bob dylan and the band - the basement tapes / the complete basement tapes

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bob dylan thread #2674

took me a long time to find 'a tree with roots,' the best bootleg of the entire (or what we presume to be the entire) 'basement tapes' recorded by bob dylan and the band in the latter's woodstock home in the summer of '67. actually i've seen it in stores for upward of 150 dollars several times--no sale. no sale, even though i read greil marcus's disapponting* 'invisible republic' when it came out, have been a big dylan fan from way back AND my favorite dylan period is 1966–72 without question. i like the voice(s) he was using in those days--the sort of mortified country crooner things.

[* disappointing because i wanted it to be an archeology of the complex and contradictory roots of these myriad old and new songs that dylan & co. recorded, which it is, except that marcus really isn't as knowledgeable about stuff as i'd hope, and i found myself not learning a whole lot. would that nick tosches have written that book. he's not perfect, but he's both more erudite than marcus and better at describing musical style in vivid ways. p.s. when did the title of this book get changed to 'the old, weird america'? i mean 'invisible republic' is a really dull conceit and a dumber title. but 'the old, weird america' seems rather prosaic--i KNOW it's a dylan quote--but just reminds me of marcus's liner essay for the HSA of the same name, which i remember disliking but haven't read for years.]

so perhaps predictably, the things i really like from all this are the ballads. foremost among them the stately, very moving "spanish is the loving tongue." (which reminds me that dylan's sensibility here sort of corresponds with or even anticipates the films of sam peckinpah--makes sense that he would do a peckinpah sdtk soon!) also "rock salt & nails," "a fool such as i," "banks of the royal canal." these performances aren't a lark, they are deeply committed.

even through this muddy recording quality the unusual, arpeggiated, sort of melodically "dumb" lines of robbie robertson really stand out.

ok finally on my copy the title "one man's loss" is actually (accidentally i hope) just anotehr copy of the preceding track, "(be careful of) the stones that you throw."

does anyone have a file of this particular track, "one man's loss"???

thx and love

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 18 August 2006 22:29 (fifteen years ago) link

"the old weird america" isn't a dylan quote, it's a twist on a kenneth rexroth quote about "the old, free america." which was probably based on a WWI dissenter's famous lament for "the old america that was free and is now dead." (also the title of a great essay by walter karp) i think the title "invisible republic" was forced on marcus by his publisher, so he jumped at the chance to revert to the original name.

tosches and marcus are both good at describing music in vivid ways - marcus a bit better i think. i can't think of many critics who can do it, even the good ones. to be honest i find tosches' macho asides a lot more annoying than marcus's loopy tangents.

my favorite basement tape track is "million dollar bash" - it sounds so stately, and at the same time so sloppy. i don't know how he managed that.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Saturday, 19 August 2006 01:30 (fifteen years ago) link

The missing "I'm Not There" (the title also of the new Todd Haynes biopic, no?) is the most haunting song of his career: the best example of his talent for limning a vaporous trope.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 19 August 2006 02:30 (fifteen years ago) link

The reissued version of the book has a new intro w/an explanation about the title change--basically he'd wanted to call it The Old Weird America and his publisher insisted on Invisible Republic, thinking it was catchier. Then everyone who wrote about the book titled their review "The Old Weird America" and that was sort of that.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Saturday, 19 August 2006 04:20 (fifteen years ago) link

so there's not an official issue forthcoming or anything? that's what the thread title had me thinking

tom west (thomp), Saturday, 19 August 2006 09:43 (fifteen years ago) link

The version of Tree With Roots that I have has everything that I've read about, except "Bathsheba," though I've seen variants of that title. His voice is beautiful on "Young But Daily Growing" and many others ("mortified crooner voice"? Dunno what that means, but his crooning on most of Self Portrait mortifies me, esp. compared to this, which was recorded just a few years before this, but that's how fast he was moving back then, for better and worse). Also cool on "Big River," "Still In Town," everything but "Four Strong Winds," which, after all the other great ballad versions here, strongly suggests that this is a singerproof song--in the opposite sense of the thread I once started, "Bandproof" Songs?--that was about songs that always seem to sound pretty decent, at least (or at most, in some cases), no matter who's performing. "Old Weird America" always reminded me of Bill Cosby's character, Old Weird Harold (whom I prefer). Tosches' Country is erudite, especially considering that it was written back when you really had to dig for a lot of those records. The stylization is well-controlled, at that point (I'm more familiar with the first edition).

