The Basement Tapes Poll

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (55 of them)

OTM. love it when he can't quite keep it together at the end of the song. so funny...

homiesexuals (Matt P), Sunday, 8 March 2009 23:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Million Dollar Bash" may be my favorite Dylan song ever, so that.

Jazzbo, Sunday, 8 March 2009 23:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

Goin To Acapulco for me ... Such an incredibly touching performance. Maybe Dylan's best-ever vocal? And it doesn't even matter that the whole thing is like a goofy sex joke ...

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 01:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

too many greats... i've got a soft spot for yazoo street scandal though. on of manuel's rawest vocal perfs

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Monday, 9 March 2009 01:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Tears of Rage is def the strongest song imo, but I like the Gene Clark version better so it's be wrong voting for the 2nd favorite version of a song. Went w/ You Ain't Going Nowhere.

iatee, Monday, 9 March 2009 01:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Bessie Smith

Stormy Davis, Monday, 9 March 2009 01:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

after thinking about this i'm going w/ 'this wheel's on fire.'

homiesexuals (Matt P), Monday, 9 March 2009 03:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

oddly enough, just saw this:
kind of a waste, though perhaps the sound'll be a little better? still pretty ridiculous that Columbia hasn't just released a Basement Tapes box set ... Also confusing that they are still insisting on putting this album on two CDs -- it fits on one!

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 03:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

Stupid hard, went with "Nothing Was Delivered"

kenan, Monday, 9 March 2009 04:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've listened to this twice tonight and been thinking how perfect the sequencing is.

WmC, Monday, 9 March 2009 04:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Goin' To Acapulco" was a mixtape staple for me in the mid 90s. Love the hell out of it.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 9 March 2009 04:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

Garth Hudson = this album's MVP

WmC, Monday, 9 March 2009 04:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

Garth Hudson and his Swingin' Organ

kenan, Monday, 9 March 2009 04:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

Organ Leroy, at his organ again

WmC, Monday, 9 March 2009 04:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

still pretty ridiculous that Columbia hasn't just released a Basement Tapes box set
How true. There are plenty of decent tracks that still haven't seen the light of day (officially, anyway).
And I doubt the remastered version will come anywhere close to matching the sound on the A Tree With Roots bootleg.

Jazzbo, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

Seconded and thirded. What the hell is the point of that "Bootleg Series" if not for a basement tapes box?

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, i just get the feeling they're holding on to it for when Dylan is dead, or isn't making albums anymore, or something. Which still might be a while! But since it is sort of the "ultimate" bootleg, they probably want to milk it for all it's worth. Not as though they haven't had someone compile all that stuff, since every now and again a track is officially released, like "I'm Not There" on the soundtrack of the same name.

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Tough to choose/lots of good ones/could be anything/favorite keeps changing, etc etc etc.

Had to go with Odds and Ends. Lost time is not found again.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

I went with "Apple Suckling Tree". It has a catchy tune first of all and is great fun to sing along with, esp. with kids. The way he sings "suckling" makes it sound lewd, and given the rest of these songs, I think that's intentional. So, points there. What's the song about? It sounds goofy and sinister at the same time, and knowing what I know about John Wesley Harding I read the tree as a reference to the story of Adam and Eve. God and sex: if the intersection of these is one of your central preoccupations, and you do it in a fun way with a great tune, then I'll have a lot of time for you.

Euler, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

apple suckling tree is sooooo good. robbie robertson on the drums! what a sweet beat! and then Garth's rollicking solo .... and of course, Dylan's vocal. Honestly, I think this is my favorite singing voice of Dylan's.

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

yazoo st. scandal over this wheel's on fire by the wee-est thread

outdoor_miner, Monday, 9 March 2009 17:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

It's impossible for me think about this in terms of an empirical best, so I gotta go with "Lo and Behold!" Whenever I listen to The Basement Tapes, that song always makes me think, That's where they figured out they could do almost anything and it would work.

DLee, Monday, 9 March 2009 18:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Orange Juice Blues" and "Yazoo Street Scandal" are two of my very favourite Band songs, but they weren't really part of the sessions, were they? So I'm gonna go with the indescribably flaky "Yea Heavy...", probably my alltime favourite song title.

(This thread has inspired me to d/l that "Tree With Roots" thing and create my own basement tapes.)

