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 (sixteen years ago) link

search: blind willie mctell from volume 3.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 6 October 2005 15:06 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

* 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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

Haha yes! Before the Flood is occasionally great

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

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

how is that Gaslight performance that was just released?

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 6 October 2005 17:43 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

'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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

'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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

Barking dog!

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

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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

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

"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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

"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 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't know the glockenspiel version.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Friday, 7 October 2005 07:45 (sixteen years ago) link

"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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

"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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 7 October 2005 13:15 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

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 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, I don't think New Morning sounds labored or overthought, just the opposite (a big part of its charm). I don't think anyone would've guessed so much work was being done on it, though on paper, having so many takes on different dates does suggest something might've been amiss.

I wish he put "Spanish Is the Loving Tongue" on the album instead of banishing it to B-side purgatory. (The version on Dylan is horrid. The alternate take on Another Self Portrait is pretty good but the master take on that B-side is best. For whatever reason the B-side version has never been given a proper U.S. CD release though it's on the import CD collection Masterpieces. For those who don't what that is, when Dylan struck a deal to perform at Budokan in 1978, his label's Japanese branch decided to release a comprehensive best of as a tie-in, along with that infamous live album.) If he had kept to the original intent of bookending New Morning with covers, "Spanish Is the Loving Tongue" would've been a perfect opening track.

Awful video, but here's a YouTube upload, apparently ripped from an old 45 judging by the occasional clicks that sound like vinyl pops that weren't filtered out well:

I also prefer the alternates of "If Not for You" and "Went to See the Gypsy" that were on The Genuine Bootleg Series and eventually (sort of) released on Another Self Portrait. The latter has a beautiful vocal, and the electric piano gives it a nice "Phil Ramone producing in the 1970s" vibe even though he wasn't the producer here:

The former was remixed for Another Self Portrait. It sounds like it could be mono there while the bootlegged version is a wider stereo with a pedal steel overdub that's missing on the official release. I guess Sony/Dylan's people wanted to make the recording all about that fiddle, but I kind of like how the two instruments complemented each other on the bootleg. Here it is:

birdistheword, Friday, 21 January 2022 19:03 (three months ago) link

'Went to See the Gypsy', along with 'Sign on the Window', seems to have been rehearsed / recorded more times than anything else in this period.

'Sign' is a marvellous tune and suggestive lyric. 'Gypsy', I'm not so sure. Wonder if Dylan overrated a bit (I keep reading that he was struggling to write songs), or if he should have rewritten it slightly. The lyric seems to build up to something but - as I know from hearing it about 100 times in the last month - effectively has nothing in the middle. The encounter with the 'Gypsy' is a non-event.

The best I can say about that, I suppose, is that it's a mystery how the Gypsy and his entourage disappears suddenly disappear completely from a hotel room while Dylan is making a telephone call.

the pinefox, Friday, 21 January 2022 19:32 (three months ago) link

Yeah, I don't think New Morning sounds labored or overthought, just the opposite (a big part of its charm).

seems like Kooper was probably frustrated that he worked up some pretty elaborate arrangements for a few of these songs and Dylan ended up going with the more ragged takes. I do really like the full band version of "time passes slowly" on Another Self Portrait.

tylerw, Friday, 21 January 2022 20:28 (three months ago) link

'Gypsy', I'm not so sure. Wonder if Dylan overrated a bit (I keep reading that he was struggling to write songs), or if he should have rewritten it slightly. The lyric seems to build up to something but - as I know from hearing it about 100 times in the last month - effectively has nothing in the middle. The encounter with the 'Gypsy' is a non-event.

The best I can say about that, I suppose, is that it's a mystery how the Gypsy and his entourage disappears suddenly disappear completely from a hotel room while Dylan is making a telephone call.

This is gypsy slander and should not be tolerated. Went to See the Gypsy is a top 10 Dylan on a summer night with a beer in your hand.

removing bookmarks never felt so good (PBKR), Saturday, 22 January 2022 00:09 (three months ago) link

The encounter with the 'Gypsy' is a non-event.

