Bob Dylan Bootleg Series Poll

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Which one of these is the BEST

Poll Results

Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Live, 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall Concert" 14
Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991 7
Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Live 1975: Rolling Thunder Revue 5
Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell-Tale Signs: Rare/Unreleased 1988-2005 3
Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Live 1964: Concert at Philharmonic Hall 2
Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (Rare/Unreleased 1959-1966) 0

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:39 (ten years ago) link

Royal Albert Hall, but I love most of the outtakes on TTS.

Anatomy of a Morbius (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:40 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, Royal Albert Hall would be hard to vote against, but really, the only one I don't love to death is the Live 1964 show. It's not bad, but I don't think it's actually the best representation of early solo dylan. They could've released the 1963 Town Hall show, which is stronger, or maybe one of the 1965 British shows (the Don't Look Back) tour. Tell-Tale Signs is wonderful though -- think I enjoy that one more than the last two Dylan records!

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:43 (ten years ago) link

I've listened to Tell Tale Signs the most out of all of these. Love disc 2 of Vol. 1-3 though.

Moreno, Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:50 (ten years ago) link

I really really love Rolling Thunder Revue

Mordy, Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:50 (ten years ago) link

Rolling Thunder Revue is stellar, such a weird/unique band with wild arrangements, and incredible Dylan vocals. Only thing I wish with that one is that it came with more video (there's a DVD incl. with some versions w/ two brief clips). There is a ton of footage of that tour -- it'd be great if it were edited into non-Renaldo&Clara form.

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:55 (ten years ago) link

And isn't V.1-3 the first time Blind Willie was purchasable?

Mordy, Sunday, 16 August 2009 18:56 (ten years ago) link

Yeah -- the third disc of that first Bootleg Series has some gems on it. "Blind Willie", "Foot of Pride", "Angelina" ...

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:00 (ten years ago) link

1-3. For "Blind Willie McTell" alone.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:07 (ten years ago) link

Kind if crazy that they've never officially released the electric "Blind Willie McTell" which some people think is way better than the Bootleg Series version. I'm not one of those people, but ...

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:20 (ten years ago) link

Kind OF crazy

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:20 (ten years ago) link

Wonder what the next volume of this series will be ... obviously there's the Basement Tapes waiting for a big expansion. But there's also the need for a live Gospel Years show or comp - I think something like that could really rehabilitate that period. Even if you're not that into Jesus, Dylan was pretty on fire onstage during those days. There's also the 1969 Isle of Wight show w/ the Band, that could use an official release.

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:24 (ten years ago) link

I agree with your views on Live 1964, tyler. Live 1966 is a tough one to beat. But Live 1975 and Tell Tale Signs sets are great. And Vol.1-3 contains some real gems. Not an easy decision.

Duke, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:40 (ten years ago) link

haven't heard vol 8, but 1-3 for me.

teabaggers, birthers, flat-earthers (will), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:51 (ten years ago) link

No Direction Home has some serious highlights, as well, especially the Blonde On Blonde outtakes. That "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" is mindblowing. I hope and pray that some day there'll just be a "Blonde On Blonde Sessions" box set along the lines of, you know, the Miles Davis "sessions" sets. Like every note recorded.

tylerw, Sunday, 16 August 2009 20:05 (ten years ago) link


kornrulez6969, Sunday, 16 August 2009 22:57 (ten years ago) link


Hugh Manatee (WmC), Sunday, 16 August 2009 23:06 (ten years ago) link

Was just looking at the tracklist for 1-3 myself, and I might have to vote for that! "Moonshiner", "She's Your Lover Now", "Except You", "Angelina", "Blind Willie", "Series of Dreams" ... those six songs are some of my favorite recordings ever.

tylerw, Monday, 17 August 2009 01:06 (ten years ago) link

I just hauled out Vol4 and 6 for a car journey, played 6.