don (dow), Sunday, 20 August 2006 02:40 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah i haven't read all of the tosches books, and have avoided the ones that seem like they'd involve the most macho bluster and pointless rambling (like the recent "king of the jews"), and even his best books have moments that make me roll my eyes... but he does know an awful lot about things--there's an awful lot of *information* he has to share, and at his best he organizes it in really compelling ways (i include his country book here, and the semi-offshoot of that, the recent "where dead voices gather").

"the old weird america" isn't a dylan quote, it's a twist on a kenneth rexroth quote about "the old, free america."

whoops--is it possible marcus is quoting dylan quoting rexroth? or am i way off track?

marcus seems to veer toward the ridiculous (the "music like a thunderbolt, like a revolution, etc." sort of thing) when discussing a piece of music and his impact--he doesn't describe the "surface" qualities of the music so much as some sort of imagined transcendent power it has. the subjective fallacy or whatever you want to call it, i guess. tosches sometimes indulges this as well which is where i get tired of him, but frequenly he just finds a nice phrase that encapsulates a peculiar formal quality of a singer's voice or a rhythm section or something.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 20 August 2006 03:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I've wanted "A Tree With Roots" forevah, too. Did you find it somewhere sorta cheap?

morris pavilion (samjeff), Sunday, 20 August 2006 03:54 (fifteen years ago) link


Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 20 August 2006 04:51 (fifteen years ago) link


morris pavilion (samjeff), Sunday, 20 August 2006 05:25 (fifteen years ago) link

I am totally going on a Dylan spree as soon as I finish this Lomax book I am reading. Then I am gonna start Chronicles -- which I still haven't read -- and I should be starting that as I pick up Modern Times ... plan to revisit all this stuff at the same time, can't wait, gonna be the 2nd half of the year of Dylan for me....

One interesting note about all the complete basement sessions ... when I finally heard them all on the various releases (first the Complete Basement Tapes 1-5 series and then the great, much better Tree With Roots) was that I missed the pacing and well, the very *presence* of those Band songs that were on the original Columbia 2-LP set.

I mean .. you grow up with the Columbia set, and now you're supposed to sit through 4 CDs *without* ever hearing "Bessie Smith" or "Orange Juice Breakfast" ??

the complete sessions are amazing, essential, but there really was something to that snappy, adulterated set that came out in the 70s

Stormy Davis (diamond), Sunday, 20 August 2006 05:37 (fifteen years ago) link

those band songs were recorded as demos in a studio right?

i've heard that some tampering--overdubbing etc.--was performed on the basement tracks that made it to 1975 double lp. haven't checked to see. certainly the officially released tracks sound a lot fuller than the stuff on "a tree w/roots"--i supposed they are just closer to the 1st generation masters.

as for that 2lp set... they made wise choices, but notably only chose to include dylan/band originals. when some of the highlights of the full sessions are the covers.

interesting that dylan seems most ok w/releasing archival stuff when he's on a winning streak with his new material (e.g., 1975, and the last 5 years). probably just doesn't want the old stuff to overshadow the new.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 20 August 2006 06:10 (fifteen years ago) link

i thought it was strange that some of the band demos were stuck on as bonus tracks on band lp reissues from about 5 years ago. deprives us of a chance to hear them all together.

i doubt the whole basement tapes thing will be released in full any time soon. unless columbia starts some kind of miles davis-esque trainspotting dylan reissue program. which i don't expect we'll see before dylan passes.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 20 August 2006 06:13 (fifteen years ago) link

I have one CD from this - the 4th one, which is almost entirely unreleased, but has a lot of Dylan/the Band fucking around, recording stuff like "The Spanish Song" and "See You Later Allen Ginsburg." Which are pretty hilarious, but don't have a tremendous amount of musical value.

