancy in the words.

I have never loved 'Idiot Wind' but am now impressed by the relative tenderness of this (NYC?) version as vs the LP.

The bootleg 'If You See Her' is a lot better than the LP's, surely.

Is 'Golden Loom' the first time Bob and Emmylou H sang together? Assuming it's her.

It's funny how that is country, then 'Catfish' is blues. I have always thought 'Catfish' kind of unimportant, but actually I like the depth of its sound, the reverb around those slides and harmonicas.

Is the barking dog the reason that this 'Every Grain of Sand' was not used? I like this song a lot considering that it's religious.

The whole set is an amazing way to take a rapid-fire time-tour through Dylan's career, hearing the flavour of one year (those Desirous violins) for a track or two before the next sound comes along.

the bobfox, Friday, 7 October 2005 14:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, yes - 'Nobody 'Cept You' IS good, isn't it: oddly it sounds to me like the Rolling Thunder sound, though it predates it.

Unlike PJM, I like Live 1964 a lot.

This glockenspiel rumour remains mysterious to me.

But christ, so many great things: 'Barbed Wire Fence', 'Train To Cry', '... Go Now' on bootleg 2. Peerless!

the bobfox, Friday, 7 October 2005 14:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh, that was the other set, nm.

Mark G, Sunday, 10 December 2017 17:01 (nine months ago) Permalink

i know greil marcus builds up sign on the cross as the earthquake omitted from the 2LP but my favorite of the left-outs is definitely All I Have to Do is Dream

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 11 December 2017 16:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Trouble No More is so good.

kornrulez6969, Friday, 29 December 2017 02:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

I got the 2-disc set for Christmas. So far I've listened to the 1st disc. I already knew and loved most of the songs from the original studio albums, and in a few cases at least I think I still prefer the studio versions (especially the ones on Saved vs some of the early live performances where it seems like the road-testing of the songs improved them), but some of the performances reveal whole new sides of the songs or feature a particularly great vocal, so this for me is well worth having.

o. nate, Friday, 29 December 2017 03:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

To me it's worth it just for the super cool intro he does for Solid Rock...

"Gonna do a request tonight. Somebody shouted out a song called Solid Rock. Hanging onto a solid rock made before the foundation of the world, is that the one you mean?"

kornrulez6969, Friday, 29 December 2017 16:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

haha yeah that's great

niels, Friday, 29 December 2017 17:39 (eight months ago) Permalink

Just finished the new Clinton Heylin book accompanying the set.... Some of it familiar from Behind The Shades but a good deep read on the period nonetheless

Hadrian VIII, Friday, 29 December 2017 17:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

I just wish Property Of Jesus was on the 2 cd live set, that's always been my favorite fire and brimstone Bob song.

kornrulez6969, Sunday, 31 December 2017 17:21 (eight months ago) Permalink

I dug out "Slow Train Coming" recently because of this set, and liked it more than I thought I was going to.

So, may be back 'on the bus' regarding this set,

Mark G, Sunday, 31 December 2017 21:33 (eight months ago) Permalink

Has anyone watched the dvd documentary? My local art house theatre is doing a one time showing of the doc in a few weeks and was wondering if it was worth catching.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 31 December 2017 22:29 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm amazed and touched to find that (12-13 years ago) I started this thread!

Came here seeking views on TROUBLE NO MORE. Will read with interest. I just have the 2CD set.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 14:34 (eight months ago) Permalink

I didn't recall that there was a whole Clinton Heylin book on this. (Is there any Dylan he hasn't written a book about?)

Though quite a Dylan fan I have NEVER heard the Christian LPs before -- most of these songs come to me totally new. I find it remarkable that he played dozens of concerts, for months, playing ONLY the new songs, nothing from before c.1978 -- very unlike what he went back to doing later in the 1980s I think.