Like, I can't even. This is the entire point of the song!

removing bookmarks never felt so good (PBKR), Saturday, 22 January 2022 00:13 (three months ago) link


it's great in the jaunty New Morning version and possibly even more affecting on the Another Self Portrait more mournful verison

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 22 January 2022 00:26 (three months ago) link

"'How are you?" he said to me/I said back to him"

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 22 January 2022 00:27 (three months ago) link

It's very human.

removing bookmarks never felt so good (PBKR), Saturday, 22 January 2022 00:28 (three months ago) link

Yeah, for the first time he shows himself as the credulous, I Want To Believe seeker and sucker ("He smiled when he saw me coming, said, 'Well well we-ell"), and sticks around even when the advance man unnecessarily hypes: "...He did it in Las Vegas, and he can do it here!" Sounds like he's still disappointed by the non-event. Here and in the desolate-to-desperate "Sign In The Window," and the freaked-out "Day of the Locust," nuthin left to do but the-end-of-the-Sixties cliche, get back to roots--b-but he's already done that on the previous two albums, and still sounds desolate-to-desperate on "Time Passes Slowly" ("when you're lost in a dream!"). But then he does get it together on all the remaining songs (as he did on the LP opener, I think it was, "If Not For You.") Even gets back to his seeker interests on "Three Angels" and "Father of Night"---are these the ones written for a play?

dow, Saturday, 22 January 2022 01:30 (three months ago) link

I love NEW MORNING, but unlike you, I don't think 'went to see the gypsy' is as good as it should be.

'The song is all about a non-event', yes, but maybe he could then clarify more about this non-event, what it meant, why he 'went to see the gypsy' in the first place, what he was expecting, why they say so little to each other, why he would depart this important gypsy character to make a telephone call, how he feels when the character mysteriously disappears.

I have read around all that I could on this song and the one standard line seems to be that it's about Elvis Presley. Not that Dylan really saw Presley in Minnesota. Why call Elvis the gypsy? Tell us more.

the pinefox, Saturday, 22 January 2022 10:33 (three months ago) link

Dylan would be the last artist I would expect or want to clarify anything. He's been avoiding clarifying things since at least 1964.

The song, imo, is about expectations vs. reality and at the end reaches for a zen contentment like a lot of New Morning songs. It's similar to Sign on the Window (talk about an underdeveloped lyric), though in Sign it seems the narrator is trying to convince themselves while in Gypsy the narrator is convinced.

Maybe Dylan should have done a sequel song (cf Glass Onion) where he explains "The Gypsy was Elvis".

removing bookmarks never felt so good (PBKR), Saturday, 22 January 2022 13:09 (three months ago) link

I’m sorry to correct you but “Went to See the Gypsy” is literally as good as it’s possible for a song to be.
The gypsy was Elvis, and wasn’t, and that little Minnesota town was Duluth, and Hibbing, and wasn’t, and the song happened and didn’t and the girl was nowhere to be found, and that’s what happens when you see the gypsy.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 22 January 2022 13:21 (three months ago) link

Or is it?

Mark G, Saturday, 22 January 2022 13:31 (three months ago) link

I quite like the song, and I've probably heard it more than any other over the last month - probably about 50 times of multiple takes.

But I think it's underdeveloped and could have benefited from another draft.

the pinefox, Saturday, 22 January 2022 14:22 (three months ago) link

The explanations on here have been fine---there was also the sense that it's a song about the Sixties romance coming to an end, as Ellen Willis wrote about it reflecting a generational experience, especially for people of his and her age: turn 30, wake up and smell the coffee, as Dear Abby would put it, get up and get ready for work, here's spouse and kids and all that comes with them. Although his personal attraction to the esoteric, not only but sometimes giving evidence of including, thee mystical per se, keeps surfacing in later music and off-stage activities. But he had to go through this experience of non-experience and starting over, it seems.

dow, Saturday, 22 January 2022 17:16 (three months ago) link

"including thee mystical per se" not meant to have a comma between "including" and "thee"

dow, Saturday, 22 January 2022 17:18 (three months ago) link

Manymany xposts: Something that’s never leaked is the complete Masked & Anonymous sessions. That band was straight fire & I want to hear the 17 (!) unreleased songs.