I've heard some of the other tracks, and "I'm Not There (1956)" really is incredibly beautiful. I like the Ian and Sylvia covers, too.

clotpoll (Clotpoll), Sunday, 20 August 2006 07:49 (fifteen years ago) link

The thing about "I'm Not There" for me, and I apologise in advance about this, is that the title and everything I've read about it've given me a sense of it, an impression in my head, which I know no song could ever live up to, so I don't think I could ever bear to hear it. Is it the saddest most alienated song ever? If so maybe I could deal

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Sunday, 20 August 2006 09:21 (fifteen years ago) link

It's got a great, ahead of its time feel, sort of... Like what rock songs would flow like in the future (not unlike what he unleashed with Like A Rolling Stone, but different). The version I have (the only one?) from the Complete Basement Tapes 5 CD set is a bit hard to make out (lyrically) and comes in suddenly, as I recall (beginning's probably cut off?)... Cool melodic flow/feel vibe... Just acoustic guitar and vox, I believe. Are there any other versions of it? And why is it called I'm Not There (1957) [I think that's the year, anyway...?] Anyone? Oh, guy above says it's '56... The question remains...

Santa Fe's cool, too...

P.S. -- I love the 1975 2 LP version, even though it's historically inaccurate (Band songs were studio demos purposefully muddied-up). Of course, what could be more American than a distorted version of historic fact? Weird, indeed.

Tronid K (tronidk), Monday, 21 August 2006 16:06 (fifteen years ago) link

The section in The Old, Weird America discussing "I'm Not There" has some of Marcus' most eloquent writing.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 21 August 2006 16:14 (fifteen years ago) link

i still dont have the '75 release, just the 5 disc 'complete' and kind of enjoy it for being so far from anything...i hear the released versions pretty regularly, but there is a real charm to the sloppy mess.

i figgin love "teenage prayer" they sound like a bunch of loaded fraternity brothers...

as for "i'm not there"...its been said..and its right...mostly...i do think marcus overstates the glory and power of things quite regularly. and i, too, have felt let down when i get to finally hear things after the fact...but there are points in the o,w a where he does nail things so very very well.

bb (bbrz), Monday, 21 August 2006 16:17 (fifteen years ago) link

If Dylan continues the 'Bootleg Series' releases, a comprehensive (or at least representative) addressing of these sessions seems the obvious choice, since every other major phase of his pre-Christian career has been covered. There's a lot of junk in the Basement Tapes, but what's good is SO good.

Dan Heilman (The Deacon), Monday, 21 August 2006 18:03 (fifteen years ago) link

since every other major phase of his pre-Christian career has been covered.

well, there's no been no official release of the 1969 dylan/cash sessions or of anything from 70–71. then again, "self portrait" hasn't even received a remaster yet...

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 01:30 (fifteen years ago) link

those dylan/cash sessions seem like a certainty, that thing used to sell like crazy (better than nashville skyline even) at the record store i worked at. presumably no label hangups either right? also omg amster i owe you like nine beers for that link. 'country's one of my fave books, i think tosches is slightly embarassed by it now but just in the way writers get about early stuff i think. i liked 'invisible republic' too but man did i know alot of people who hated it, dock boggs fans esp.