My sense is that the Christian message doesn't get in the way too much for me (though it's not my kind of message, especially as, as all know, it's so hectoring and aggressive) - maybe many of the other LPs had this kind of lyrical material anyway, just less concentrated? -- and the big bonus seems to be the band.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 14:40 (eight months ago) Permalink

Heylin book just came out last fall as a companion to the new Bootleg Series (a la his recent 1966 book). haven't read it yet, but plan on it ...
EZ, just finally watched the DVD and it's great. Michael Shannon sermons might be a little iffy for some, but I don't know, they add an interesting wrinkle ... I do wish that they'd also have included the complete Toronto show in pristine quality, but I guess YouTube will have to suffice for now. The semi-staged rehearsal footage at Rundown Studios is pretty interesting — the version of "Abraham Martin & John" that comes at the end is kind of stunning:

Would love a whole album made up of these Dylan / Clydie duets ... they sound amazing together here. There's an uncirculating session from 1982 apparently:

Rundown Studios

Santa Monica, California

1 June 1982

Clydie King session.

1. Standing In The Light

2. Average People

3. Average People

4. Average People

5. In The Heat Of The Night

6. Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Clydie King (vocal), Bob Dylan (organ, guitar, bass), Jimmie Haskell (piano).

tylerw, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 15:22 (eight months ago) Permalink

oh yeah, that's a great little performance!

you have to be kind of fearless to sing with Bob like that, but here it totally works

niels, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 17:03 (eight months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

From MVD Entertainment Group:

Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs Of Bob Dylan
Coming to DVD and digital formats February 9th

Features an intense performance from Bob Dylan, plus performances from Aaron Neville, Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, and many others during behind-the-scenes making of the Grammy-nominated compilation "Gotta Serve Somebody" released 15 years ago

"The best African-American covers of Dylan songs since Jimi Hendrix."
- The New York Times
Marking the fifteenth anniversary of GRAMMY-nominated album Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan, MVD Entertainment Group will reissue the film of the same title. Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan features an intense Bob Dylan performance from 1980 of "When He Returns" as well as powerful performances and interviews with Aaron Neville, Shirley Caesar, Fairfield Four, Mighty Clouds of Joy, and Dottie Peoples, reflecting on their faith and connections to Dylan's Christian music.

Now, with the November release of Columbia Records' "Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981," a further exploration of that period has taken place, which began with this album and film. "It was an honor to have made an impression on the great artist himself with these recordings," said the film's producer Jeffrey Gaskill. From 2009 to 2011, Bob Dylan opened 40 concerts around the world with Gonna Change My Way of Thinking (his Grammy-nominated new version re-written and recorded for Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan with Mavis Staples.) in concert halls in Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Adelaide and this performance in Tel Aviv (video HERE).

Just a month after his recording with Staples he would kick off a new tour in Stockholm Sweden and perform Solid Rock (what many consider the theme song to his gospel era concerts) for the first time in over twenty years. Dylan would continue to perform this rousing song as well as other gospel era songs at numerous concerts across Europe and beyond. The two-time Grammy nominated compilation would be released on Sony/Columbia one year later on April 1, 2003

"This gospel music was Bob Dylan's ultimate rebellion, and it took much more courage than strapping on an electric guitar," said Gaskill. The film offers historical insights into this Bob Dylan era provided by Jim Keltner, Fred Tackett, Spooner Oldham, and Regina McCrary - all of whom performed and recorded with Dylan at the time. Famed record producer Jerry Wexler, who produced the records, and music journalists Paul Williams and Alan Light, also disclose insights.