Myonga Vön Bontee, Monday, 9 March 2009 18:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

My favorite record. I think. I go back and forth between this and Double Nickels on the Dime. And it occurs to me that this:

they could do almost anything and it would work

is true of both records.

dad a, Monday, 9 March 2009 18:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

^^^ great screen name

WmC, Monday, 9 March 2009 18:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

The comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus...

"Yea Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread" it is.

a golden unicorn who poops diamonds (EZ Snappin), Monday, 9 March 2009 18:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

impossible poll. went with "Too Much of Nothing" today.

and say, wasn't it Robbie on the lead vocal for "Yazoo Street Scandal"? that's what i remember Marcus saying in the liner notes, anyhow.

51 SBs and there's nothing on (Ioannis), Monday, 9 March 2009 18:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wow, maybe so! I'd always assumed it was manuel, because it's not uh horrible.

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Monday, 9 March 2009 18:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

Sure sounds like Levon Helm to me, no?

Jazzbo, Monday, 9 March 2009 19:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

Tree With Roots is a must, not only for the wealth of stuff that isn't on the official release, but because so many of the official songs were overdubbed by Robbie and some of the other Band members in 1974. Granted, the overdubs are pretty tastefully done, but there is something about those raw tapes...

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 19:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

There's a lot more stereo separation on most of the "Roots" tracks, too. Garth Hudson did a magnificent job with the equipment he had at the time (only 3 mics, I believe), but you'd never know it from listening to just the official release.

Jazzbo, Monday, 9 March 2009 19:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, the official release is kinda in mono, isn't it? wonder if this remaster will be improved, or what? but no kidding, Hudson made some of that stuff sparkle in a way that a million dollars worth of equipment couldn't have. Though I guess I've read that his set-up wasn't quite as bare-bones as some have later claimed -- he had access to a bunch of Dylan's state-of-the-art sound equipment from the 1966 tours.

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 19:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's always been my dream that there'll be some lost cache of Basement Tapes with them playing songs from John Wesley Harding ... as wonderful as that record is, sometimes I find it utterly insane that Dylan did not record it with the Band. There are a few wonderful examples of what they might've done with it on the Isle of Wight 69 bootleg.

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 19:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

i guess there is a story of Dylan asking Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson to overdub parts on to JWH, but Robertson said "No man, keep it pure." What a piece of shit Robbie Robertson is. And yet I love him.

tylerw, Monday, 9 March 2009 19:31 (eight years ago) Permalink


51 SBs and there's nothing on (Ioannis), Monday, 9 March 2009 19:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

too many good ones, but had to go with "yea heavy". "open the door homer" a close second. "slap that drummer with a pie that smells."

clay, Monday, 9 March 2009 23:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

People call this record mysterious or magic; if so it's in the three-card-monte sense, working by diversion, misdirection, trying to confound understanding, to get the audience to enjoy being fooled. So much of this record is a tease, inside jokes and deliberate nonsense, bluffing and never showing its hand. I've bought books about this record and never read them, worried it would feel too much like watching dissection of a live subject; even if it survives, it'd be forever scarred, imprinted with someone else's take. Despite which here's mine:

A1. Always wanted to do a doublespeed punk cover. A2. Normal breakup song but paired with a let's work it out chorus. In the "beautiful beautiful" punch line, this guy reveals he can't stand to have things that aren't broken. A3. Pretty drowsy for a song about heaven, or a swinging party, which is as close as this record gets. A4 & A5. The party gets out of hand. Beyond care for morality, sex as cataclysm as rollicking good time, so bring on the flood, just go and pump on the well. A6. As told by the last one to know.

B1. Lays a few tricks on you -- hooks you by mentioning some unexplained shame, appears to have a narrative thread involving moose, but nothing is revealed. Still I'm prepared to accept as proven that Pittsburgh = Chicken Town, QED. B2. Feels too well composed to fit in with the Dylan songs, where the prevailing moods are off-the-cuff or overwrought. B3. Simple story of being caught acting like you're not just some kid, treated as an epic Saga. B4. This song choogles. B5. About getting so drunk you piss yourself. And yet somehow Mrs. Henry resists his amorous advances. B6. Dylan's most heartrending song and singing. Never seen anyone so enraged they cried -- grief yes, but rage? (Yes I know it's poetry.)