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 02:50 (fifteen years ago) link

"pre-Christian"? H'mmm, now that you mention it, always did seem like there was an Old Testament (King James translation)influence or overlap in some of his 60s writing, and cover choices, ans there are live versions of gospel songs,"Wade In The Water,", for instance ("c'mon getcherass over here n get baptized" is the snarly subtext) from 1960, I think, on the live-across-the-decades Sony Japan Bootleg Series installment. That prophetic bleakness and anger and visionary inclination (strange storytelling too) could go with isolated Jewishness up in the Iron Range, with the Lutherans, so "pre-" like something before-but-connected, seems like (re his comments on Iron Rangein No Direction Home, and on staring out at months of snow, from upstairs bedroom window, in Down The Highway)Yeah, for those who haven't heard it, the 2-LP Basement Tapes is worth checking out, and yeah those songs do tend to get overshadowed by the covers in the context of A Tree With Roots, so prob a good idea to get the 2-LP separately, esp. since it does seem to have buffed(and possibly re-recorded) sound quality (at least on the LP version, haven't heard the CD). But if the 2-LP *was* re-recorded, to some extent, as some reviews hinted/speculated at the time, it was done very judiciously, cos def still sounds basementy (dank echoes)

don (dow), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 22:00 (fifteen years ago) link

what do you mean "re-recorded"? it was certainly re-mastered, and there were possibly overdubs, but the basic tracks sound the same to me.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 23:44 (fifteen years ago) link

i should note that one reason some of my favorite songs from these sessions aren't on the 2-lp basement tapes is that they have false starts, cut off abruptly, and other imperfections that come with the territory of informal basement recording sessions.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 23:45 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 05:09 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Just ordered this. Anyone read it yet?

Jazzbo, Thursday, 25 October 2007 15:04 (fourteen years ago) link

I'd very much like to read this - going to amazon to order it now. I just pulled down Tree With Roots from and damn if it isn't the best Dylan I've ever heard.

BlackIronPrison, Thursday, 25 October 2007 15:07 (fourteen years ago) link

just saw this in the record store yesterday -- had never heard of it before, but it looked pretty good. not that i don't have enough books about bob dylan ... or do i?
anyway, hell yeah, the basement tapes! that tree with roots set is truly mindblowing in about ten different ways. a whole world to get lost in. amazing it hasn't been officially released (except for the 2LP set and a handful of stray tracks on biograph and the bootleg series), but i get the feeling Dylan )or dylan's people) are holding on to it for a big moment, since it's so legendary ... i guess "i'm not there" will be on the "i'm not there" soundtrack ...

tylerw, Thursday, 25 October 2007 15:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm not There is the final track on the soundtrack...

smurfherder, Thursday, 25 October 2007 19:47 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Finally got to hear "A Tree With Roots." It's a HUGE improvement, sound wise, over the 1975 release. There's lots more stereo separation (Richard Manuel's harmonizing on "Million Dollar Bash" is on a separate channel and sounds gorgeous). The official release was inexplicably mixed down to near mono, and doesn't sound nearly as warm. A good portion of Griffin's book focuses on the fine engineering job Garth Hudson did, considering the limited equipment he had.
Of course, you get all the extras too, minus The Band stuff (some songs, like "Bessie Smith" and "Ain't No More Cain," weren't recorded at those sessions, anyway.)
Couple sites where you can find it (not sure if downloads still work):

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 14 November 2007 21:59 (fourteen years ago) link

"Million Dollar Bash" (the book) wasn't bad, but I'm still looking for the definitive account of the woodstock/basement tapes period. Given the amount of speculation that griffin resorts to, it doesn't seem like we're going to get it. (You know, where did they record what, where did Dylan crash his bike, how hurt was he, so on). The chapter on hudson's engineering was really interesting. the book is printed on very heavy stock, and it's more than a little bit distracting. Wait for a cheaper paperback.

Billy Pilgrim, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 03:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Good comments on this and other Dylan eras in Luc Sante's new collection, Kill All Your Darlings. "I Is Someone Else": basically a review of Chronicles, but you know how that goes (the Dylan virus takes the train of thought for another ride).

dow, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 04:38 (fourteen years ago) link


speculation is all we have for a lot of this stuff. griffin interviewed robertson, john simon, peter yarrow, and several others who were either there or were close to the source. (dylan didn't want to talk, helm wasn't there for most of it, danko is dead, manual is dead, grossman is dead...) there's simply no concrete documentation about thse recordings. it's not like they kept studio logs or anything. i don't know what's up with hudson. he comes off as a bit distant. i mean, the at one point sold all his basement tapes, which were sitting unmarked inside a chest!