"The best African-American covers of Dylan songs since Jimi Hendrix."
-The New York Times

"Another corner of American music has, appropriately, claimed Dylan as its own."
- Associated Press

"Even agnostics may now agree there was something nearly supernatural about Dylan's mastery of an unlikely idiom--black gospel."
- Entertainment Weekly

Arlethia Lindsey - Every Grain of Sand
Bob Dylan - When He Returns
Sounds of Blackness - Solid Rock
Shirley Caesar - Gotta Serve Somebody
Dottie Peoples - I Believe in You
Aaron Neville - Saving Grace
Helen Baylor - What Can I Do For You'
The Fairfield Four - Are You Ready
Great Day Chorale - In the Garden
Mighty Clouds of Joy - Saved
Chicago Mass Choir featuring Regina McCrary - Pressing On
Rance Allen - When He Returns

dow, Saturday, 20 January 2018 00:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

looks pretty cool to me! the album is on Spotify but not streamable in my area:

niels, Saturday, 20 January 2018 10:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

haha wait though the Mavis/Bob song is available and has a pretty hilarious skit!

niels, Saturday, 20 January 2018 10:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

TROUBLE NO MORE - I must now have played the 2CDs about 20 or 30 times each.

Favourites include:

guitar on first 'slow train coming';

speed of second 'slow train coming'.

Groove on first 'gotta serve somebody';

Bo Diddley rhythm on second 'gotta serve somebody'.

Graceful music and possible Knopfler pastiche on 'precious angel'.

'Solid rock' especially the intro to it as 'RE-QUEST'.

Slick groove and kooky delivery on 'do right to me baby'.

Lead guitar riff on 'saved'.

Band introductions on 'are you ready?' and Dylan asking if someone will tell him if he's ready.

'Shot of love' like a prototype for 'high water'.

Scorching, remarkable 'groom's still waiting at the altar' with chorus lyric quite different from the record - 'tell her I still think she's neat'!

the pinefox, Saturday, 3 February 2018 14:48 (seven months ago) Permalink

'Shot of love' like a prototype for 'high water'.
yeah, I can totally see that

niels, Saturday, 3 February 2018 19:09 (seven months ago) Permalink

yeah this is becoming a favorite of mine

I'll add:

everyone going ecstatic and just screaming blessed is the name of the Lord forever over and over

bhad and bhabie (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 3 February 2018 19:32 (seven months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

surely Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers brought out the best in 80s Dylan:

niels, Friday, 20 April 2018 18:20 (five months ago) Permalink

yeah i have recently got some bootlegs from dylan/petty tours and it's interesting that he's doing christian material way after infidels and the official "end" of the christian period

The Desus & Mero Chain (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 20 April 2018 19:25 (five months ago) Permalink

yeah it seems to me that the Christian period never ended

droit au butt (Euler), Friday, 20 April 2018 19:40 (five months ago) Permalink

haha, doesn't the petty / dylan video end with "In The Garden"? not even a "light" christian song like "every grain of sand" ...

tylerw, Friday, 20 April 2018 19:51 (five months ago) Permalink

some good 80s dylan speeches during those shows, lol

You know back in the States Ronald Reagan is a big hero to a lot of people. Sylvester Stallone he's also a hero. Ever heard of him? Or over here maybe Mad Max is a hero? Yeah we got a lot of heroes over in the United States at the moment. Michael Jackson, he's one of the biggest. And my good friend Bruce Springsteen. He's turned into quite a hero these days. I'll tell you something. I don't care nothing about none of these people. I got a different hero. He might have lived a long time ago, but you know what was good yesterday is still good today. He's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I don't know if these current heroes are gonna be. (before In The Garden)

tylerw, Friday, 20 April 2018 19:53 (five months ago) Permalink

Way later on, somebody asked him, "Do you still believe in those songs?" "I do when I'm singing them."
Thanks for the Hard To Handle link, that's the best quality I've seen for it on the 'Tube (saw it on VH-1 in the 80s, hope it's still got Stevie Nicks singing lead on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," everybody killin' it). Not as creative as some of his other live presentations, but as dynamic arena-rock, sweatin' to the oldies, still pretty strong. Makes me want to check Live At Budokan and Real Live, but prob advantage here re hooking up with a long-pre-existing, cohesive crew.

dow, Friday, 20 April 2018 19:59 (five months ago) Permalink

"Do you still believe in those songs?" "I do when I'm singing them."


difficult listening hour, Friday, 20 April 2018 21:36 (five months ago) Permalink

I thought I was still on the Morrissey thread for a moment there...