That version of Cold Irons Bound is one of my favourite performances of any song ever.

war mice (hardcore dilettante), Sunday, 23 January 2022 04:40 (three months ago) link

Absolutely. It's definitive and beats the album version, so much that I made the substitution for my own listening. (FWIW, I also swapped out "Make You Feel My Love" for "Red River Shore" and "Cant Wait" for the officially released studio demo, both from the first disc of Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Volume 8. For the latter track, I had to cut out the talking at the beginning so that it starts on the first piano note, a very simple and easy edit.)

birdistheword, Sunday, 23 January 2022 05:25 (three months ago) link

Cool---speaking of making your own Dylan playlists, have yall heard Medicine Sunday, the free download on Albums That Never Were? He's made an album of Dylan with the Band, taking first stabs at trying what became Blonde On Blonde.
Speaking of "Cold Irons Bound," there's a really good live version of it on this really good live BD collection: Japanese import only, but I found it on Amazon soon after 2001 release,---now on Spotify, I think.

dow, Sunday, 23 January 2022 19:28 (three months ago) link

“She’s your lover now” is so great
“And you just sit around asking for ashtrays
Can’t you reach?”

calstars, Sunday, 23 January 2022 19:31 (three months ago) link

^my favorite Dylan song (and line!)

Rockin’, and rollin’, and whatnot (morrisp), Sunday, 23 January 2022 19:32 (three months ago) link


calstars, Sunday, 23 January 2022 19:33 (three months ago) link

xxxp Nice! FWIW, during the lockdown I finally listened to the entire 1965/1966 sessions box set in chronological order. Flies by pretty fast when you're stuck working at home, it took 2 or 3 days to do it without feeling I crammed the whole thing down. I always wondered why the hell Dylan ended up ditching the Hawks in the studio (though not on stage) when he was recording Blonde on Blonde. The handful of releasable cuts I heard - the one-off singles, as calstars mentions the aborted outtake "She's Your Lover Now" - were GREAT. Well, you listen to those sessions, and you hear what went wrong - Dylan was frustrated as hell and poor Richard Manuel got the brunt of it. It's on tape where Dylan's constantly telling them, especially Richard, "NO, I want it like THIS. Like THIS Richard, it's supposed to go like this." So once you hear the stuff that wasn't released before, it makes perfect sense.

birdistheword, Sunday, 23 January 2022 20:45 (three months ago) link

Oh yeah---he tells the backstory, and how he chose tracks, how he tweaked them, getting a consistent volume level etc, to make it sound as much as possible like a real album---of whatever quality; see what yall think:

dow, Sunday, 23 January 2022 21:48 (three months ago) link

Oops--links removed, sorry. But and prob because his sources are legit available though TCE Deluxe hella pricey: Sources used:
Bootleg Series Vol 8: No Direction Home (2005)
Bootleg Series Vol 12: The Cutting Edge (2015 Collector’s Edition)
Side Tracks (2013)
Mainly what we're missing is his further cobble from those: Medicine Sunday appropriately concludes with the epic that never was, “She’s Your Lover Now”. Using pieces of Takes 15 and 16 on The Cutting Edge, I was able to create a complete performance of the song by editing a proper intro onto take 15 and crossfading into take 16 at the point where the band trails off, hopefully giving the illusion that The Hawks intentionally stopped playing and Dylan finished the song solo. A further edit was made at the outro so that Dylan concludes with the tonic of the song, giving it a resolve and a remorseful vocal improvisation to end the album.

dow, Sunday, 23 January 2022 22:07 (three months ago) link

Birdistheword: do you mean THE CUTTING EDGE?

My copy of that is 5CDs, and I took months working my way through it, listening to everything multiple times. Is your version bigger?

I initially thought that you meant the vast 1966 concerts set with 30CDs or whatever. Has anyone actually bought or played that?

the pinefox, Monday, 24 January 2022 12:50 (three months ago) link

I have bought and played the 1966 Live Recordings box, yes.

There's an 18-disc deluxe Cutting Edge set that has basically everything he recorded in the studio 1965-66. The 6-disc version is highlights of that.

tylerw, Monday, 24 January 2022 15:17 (three months ago) link

I have also bought the 1966 Live Recordings box, it was surprisingly cheap and I had a Barnes & Noble gift card to use up at the time.

I haven't played through every disc yet, but probably nearly 2/3rds of it. Definitely something to work through slowly.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 24 January 2022 15:28 (three months ago) link

I have a copy of that 18 disc edition, I got it [REDACTED] DVDr

Mark G, Monday, 24 January 2022 15:49 (three months ago) link

Oh, and that 1966 box set, I got on a really stupidly cheap deal..

Mark G, Monday, 24 January 2022 15:50 (three months ago) link

I've only just realised that this 1966 edition

was not part of The Bootleg Series but part of the same copyright series that gave us *1970*.

So has anyone played the whole of the 36CD set and is it interesting?