QuantumNoise, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 12:41 (fourteen years ago) link

pre-coffee one point HUDSON sold...

QuantumNoise, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 12:42 (fourteen years ago) link

"I Is Someone Else"

Is that not a lolcats caption?

Mark G, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 12:46 (fourteen years ago) link


Yes I didn't mean to sound unfair with that comment. It's completely about my expectations being a little unrealistic, I think. In a way i'm just relating griffin's own frustration at not being able to write a more 'definitive' book, such frustration being explicit and palpable at different places in the book...

Billy Pilgrim, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 14:07 (fourteen years ago) link

lolcats or no, it's deadpan use of a quoted quote/translation, from Chronicles: "I came across one of (Rimbaud's) letters called 'Je est un autre,' which translates as 'I is somebody else.' When I read those words the bells went off. It made perfect sense. I wished someone would have mentioned that to me earlier."

dow, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 17:03 (fourteen years ago) link

minus The Band stuff (some songs, like "Bessie Smith" and "Ain't No More Cain," weren't recorded at those sessions, anyway.)

oh is that why some of that stuff isn't on there? I've been listening to Tree w/ Roots for the first time too and I was scratching my head over why some of the best stuff on the '75 version isn't on there (mainly Yazoo Street Scandal, probably my favorite basement tapes track)

dmr, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 18:14 (fourteen years ago) link

I think that's because Yazoo Street Scandal was recorded in the city at columbia's studios. can't reach the book from here though...

Billy Pilgrim, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 19:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, I thought I read that "Ain't No More Cain" was recorded shortly before the 1975 release. I always had my suspicions about that recording — it sounded too flawless, although they obviously mixed it so it would have a grungy, bootleg-quality sound.

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 19:31 (fourteen years ago) link

according to griffin that's right. he also says that, inter alia,

orange juice blues has 1975 overdubs

yazoo street scandal is probably from the big pink basement in 1967. (don't know why it's not on tree with roots)

katies been gone has 1975 drums

bessie smith was recorded in 1975 (or possibly before stage fright)

tears of rage might have 1975 vocal overdubs

too much of nothing has overdubbed drums, backing vox, and keys

ain't no more cane was recorded in 1975

you aint going nowhere has guitar overdubs from 1975

don't ya tell henry was recorded in 1975

long distance operator was cut either in nyc or l.a.

this wheel's on fire has an acoustic overdub

Billy Pilgrim, Thursday, 29 November 2007 00:10 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

HMMMM -- anyone tracked this down?
A new CD release from the Hollow Horn Encore Label that features the first ever release of the legendary Basement Tapes Safety Master. This was a tape reportedly made by Garth Hudson in early 1968, under full studio conditions, of the best available original master tapes made in the summer of 1967 and it features the bulk of the original songs that were recorded. This safety tape features truly breathtaking sound quality and also, in the majority of cases, features the material in its original glorious stereo (virtually none of this material has ever been heard in it’s original true stereo… including on the ridiculous official release!) The first time I got to listen this material my jaw nearly hit the floor! It really is a whole new listening experience!!

Four bonus tracks from other sources have also been included as bonus tracks, which also means that this set also stands as a close to perfect one disc compilation of the Basement Tapes Dylan compositions. The packaging is the usual high quality fold out mini album design complete with an eight page booklet of notes, pictures and some lovely reproductions of the cartoons from the classic vinyl album Little White Wonder. An early contender for the best, and most important release of 2009!