Mark G, Friday, 20 April 2018 21:50 (five months ago) Permalink

On the Rolling Thunder set when he says “Just Like A Woman? Ok... we’ll try that”—was he taking requests?

sciatica, Saturday, 21 April 2018 06:21 (four months ago) Permalink

Not as creative as some of his other live presentations, but as dynamic arena-rock, sweatin' to the oldies, still pretty strong
yeah it's not too subtle, but it's one of the few times where he (kinda) pulled the arena thing off

niels, Sunday, 22 April 2018 20:34 (four months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

out in november

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:25 (yesterday) Permalink


sleeve, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:26 (yesterday) Permalink

fuck yeah, this can only be good

niels, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:58 (yesterday) Permalink

love all the anecdotes about the recording, maybe more good stories will surface

niels, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:58 (yesterday) Permalink

damn I'm hyped for this

maybe they will also address the original tempo thing?

niels, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 18:59 (yesterday) Permalink

I bet they include both versions

sleeve, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 19:54 (yesterday) Permalink

actually, looking at the tracklist, that seems unlikely

sleeve, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 19:55 (yesterday) Permalink

This would also benefit from a 2 disc release. I dislike listening to several versions if a track in a row. *ducks*

Duke, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:01 (yesterday) Permalink

(I'll buy the full set though)

Duke, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:03 (yesterday) Permalink

Re tempo:

Engineers went back to the master tapes to correct the speed of the album and remix it. Some believe that one of the CDs in both editions will be a remixed and speed corrected version of BOTT. For those interested, here are the specifics of how much faster the songs on the album are compared to the original master takes:

Tangled Up in Blue 2.30%
Simple Twist of Fate 2.30%
You're a Big Girl Now 2.28%
Idiot Wind 2.25%
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go 2.21%
Meet Me in the Morning 2.35%
Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts 1.74%
If You See Her, Say Hello 0.68%
Shelter From the Storm 0.68%
Buckets of Rain 0.61%

^^ from Reddit

Duke, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:12 (yesterday) Permalink

The 1-2 of “Thief on the Cross” into “Pressing On” on disc 3 of Trouble No More is so good. That “Pressing On” version in particular gets me choked up.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:13 (yesterday) Permalink

I dislike listening to several versions if a track in a row. *ducks*

― Duke, Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:01 PM (twelve minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

(I'll buy the full set though)

― Duke, Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:03 PM (ten minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

(a) I do too, and (b) I won't. There gotta be a distilled version, like always(?)

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:17 (yesterday) Permalink

This would also benefit from a 2 disc release. I dislike listening to several versions if a track in a row. *ducks*

looks like there's a one-disc / 2LP distillation

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:18 (yesterday) Permalink

I'm not enough of a head to immediately grasp (from that "ISIS Magazine" post) what exactly this material is? Is it the famous "New York session"?

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:24 (yesterday) Permalink

these are (more or less) the complete NY sessions for blood on the tracks, most of which have never been bootlegged. the famous acetate has been booted ad nauseam over the years, and then a handful of things have been officially released on biograph and the original bootleg series (and a few other places). but a lot of these recordings haven't been heard by the general public before.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:31 (yesterday) Permalink

Cool, man... I knew this day would come

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:32 (yesterday) Permalink

yeah it'll be interesting — it definitely is a lot of alt takes of the same songs, but I get the feeling there's going to be a fair amount of differentiation in approach, lyrics, arrangements, etc.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 21:34 (yesterday) Permalink

I just dislike repeats as a listening experience. I got the full Basment Tapes set, but find myself listening to the 2 disc version for pleasure.

Duke, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 22:16 (yesterday) Permalink

If I may say so, Tyler, guys like you are made to be curators of this stuff for guys like me.

Duke, Wednesday, 19 September 2018 22:17 (yesterday) Permalink

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