Heck, voted for it, just so's it's not lonely. It's got the pure essence of
what got him discovered in the first place, whereas 6 is him moving on.

Mark G, Monday, 17 August 2009 10:10 (ten years ago) link

This sequence from disc two of Bootleg 1-3 is the greatest thing ever

4. Mama, You Been On My Mind
5. Farewell, Angelina
6. Subterranean Homesick Blues
7. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got To Stay All Night)
8. Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence
9. Like A Rolling Stone
10. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
11. I'll Keep It With Mine
12. She's Your Lover Now
13. I Shall Be Released
14. Santa-Fe
15. If Not For You
16. Wallflower
17. Nobody 'Cept You
18. Tangled Up In Blue
19. Call Letter Blues
20. Idiot Wind

Ward Fowler, Monday, 17 August 2009 11:45 (ten years ago) link

Those voting for Vol 8..

Which version? The 1CD, 2CD or 3CD edition?

Mark G, Monday, 17 August 2009 11:49 (ten years ago) link

There was a 1 CD version?

tylerw, Monday, 17 August 2009 14:17 (ten years ago) link

I really love all of these; if this was the only Dylan I had I'd be ok with that (it's my standard Dylan iPod cache).

I voted for Live 1966 because it's probably my favorite recording ever; and what more must I say about its narcotic glory? After that, probably Vols 1 - 3 for all the reasons given so far + "Seven Curses". Then prob. Vol 7 which makes for a pretty great compact greatest hits of the 60s, mostly eschewing the "protest songs" of 1963-4. Then I'm not sure, prob. Tell Tale Signs (I own the 2 disc edition but I've heard the third cd too) over 1964 over 1975. I love 1964 a lot because Dylan sounds so stately and confident, without the harsh vocal tone of the released albums of 1963 and 1964 that often bugs me. The "Hard Rain" is sung like a logical argument, with the exaggerated pauses between lines separating its premises before each conclusion in the choruses. And the three songs from Bringing It All Back Home are standouts, both for their excellence and for their failing to have the lovable goofiness Dylan plays out in other songs here; maybe that's why he talks about the Bob Dylan mask.

afternoon "delight" (Euler), Monday, 17 August 2009 14:34 (ten years ago) link

I just voted for Live 1966 as well -- it really is the best live album ever. I've been listening to it (on bootleg at first) since I was a kid and it still never fails to blow my mind whenever I play it.

tylerw, Monday, 17 August 2009 15:12 (ten years ago) link

Love them all (haven't heard Rolling Thunder yet) but 1-3 will be hard to beat; it was what got me REALLY REALLY into Dylan when I was 19 or so (had been a fan but this kicked it over the fence). Tons of humour, especially on Vol. 1. But really, all of this. His outtakes are miles ahead of everyone else's best stuff. "delight" OTM.

staggerlee, Monday, 17 August 2009 23:46 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 21 August 2009 23:01 (ten years ago) link

for ye olde dylan nerds, the full soundboard show from whence that amazing live "High Water" came from on Tell Tale Signs is floating around. A really great latter day Dylan show ...

tylerw, Saturday, 22 August 2009 02:51 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:01 (ten years ago) link

Ouch for No Direction Home!

Mark G, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:08 (ten years ago) link

Cheers for Rolling Thunder

bear, bear, bear, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:25 (ten years ago) link

That's the only one I don't got.

Mark G, Monday, 24 August 2009 09:33 (ten years ago) link

No Direction Home is great, but how can you stack it up against the heavy competition?

staggerlee, Monday, 24 August 2009 23:52 (ten years ago) link

I'd take it over Rolling Thunder, & the 1964 show

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 00:15 (ten years ago) link

First 2 tracks on Rolling Thunder justify the whole thing for me.. I just really, really like the feel on those.

bear, bear, bear, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 00:24 (ten years ago) link

the "Romance in Durango" from Rolling Thunder is incredible, godlike.