The track listing of this set is as follows:

The Basement Tapes Safety Master Tape
1. Million Dollar Bash
2. Yea Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
3. I’m Not There (1956)
4. Please Mrs Henry
5. Down in the Flood
6. Lo and Behold
7. This Wheel’s On Fire
8. You Ain’t Going Nowhere
9. I Shall Be Released
10. Too Much Of Nothing
11. Nothing Was Delivered
12. Odds and Ends
13. Get Your Rocks Off
14. Clothesline Saga
15. Apple Suckling Tree
16. Open the Door Homer
17. Nothing Was Delivered
18. Tears Of Rage
19. Quinn The Eskimo
20. Tiny Montgomery
21. Sign On The Cross
22. Going To Acapulco
23. All You Have To Do Is Dream

tylerw, Saturday, 11 April 2009 21:33 (thirteen years ago) link

hadn't heard of it, but would definitely be interested if the hyperbole is true

otm in new york (G00blar), Saturday, 11 April 2009 22:17 (thirteen years ago) link

haha, yeah. "GLORIOUS. BREATHTAKING." Funny that this is popping up right at the same time as the official Basement Tapes remaster, which I haven't heard yet.

tylerw, Saturday, 11 April 2009 22:49 (thirteen years ago) link

Here you go, the Safety Tape, download the zip file, unzip, and voila:

thirdalternative, Sunday, 12 April 2009 12:56 (thirteen years ago) link


otm in new york (G00blar), Sunday, 12 April 2009 13:32 (thirteen years ago) link

holy shit this is amazing!

FREE DOM AND ETHAN (special guest stars mark bronson), Sunday, 12 April 2009 13:59 (thirteen years ago) link

you ain't lyin

otm in new york (G00blar), Sunday, 12 April 2009 14:10 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks for sharing thirdalternative - I'll Pepsi challenge with Tree with roots at first opportunity. The Sid Griffin book 'Million Dollar Bash' makes for a nice listening companion. Highly recommended book if you 'all are fans of this era.

BlackIronPrison, Sunday, 12 April 2009 16:24 (thirteen years ago) link

oh man early xmas, gonna have a Dylan party today

sleeve, Sunday, 12 April 2009 16:26 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah as he gets older he has a bigger and bigger problem with knowing this limits, vocally and otherwise.

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 19:00 (eight years ago) link

knowing HIS limits

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 19:00 (eight years ago) link

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams is really good; unusually good in terms of reflecting Williams' range as an entertainer, the way he mixed the happy, sad, devout, and joeky stuff into his live radio variey shows. I really like all three volumes of Mermaid Avenue (Vol. 3 is available as a sep. download on Amazon, if you don't want the box, which only adds a making-of DVD). I had no use use for the Vol.1-era Wilco, even or esp. performing these songs live, minus Billy Bragg (and Natalie Merchant)(and Corey Harris). But the Nels Cline-etc line-up can be very fine, and he even shows up on Vol.3. Burnett might do okay, but agree re EC's vocal limitations. Still the songs might come through.

dow, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:27 (eight years ago) link

That's the deal with even Tweedy singing (in the studio, anyway): the songs do come through, as Wilco etc add some right nice & appropriate toons.

dow, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:30 (eight years ago) link

at the height of their critical and popular approval the love for wilco bemused me. it wasn't offensive; it just sounded like sort of humble, none-too-exciting dadrock/roots rock gussied up (or stripped down) with some vaguely post-rocky production. and i lived in the epicenter of wilco fandom. to this day i cannot hum or recall a single bit from any wilco song. again, i have nothing against them, no hostility or whatever (they even come across as reasonably OK people in that documentary that friends dragged me to), i just don't get it. i mean, were people making arty documentaries about mark-almond in the 1970s?

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:07 (eight years ago) link

sorry i sound more than a bit challopsy but it's true.

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:07 (eight years ago) link

I'm with you. This kind of sounds like an attempt to make the most boring music possible.

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:09 (eight years ago) link

I see the marketing material now: "don't ever say that these geezers aren't up to a challenge" --ILXOR

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:15 (eight years ago) link

I still like Wilco's Summerteeth album and the first Mermaid Avenue (both Bragg and Wilco).

I agree that Costello and T-bone Burnett and company will likely not impress us. I do like the Carolina Chocolate Drops vocalist Giddens, although I have not kept up with her group (and the membership changes).