C1. I first heard this in Peter Paul & Mary's perversely cheerful version, but this song wants to be sluggish, drained. C2. Feels like the opposite of You Ain't Going Nowhere -- not just drifting along but in a mighty hurry. Like Lo and Behold, a Biblical title sends the singer all over the map, though in this case even with specific destinations named it feels like he's going nowhere (fast). C3. Loose and swaggering, ultimately reverential. When I was introduced to this record I was told "there's nothing like it" but including a cover song means it can't be wholly sui generis -- this ain't no old weird America they just dreamed up one day. C4. Taunting or teasing about friends washed away, either way adding insult to injury. C5. Everything feels buried in the mix by everything else: echoed vocals, drum thuds, plinked piano, carnival organ stabs, muted distorted guitar fills. C6. The only side that doesn't end with a devastation. Upbeat number with optimistic lyrics so naturally the backup vocals sound like the moans of glum zombies.

D1. Another song about people failing to get away with handing out BS lines to each other (or in this case, to themselves). D2. Our son's named Henry, and my parents sometimes serenaded him with Please Mrs. Henry, but never with Don't Ya Tell Henry -- is this song that unmemorable? Or did they just never make it to the second record? D3. A song this final should end a record, but they're not done shuffling the deck. D4. Can't break down why this song works so well, it doesn't particularly DO anything, it just IS. Chorus stays true to side 4's commitment to finality. Great draggy backup vocals. D5. Penultimate track is as good a place as any for a throwaway. Your basic blues number, good guitar but otherwise nothing special, though it cleanses the palate and clears the stage for D6. When the record DOES show it's emotions, as here, it knocks you out without even seeming to try.

Voting for Nothing Was Delivered.

dad a, Monday, 16 March 2009 20:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

^^^ great screen name

― WmC,


dad a, Monday, 16 March 2009 20:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Band's "Basement Tapes" tunes were recorded significantly later and added to the mix by one J.R. Robertson

thirdalternative, Tuesday, 17 March 2009 12:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 18 March 2009 00:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

ok liner notes say Helm is vocalist on yazoo street scandal. damned if the way he sings "stranded out in the night" doesn't throw me... but by the time he gets to "i just ordered a flood for forty days and forty nights" it all makes sense

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Wednesday, 18 March 2009 01:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

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

System, Thursday, 19 March 2009 00:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't have any quibbles with the voting, other than that the total number of votes is a fucking scandal. Hell, I voted twice.

WmC, Thursday, 19 March 2009 00:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

"Clothes Line Saga" is really funny. Man, this LP was so over my head when I first heard it as a teenager.

Best tracks that didn't make the cut:

Silent Weekend
I'm Not There
Sign on the Cross

Johnny Hotcox, Friday, 27 April 2012 16:11 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

C5. Ruben Remus 0

we're going to have to get some n00b to repoll this on accident because this result is just WRONG. incredible song.

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 10 December 2013 01:14 (four years ago) Permalink

otm. A hypnotist, a fancy talker, Ruben Remus ain't no doctor.

The Glam Of That All The Way From Memphis Man! (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 10 December 2013 01:18 (four years ago) Permalink

and then, to add insult to injury, this is apparently the only live video of the song available on the entire internet:

i mean, he does a decent job and everything but

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 10 December 2013 01:19 (four years ago) Permalink

i haven't seen or heard the Last Waltz before, so i was hoping there'd be a version of it on there, perhaps complete with neil young's cocaine booger in the background. but nope, it's not part of that setlist, or any other apparently.

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 10 December 2013 01:21 (four years ago) Permalink

i guess people don't rep for "ruben remus" because they're listening to the basement tapes to hear bob dylan, but Manuel just nails the vocal. he sounds so sweet and of his time in an endearing way. and the band (as in "the band") is totally on fire. it would be nice to hear an uninterrupted recording of that session from whatever night that was, because they sound like they couldn't possibly sound bad even if they tried.

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 10 December 2013 01:32 (four years ago) Permalink

This went up a month before I started posting, so late vote for "Tiny Montgomery." Other favourites: "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," "Please Mrs. Henry," and the winner.

(Not what you wanted, but "Ruben Remus" is on Grooveshark:!/s/Ruben+Remus/3YSRTU?src=5.)

clemenza, Tuesday, 10 December 2013 13:18 (four years ago) Permalink

i guess people don't rep for "ruben remus" because they're listening to the basement tapes to hear bob dylan,

Love that one, but most (all?) of the Band-minus-Dylan stuff was either outtakes from Big Pink or new stuff they were working on at the time.

Weirdly (or not), a bunch of those are bonus tracks on the 2000 Big Pink CD reissue, but the liner notes don't mention that they were also on The Basement Tapes.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 10 December 2013 14:38 (four years ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.