"Water is Wide" is sweet too. Epic release, even if i was forced to vote for Royal Albert Hall (Not Royal Albert Hall)

Stormy Davis, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 04:12 (ten years ago) link

I just listened to the Town Hall 1963 show for the first time. It's really great! It's more downcast than the playful Bootleg Series 1964 show. In particular "Boots of Spanish Leather" is a standout, with a tender reading that outshines the album take.

my dixie wrecked (Euler), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 12:15 (ten years ago) link

tyler, what's "the name" of that high water recording?

Fox Force Five Punchline (sexyDancer), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 15:10 (ten years ago) link

it's Niagara Falls 2003 -- not sure of the date ... would I get in trouble for posting a download link here?

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 15:24 (ten years ago) link

It was on recently, so if you search for the Niagara show you find it pretty quickly on other sites now too. It's a terrific show.

my dixie wrecked (Euler), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:09 (ten years ago) link

yeah, it's a cool era -- i think Freddie Koella (?) is the guitarist, (along w/ Larry Campbell) who is a little more interesting than some of Dylan guitarists these days, or at least not totally just a straight-up bluesy kinda player.

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:14 (ten years ago) link

That "High Water" melts my face.

my dixie wrecked (Euler), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:15 (ten years ago) link

it really would be worth it for Dylan to put together a 4-CD Neverending Tour Bootleg Series or something. i mean, i'll admit to there being plenty of low points (i've been in attendance for some of them!), but the high points can be as high as any Dylan period.

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:17 (ten years ago) link

I'd love that; fortunately these tours are heavily booted.

my dixie wrecked (Euler), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:18 (ten years ago) link

oh yeah, you can probably get any show from the last 20 years on bootleg. but hearing the Niagara Falls show reminds me how nice a professionally mixed set can sound.

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:20 (ten years ago) link

The mp3s I found of the Niagara show are a little quieter than "High Water" on Tell Tale Signs, but yeah, I agree with you.

my dixie wrecked (Euler), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:26 (ten years ago) link

Niagara Falls 2003

I saw him play an outdoor show in Louisville that year on the Wednesday of Kentucky Derby Week, it was great

dmr, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:26 (ten years ago) link

eleven months pass...

the latest rumor:
The next Bootleg Series release, Volume 9, will indeed be “a set of non-live recordings, well-known to collectors”, as stated. Although based on “The Witmark Demos”, sources say it will include some Leeds demo recordings as well. There are said to be 47 tracks. There is no information as to the packaging for this release.

tylerw, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 19:53 (nine years ago) link

I guess that's cool. I listened through the Witmark Demos earlier this year. They're nice for the songs better known from other artists' takes but not Bob's, e.g. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time", "Only A Hobo", "Percy's Song". I'm not too stoked about more "Blowin' In The Wind", though maybe they'll swap those out for other songs. I've only heard bits & pieces of the Leeds demos. I suppose cleaning up the sound on these would be nice. Obviously I'll buy this in any case.

Euler, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:26 (nine years ago) link

Live gospel stuff would still be a dope official release

underwater, please (bear, bear, bear), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:28 (nine years ago) link

yeah, it's not a thrilling release, if this is actually true, but it's still an important part of the early Dylan puzzle. there's one unreleased song I really enjoy that I think is from the witmark demos "guess I'm doing fine."

tylerw, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:28 (nine years ago) link

there are also rumors of an 8-CD mono box set coming out this year too. all the albums through john wesely harding ... in mono! oooh.

tylerw, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:30 (nine years ago) link

go Bob go but...yeah, that's not gonna be on my shopping list.

Euler, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:37 (nine years ago) link

four weeks pass...