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:25 (eight years ago) link

totally w/you on this one amateurist

sleeve, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:28 (eight years ago) link

i liked the carolina chocolate drops but they took a kind of crowd-pleasing route that I can hardly blame them for and I sort of lost interest. there were always warning signs, as when the crowd got real excited when they'd do string-band covers of "hit 'em up style."

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:06 (eight years ago) link

they are amazing musicians though.

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:06 (eight years ago) link

and i'm just a jerk, basically.

espring (amateurist), Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:06 (eight years ago) link

five months pass...
Someone mentioned this in another thread, but worth repeating here. Is this real? Can't find many articles on it so far. Coming in November, apparently. Hope it sounds at least as good as the Mixin' Up the Medicine/A Tree with Roots bootlegs.

Jazzbo, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:29 (seven years ago) link

It's real and available for pre-order on Amazon. Trimmed-down, 2-CD version will also be available.

Jazzbo, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:35 (seven years ago) link

!?!! I had no idea. So basically, when this comes out, the circle will be closed and no label will ever release recorded music again, right?

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:53 (seven years ago) link

whoa, really?

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:03 (seven years ago) link

dang, even looks like there is some un-bootlegged material in there.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:08 (seven years ago) link


ruffalo soldier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:39 (seven years ago) link

as I said on the other thread, I will buy this

sleeve, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:41 (seven years ago) link

one question i have is: i wonder if there are full length versions of stuff that gets cut off early on a tree w/roots like "lock your door" etc

ruffalo soldier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:46 (seven years ago) link

That might just be where the original tape cuts off. But who knows? They obviously have access to some other sources for these things.

tylerw, Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:55 (seven years ago) link

i'm probably just wishful thinking but that would be amazing some of those snippets are kind of heartbreaking when they cut off

ruffalo soldier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 26 August 2014 15:09 (seven years ago) link

Haha, this is scheduled for release exactly one week before T-Bone Burnett's Look What I Found In The Basement or whatever it's called.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 26 August 2014 15:18 (seven years ago) link

is aug. 26 the new april fool's day or something?

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 26 August 2014 16:30 (seven years ago) link

one question i have is: i wonder if there are full length versions of stuff that gets cut off early on a tree w/roots like "lock your door" etc

― ruffalo soldier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, August 26, 2014 9:46 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i hope so! some of the best songs on the boots are cut off midway.

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 26 August 2014 16:35 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Six discs would expand on my "Tree with Roots" version; getting the best available source material is nice; the 120 page booklet may be cool....

But $150 seems a bit steep, no?

bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, 11 September 2014 22:55 (seven years ago) link

it sure does. kind of think it'll come down, but who knows...
the smile deluxe box set was 6 CDs + double LP + a couple seven inches + a pretty lavish book and I think it was $125 or thereabouts?

tylerw, Thursday, 11 September 2014 23:08 (seven years ago) link

Unless the book is really REALLY cool, this set appears to be priced about double what is reasonable. I can see a complete vinyl set for $150; i might even pay more.

bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, 11 September 2014 23:43 (seven years ago) link

Well, the deluxy versions do come down thanks to fopp etc.

"Tell tale signs" was silly, another cd plus a book of ep covers, got it for £25 in the end.

I don't recall how much "Another selfie" was, but it wasn't full price. That was mail order though.

Mark G, Friday, 12 September 2014 06:43 (seven years ago) link

either i'm going to get this used or i'm just going to dl it illegally b/c bob dylan does not need my $150 for 45 yr old stuff

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 12 September 2014 07:03 (seven years ago) link

btw i'm sure this will sound 10x better than existing boots (except for mixin up the medicine)

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 12 September 2014 07:04 (seven years ago) link

Agreed on the sound; i'll absolutely dl some flacs just to hear how they sound before i make any purchase decision.