I felt that my CUTTING EDGE was inclusive but now I learn that it's only 1/3 of other people's.

the pinefox, Monday, 24 January 2022 15:58 (three months ago) link

I've played the whole 1966 live recordings set and it is awesome! the handful of audience recordings are rough going, but the australian / european / UK shows are unbelievable.

tylerw, Monday, 24 January 2022 16:07 (three months ago) link

pinefox, yes, Cutting Edge, and as Tyler mentioned, it's the big 18 disc one I listened to. I also have the live set, which can usually be found for much less than $100 new - it never became a collector's item like the 18-disc Cutting Edge.

birdistheword, Monday, 24 January 2022 18:44 (three months ago) link

I haven't played the entire 1966 set though - FWIW, my favorites are the Liverpool (mono only) and Sheffield (stereo) discs, particularly Liverpool for the electric set. The real Royal Albert Hall show and the famous Manchester show are also great and to be fair have better sound since they were multi-track recordings.

birdistheword, Monday, 24 January 2022 18:46 (three months ago) link

To build on the discussion above – looks like Sony just bought all his recordings:

Rockin’, and rollin’, and whatnot (morrisp), Monday, 24 January 2022 19:35 (three months ago) link

More relevant details from Variety:

Bob Dylan and SME will continue to collaborate on a range of future catalog reissues in the artist’s renowned and top-selling Bootleg Series, which began in 1991 and includes 14 releases through last year’s lauded “Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985).” The agreement also provides the opportunity for SME to partner with Dylan on additional projects.

Rockin’, and rollin’, and whatnot (morrisp), Monday, 24 January 2022 19:36 (three months ago) link

four weeks pass...

Track list floating around Twitter, goes w some recent talk of next in series:

disc 1

1. "Love Sick" (acoustic demo, 1997)
2. "Not Dark Yet" (alternate take, Time Out Of Mind, 1997)
3. "Shake Sugaree" (studio rehearsal, 1994)
4. "Polly Vaughan" (unreleased, 1992)
5. "Long Time Man" (rehearsal at Shrine Auditorium, 1995)
6. "Million Miles" (studio rehearsal, 1997)
7. "Mississippi" (acoustic demo, 1996)
8. "Cold lrons Bound" (alternate take, Time Out Of Mind, 1997)
9. "Ring Of Fire" (Feeling Minnesota soundtrack, 1996)
10. "lnterfere" (studio rehearsal, 1996)
11 . "Red River Shore" (acoustic demo, 1996)
12. "Cocaine Blues" (rehearsal, George Mason University,1998)
13. "Standing ln The Doorway" (alternate take,Time Out Of Mind,1997)

disc 2

1. "All I Ever Loved ls You" (acoustic demo,1996)
2. "Dreamin' Of You" (acoustic demo,1996)
3. "Hello Stranger" (unreleased, World Gone Wrong,1993)
4. "Sugar Girl" (studio rehearsal,1997)
5. "Doin' Alright" (acoustic demo,1994)
6. "Can't Wait" (studio rehearsal,1996)
7. "Not Dark Yet" (acoustic demo,1996)
8. "You Belong To Me" (Natural Born Killers soundtrack, 1992)
9. "Million Miles" (alternate take,Time Out Of Mind,1997)
10. "Make You Feel My Love" (alternate take Time Out Of Mind 1997
11. "Red River Shore" (unreleased, Time Out Of Mind,1997)
12."That Was Right" (studio rehearsal,1998)
13. "Marchin' To The City" (studio rehearsal,1996)
14. "Tryin' To Get To Heaven" (studio rehearsal,1996)

disc 3

1.“Love Sick” (Live at Grammys 1998)
2.“Shake Sugaree” (studio rehearsal, 1997)
3.“The Lady Came From Baltimore” (unreleased, 1992)
4.“99 Silly Hats” (rehearsal at Sony Music Studios, 16 Nov 1994)
5.“Til I Fell In Love With You” (alternate take,Time Out Of Mind, 1997)
6.“Can’t Wait” (Acoustic Demo, 1996)
7.“Catskills Serenade” (unreleased, 1992)
8.“Make You Feel My Love” (Live at Pauley Pavilion UCLA, Los Angeles CA, 21 May 1998)
9.“Standing In The Doorway” (studio rehearsal, 1997)
10.“Not Dark Yet” (studio rehearsal, 1997)
11.“Tryin’ To Get To Heaven” (alternate take, Time Out Of Mind, 1997)
12.“Sugar Girl” (demo, 1995)
13.“All I Ever Loved Is You” (unreleased, Time Out Of Mind, 1997)

If you paste this, will prob revert to errors in orig. "translation" from Twitter image (Not Dork Yet, alternate toke etc.)

dow, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 19:09 (two months ago) link

Unconfirmed, as far as I know

dow, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 19:11 (two months ago) link

Not Dork Yet, alternate toke

omg/lmao, these are both A+

punching the clock on a tambo (morrisp), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 19:22 (two months ago) link

think this is a clever fake, but who knows? Would be weird for the Bootleg Series to suddenly go completely out of chronological order (though i guess the Springtime in NY played around a little with that).