The Witmark Demos features 47 Bob Dylan songs recorded by the artist – accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, harmonica and occasionally piano – for his first music publisher, Leeds Music, in January 1962, and for his second publisher, M. Witmark & Sons, between 1962 and 1964. Listening to these recordings, one can trace Dylan’s dramatic growth as a songwriter from early traditionally-styled songs like “Man On The Street” and “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie” through the social commentary of “Blowin’ In The Wind, “The Times They Are A Changin’” and “Masters Of War”, and the groundbreaking lyrical genius of “Mr. Tambourine Man.” All of these songs, and all the others on The Witmark Demos, were written – and their subsequent demos recorded – before Bob Dylan turned 24 years old.

Among the many gems found on The Witmark Demos are 15 Bob Dylan songs that were recorded by the artist only for these sessions, and which have never been officially released to the public until now. These include the plaintive“Ballad For A Friend,” the civil rights era-inspired “Long Ago, Far Away” and “The Death Of Emmett Till,” and the poignant “Guess I’m Doing Fine.”

The Witmark Demos also features a deluxe booklet featuring in-depth liner notes by noted music historian Colin Escott, as well as rare photographs of Bob Dylan captured during the same period as these early recordings.

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:18 (nine years ago) link

were some of those witmark demos on the no direction home soundtrack?

underrated klaatu albums i have loved (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:21 (nine years ago) link

yeah, as I said before that's a good release; for me nothing to get too excited about since the bootleg version sounds great already, though I guess people felt the same about Live 1966.

Euler, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:25 (nine years ago) link

yeah, there's one witmark track on no direction home, and then a couple others on the original 3-disc bootleg series. it's good (if not earthshattering) stuff. i've had the bootleg for years, and it's not something i listen to all that much.

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:33 (nine years ago) link

it's worthy of release though!

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:33 (nine years ago) link

Dylan should go crazy re. releases now, while the boomers are still alive & wealthy & while (some) people still buy music. Clear out the archive, Bob! Do it Miles Davis style: give us a Cellar Door-like version of the Warfield shows from 1979, for instance.

Euler, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:54 (nine years ago) link

I share the mild disappointment with this release. I have these on CDr somewhere and have never really felt the urge to play them that much. That could change if I bought the official release, mind you. But I'd much rather have seen a different era get the Bootleg series treatment.


Duke, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:55 (nine years ago) link

I see, as predicted by tyler above, the mono-box is also scheduled

The Original Mono Recordings are comprised of these albums painstakingly reproduced from their first generation monaural mixes as the artist intended them to be heard: One channel of powerful sound, both direct and immediate. While stereo recordings had been available as early as the mid-1950s, mono was still the predominant – and often preferred – mode of recording and mixing by the top artists of the 1960s. As a result, artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan devoted their attention to the mono mixes, leaving the stereo mixing process to studio engineers.

The Original Mono Recordings are accompanied by a deluxe booklet, featuring vintage photographs of Bob Dylan and an expansive essay from renowned author and critic – and longtime Dylan aficionado – Greil Marcus. Each disc in the set comes in its own individual jacket which faithfully replicates the original album artwork, complete with labels and stickers that were found on the original 1960s releases.

Also includes a limited edition 18" x 24" Bob Dylan poster.

The eight albums in The Original Mono Recordings are as follows:

* Bob Dylan – 1962
* The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – 1963
* The Times They Are A-Changin’ – 1964
* Another Side Of Bob Dylan – 1964
* Bringing It All Back Home – 1965
* Highway 61 Revisited – 1965
* Blonde on Blonde – 1966
* John Wesley Harding – 1967

Duke, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:59 (nine years ago) link

I suppose the mono set might possibly be interesting for nerds with no record player, who can now pick up the CDs. But Sundazed has been doing fantastic mono LPs for ages now. Which has thus far been my justification for owning some Dylan in 2 formats....

Sundazed does a 10-LP package w/ the first 8 mono LPs, JWH in stereo and greatest hits -- all for $150. The Dylan store is selling the first 8 LPs for $250.