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 12 September 2014 18:53 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

I dunno. (amateurist), Wednesday, 5 November 2014 23:17 (seven years ago) link

iTunes was offering it for $58, but I couldn't get the listing again; Amazon's got the CDs (and book, I guess) for $120, last time I looked. Marcus on the mostly unbootlegged tracks/alts (says 33 in all; 2 are unlisted, in Disc 6):

dow, Wednesday, 5 November 2014 23:41 (seven years ago) link

Good to spotlight the humor, but not to leave the serious tracks offstage: they're mostly just as good, which is saying a lot.

dow, Thursday, 6 November 2014 00:25 (seven years ago) link

That Matos thing is good!

There Goes Ryan's Scion (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 6 November 2014 02:08 (seven years ago) link

Matos piece is awesome! But why does it say "+harvilla" in the url?

Thackeray Zax (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 6 November 2014 02:31 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

There's some sublime stuff on the complete Basement Tapes, but it's also several hours of Rick Danko trying to find the root of the chord and succeeding about half the time, which makes it a stressful listen for me. I wanted it to be the great lost grail it's sometimes purported to be, but on a basic level it's really just demos. I'm really loving The Auld Triangle today though

J. Sam, Monday, 8 February 2021 16:43 (one year ago) link

I think of a demo as a formalist run-through, usually bare-bones, although Prince was known for resplendent demos, which were apparently like the finished product of almost anyone else, and Dylan's solo demos could be very intense---these are largely one-offs, first time heard and played by The Band, it seems (though one day we may get The Completest, with every take, every false start, every fart etc., as with Charlie Parker): fresh and speculative call and response, kicking it back and forth---maybe tennis without a net, but that can be a discipline. (Good discussions can also be found on threads for The Bootleg Series and The Band.) Yeah, up this thread, I should have referred to the '75 version as "overdubbed," rather than "re-recorded," in terms of basic tracks being replaced, apparently (anyway, that's good too, and some prefer it: incl. most of his originals from these sessions, and you get all those Band tracks, maybe the only place for that entire grouping?)

dow, Monday, 8 February 2021 18:09 (one year ago) link

I love the Basement Tapes, and I actually do enjoy throwing them all on and letting them play, but like any informal sessions, it's often very casual and I think downplaying really oversells the box set to new listeners. The two-CD set was a great idea, it's probably the best way for most people to hear this music, but they messed that up a bit - for starters, it made no good sense to choose inferior alternates for some of those songs.

birdistheword, Monday, 8 February 2021 19:39 (one year ago) link

*downplaying that

birdistheword, Monday, 8 February 2021 19:39 (one year ago) link

I've found my favorite way to listen to the Complete Tapes at this point is to just have a playlist of the all six discs and toss it on shuffle, then dip in for a bit. It's helped to highlight some stuff I blew past before and definitely doesn't feel as overwhelming.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 8 February 2021 19:56 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

That "One Too Many Mornings" with vocals from Danko and Dylan is so fragile and so good.

Cabernet Frank (PBKR), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 22:53 (one week ago) link

I've read that the 2009 re-reissue (on CD) of the 1975 double-LP has good audio, and I think a nice-price used copy might be worth getting for the sake of those Band tracks Robertson stuck on there, otherwise sprinkled across various collections. They added a bit of compatible variety, perky enough that they may have helped the album get to the Top Ten. But I didn't realize 'til I read this that some critics found their inclusion a pisser: Lots of other stuff in there I didn't know!

dow, Friday, 24 June 2022 20:04 (one week ago) link

i'm fully in favor of those Band tracks on the original Basement Tapes 2LP, even if they aren't actually from the "basement" — some of my favorites in their entire catalog.

tylerw, Friday, 24 June 2022 20:37 (one week ago) link

Fuckin’ bummer of an intro, Wikipedia:

This article is about the 1975 album. For the 2014 box set, see The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete. For a full list of 1967 Basement Tapes recordings, see List of Basement Tapes songs. For the videotapes made by the Columbine shooters, see Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold § Journals and investigation.

Bunheads Pilot Enthusiast (morrisp), Friday, 24 June 2022 20:44 (one week ago) link

I have the 3LP from the Bootleg Series and the sound is really great. There is nothing else quite like it.

I'm Not There can stand with any of his 1965-66 songs.

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