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 19:23 (two months ago) link

“Love Sick” (Live at Grammys 1998)


J. Sam, Tuesday, 22 February 2022 19:36 (two months ago) link

Soy Bomb guy is way more dated than Dylan these days

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 19:37 (two months ago) link

I’m imagining 99 Silly Hats is Dylan mining The 10,000 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and won’t be told otherwise.

removing bookmarks never felt so good (PBKR), Tuesday, 22 February 2022 20:17 (two months ago) link

completely out of chronological order Well, mostly around TOOM time, with little bit of filler fack back as '92---think Series of Dream jumped around more.
So I finally realized: tour-box-wise, we've had '66, Rolling Thunder, Trouble No More---but no '74 comeback tour box; fuckin why? Must have more like Before The Flood.

dow, Thursday, 24 February 2022 18:07 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

anyone know what's up with these The Joker vol. 1-5 Early Years? released throug... "Wet Music"? Is it official? Are they releasing everything from 1962 because of some copyright thing?

corrs unplugged, Thursday, 10 March 2022 19:20 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

Guess this is most appropriate BD thread for some shows mentioned herel which curator says you're never gonna be able to just go to the Center, and pull up in whole...
from Flagging Down The Double E's e-newsletter (which usually has show downloads):

An In-Depth Look at the Bob Dylan Center's Unheard Live Recordings
Talking Supper Club, Salt Lake '76, and more with co-curator Parker Fishel
Ray Padgett
I was lucky enough to spend the past weekend at the grand opening of the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Center is terrific, a museum that, even while it would be accessible to the casual fan, offers plenty for the superfan to salivate over. One example among many: Even after I’d probably spent five or six hours there over two days, I suddenly stumbled upon a never-heard World Gone Wrong outtake, “I’ve Always Been a Rambler,” tucked away on a wall. It sounded amazing (time for an early ‘90s Bootleg Series?), and that sort of revelation is everywhere you look.

But the public-facing Center is only the tip of the iceberg (speaking of icebergs, you can also see handwritten early lyrics for “Tempest”). Everything that’s on display still only represents a tiny fraction of the full Dylan archives in Tulsa. So I wanted to learn what else they have.

Not the untold lyric sheets and studio sessions and photos and ephemera, though I’m curious about that too. Since this newsletter focuses on Dylan in concert, I wanted to get more information about their stash of rare and never-heard audio and video recordings of shows, and how fans can hear it.

So I sat down with Parker Fishel, Archivist and Co-Curator of the Bob Dylan Center, to dive deep. No matter how esoteric and specific my questions — and, fair warning, some of them are pretty esoteric and specific — he was a wealth of knowledge.

Again, I am only focusing on live material here, so if you’re looking for more of a broad overview of the Center and archives, I’d check out recent articles in the New York Times and Vanity Fair.

Okay, here’s my conversation with Parker, slightly edited and condensed.

dow, Monday, 9 May 2022 19:10 (one week ago) link

Great article. Thanks. That 1981 Blowin’ in the Wind footage is incredible.

we only steal from the greatest books (PBKR), Monday, 9 May 2022 20:23 (one week ago) link

Nice! Thanks dow!

But most of that (1974) tour was recorded

This is especially great news. Except for certain numbers, I never liked Dylan's singing on the later shows, and for the most part that's where all the circulating soundboards have come from. (They're also the source for the official live album.) The earlier show had better performances from him and some better, more interesting songs too - the highlight would be Dylan's solo "Nobody 'Cept You," and if they have at least a soundboard recording of one of the best takes, that would be incredible.

birdistheword, Monday, 9 May 2022 20:41 (one week ago) link

*earlier shows

birdistheword, Monday, 9 May 2022 20:42 (one week ago) link

Also that's nuts about Supper Club and other "restricted" material - so we can't see the film/video re-issued until Dylan is dead?

birdistheword, Monday, 9 May 2022 21:14 (one week ago) link

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