Duke, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 20:05 (nine years ago) link

yeah, hmmm. the only mono version of those records i've heard is Blonde On Blonde, and it's good, but not essential or anything. can't imagine that the solo records would benefit from being in mono?

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 20:06 (nine years ago) link

I wouldn't want to make any great claims for the mono versions against the new(ish) remastered CDs. I just think Sundazed do a wonderful LP and love owning/playing some of them.

Funnily, my CD of BoB is of the older variety, so the comparison with the mono vinyl is starker than with my other Dylan CDs

Duke, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 20:12 (nine years ago) link

here's the complete tracklisting:
Disc 1:
1. "Man On The Street (Fragment)"
2. "Hard Times In New York Town"
3. "Poor Boy Blues"
4. "Ballad For A Friend"
5. "Rambling, Gambling Willie"
6. "Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues"
7. "Standing On The Highway"
8. "Man On The Street"
9. "Blowin' In The Wind"
10. "Long Ago, Far Away"
11. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
12. "Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
13. "The Death of Emmett Till"
14. "Let Me Die In My Footsteps"
15. "Ballad Of Hollis Brown"
16. "Quit Your Low Down Ways"
17. "Baby, I'm In The Mood For You"
18. "Bound To Lose, Bound To Win"
19. "All Over You"
20. "I'd Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day"
21. "Long Time Gone"
22. "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues"
23. "Masters Of War"
24. "Oxford Town"
25. "Farewell"

Disc 2
1. "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"
2. "Walkin' Down The Line"
3. "I Shall Be Free"
4. "Bob Dylan's Blues"
5. "Bob Dylan's Dream"
6. "Boots Of Spanish Leather"
7. "Walls of Red Wing"
8. "Girl From The North Country"
9. "Seven Curses"
10. "Hero Blues"
11. "Whatcha Gonna Do?"
12. "Gypsy Lou"
13. "Ain't Gonna Grieve"
14. "John Brown"
15. "Only A Hobo"
16. "When The Ship Comes In"
17. "The Times They Are A-Changin'"
18. "Paths Of Victory"
19. "Guess I'm Doing Fine"
20. "Baby Let Me Follow You Down"
21. "Mama, You Been On My Mind"
22. "Mr. Tambourine Man"
23. "I'll Keep It With Mine"

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 15:18 (nine years ago) link

too bad they haven't unearthed anything unknown here, like a Dylan demo of "Love Is Just a 4-Letter Word" or something.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 15:19 (nine years ago) link

So when will they get round to the big version of the Basement tapes, or is that kinda unnecessary?

Mark G, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 15:28 (nine years ago) link

i'm sure it'll happen sooner or later -- i mean, it's no more unnecessary than this witmark demos thing, which has been floating around bootleg for decades now.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 15:29 (nine years ago) link

Well, it's one of those they're going to make one of those 'superdeluxe' album sets of, once again.

Blame Radiohead.

Mark G, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 19:18 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

I don't think I ever really, really listened to "Royal Albert Hall" before tonight...this is incredibly intense, I want to change my vote.

Trey Imaginary Songz (WmC), Sunday, 27 May 2012 01:01 (eight years ago) link

where can i hear electric blind willie mctell?

Mordy, Sunday, 27 May 2012 01:47 (eight years ago) link

"Moonshiner" is my single favorite Dylan performance, so I'd vote Vol. 1-3 for that alone.

Soundslike, Sunday, 27 May 2012 02:34 (eight years ago) link

yeah that moonshiner is something else, otherworldly -- one of the ultimate "how did they not release this?" performances of the guy's career.
mordy, here is the electric blind willie

tylerw, Sunday, 27 May 2012 02:59 (eight years ago) link

five years pass...

Tangled up in booze: Bob Dylan launches his own brand of whiskey

Duke, Sunday, 6 May 2018 19:05 (two years ago) link

Ahhh. Searching Dylan is impossible

Duke, Sunday, 6 May 2018 19:17 (two years ago) link

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