Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Records’

Image may contain: 1 person

In recent weeks, musicians have come up with an impressive variety of ways to keep their fans amused during lockdown. There have been online listening parties and Q&As, free guitar lessons via Instagram, live performances beamed direct from bedrooms, DJ sets and kitchen discos. But no artist has risen to the task of keeping their audience occupied quite like Bob Dylan. A crowdpleaser only in sofar as the crowd he attracts would be pleased whatever he did – a significant proportion of his latter-day audience are so partisan you get the feeling they’d be sent into paroxysms of ecstasy if he stood on stage with a comb and paper for two hours, he simply released three new songs. An artist who’s quite literally said nothing new for the last eight years (his last three albums have been comprised entirely of covers from the Great American Songbook, the rest of his release schedule made up of archival recordings).

The first, “Murder Most Foul”, went on for 17 minutes and sounded unlike anything he had previously recorded, a recitation set to a haze of piano, violin and lightly struck drums. The second, “I Contain Multitudes”, was significantly shorter and more conventional – a delicate, percussion-free ballad – but still contained enough lyrical heft to provoke news stories: within a week of its release, the British press was triumphantly reporting that someone had cracked the mention of the Irish village of Ballinalee in its first verse, tapping a Harvard professor to attest that it was a reference to the work of a blind 18th-century poet called Antoine Ó Raifteirí. The third, “False Prophet”, was a ferocious blues song, the latest in a series of adaptations of other artists’ material that stretches back to the dawn of Dylan’s career: this time a 1954 B-side by Billy “The Kid” Emerson, an obscure R&B singer-songwriter once signed to Sun Records. In the lyrics, meanwhile, the search for the Holy Grail jostled for space with characters from old rock’n’roll songs – Ricky Nelson’s Mary Lou, Jimmy Wages’ Miss Pearl – recast in the role that Virgil played in Dante’s Inferno: “fleet-footed guides from the underworld”. Clearly, the task of unpicking everything that was going on in the lyrics would keep Dylanologists indoors long after lockdown ended.
Perhaps more importantly, they were the kind of Dylan songs that brooked very little argument about their quality, the kind of Dylan song you could play to a Dylan agnostic as testament to his continued greatness. This is a category of material that’s been a little thinner on the ground on his latest albums than their more hysterical reviews would suggest: for all the hosannahs thrown in its direction, it was entirely possible to listen to 2012’s Tempest and be alternately thrilled by the furious power of Pay in Blood and faintly mortified by Roll on John, a Lennon tribute that strung Beatles lyrics together in a way that would make Noel Gallagher blush.

Happily, the standard set by the three tracks that heralded its arrival is kept up all the way through Rough and Rowdy Ways. The musical abstraction of Murder Most Foul turns out to be a feint: tellingly it occupies a separate disc to the rest of the album when the whole thing could easily have fitted on one CD. The rest almost exclusively deals in music that hails from the era before Dylan showed up and changed everything: with the possible exception of the lambent penultimate track, Key West (Philosopher Pirate), which carries a faint hint of The Basement Tapes about its sound – albeit with an accordion filling the space Garth Hudson’s organ would have done – everything else feels directly rooted in the 50s or earlier.

There’s a lot of rhythm and blues, while I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You sets its utterly beautiful descending melody to a sound that carries traces of both small-hours doo-wop and pre-rock’n’roll pop. The musical inspiration behind Goodbye Jimmy Reed is obvious from its title, but by the third verse, Dylan doesn’t seem to be talking about the titular bluesman so much as himself when forced to face down the various expectations that audiences have attached to him virtually from the moment he first appeared: “They threw everything at me, everything in the book … they had no pity, they wouldn’t lend a hand, I can’t sing a song I don’t understand.”

These are musical areas in which Dylan has worked for years. What sets Rough and Rowdy Ways apart from Tempest or 2006’s Modern Times is the sheer consistency of the songwriting; there’s nothing here that sounds like dashed-off filler, nothing that doesn’t hit home. Dylan nuts have a great line in telling you how hilarious lyrics that seem capable of raising at best a wry smile are – “Freddie or not, here I come”, “I’m not dead yet, my bell still rings” etc – but My Own Version, in which the protagonist turns Frankenstein and builds himself a lover out of bits of corpses, is packed with genuinely funny lines amid the references to Shakespeare, Homer’s Iliad, Bo Diddley and Martin Scorsese, as well as a curious interlude during which Freud and Marx are depicted as “enemies of mankind” burning in hell: “All through the summers into January, I’ve been visiting morgues and monasteries … if I do it right and put the head on straight, I’ll be saved by the creature that I create.”

This is obviously humour of a dark hue: if Tempest’s prevalent mood was one of murderous fury, then here it’s brooding menace and imminent doom. It’s there in the music – the weird tension in Crossing the Rubicon’s muted R&B shuffle and the way the backing on Black Rider keeps lapsing into ominous silence. You lose count of the lyrical references to judgment day and Armageddon, of the mysterious characters that keep cropping up with malevolence on their minds: “I can feel the bones beneath my skin and they’re trembling with rage, I’ll make your wife a widow, you’ll never see middle age,” he sings on Crossing the Rubicon. Of course, grouchily informing the world that everything is turning to shit has been one of Dylan’s prevalent songwriting modes for a quarter of a century – it’s the thread that binds Not Dark Yet, Things Have Changed, Ain’t Talkin’ and Early Roman Kings, among others – but this time the message seems to have shifted slightly: if you think everything has turned to shit now, Rough and Rowdy Ways keeps insisting, just you wait.

This isn’t perhaps the most comforting communique to issue in the middle of a global pandemic, but then the man behind it has seldom dealt in soothing reassurance. And besides, it doesn’t matter. For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power.

Rough and Rowdy Ways is released on Columbia on 19th June.

See the source image
Happy birthday to the great Taj Mahal who turns 78 today. Taj is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been performing and recording for 50 years. Primarily a Blues singer, he has incorporated elements of world music into his works, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, and South Pacific. He formed a group called the Rising Sons in 1964 with Ry Cooder and Jesse Lee Kincaid. A record deal with Columbia Records was unfruitful, perhaps because the group was one of the first interracial bands. Mahal worked with other musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, before beginning his solo career with the eponymous Taj Mahal long-player in 1968. His follow-up “Natch’l Blues,” became a part of my collection in 1969 – loved the playing on “Corrina,” and “The Cuckoo,”, and wore it out. Taj also performed with The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus at the end of 1968.

Taj Mahal’s second album, recorded in the spring and fall of 1968, opens with more stripped-down Delta-style blues in the manner of his debut, but adds a little more amplification (partly courtesy of Al Kooper on organ) before moving into wholly bigger sound on numbers like “She Caught the Katy and Left Me a Mule to Ride” and “The Cuckoo” — the latter, in particular, features crunchy electric and acoustic guitars and Gary Gilmore playing his bass almost like a lead instrument, like a bluesman’s answer to John Entwistle most notable, however, may be “You Don’t Miss Your Water (‘Til Your Well Runs Dry)” and “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” which offer Taj Mahal working in the realm of soul and treading onto This is particularly notable on “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” which achieves the intensity of a gospel performance and comes complete with a Stax/Volt-style horn arrangement Jesse Ed Davis that sounds more like the real thing than the real thing. “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” by contrast, is driven by a hard electric guitar sound and a relentless bass part that sounds like a more urgent version of the bassline from the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’.”

He recorded 12 albums in all for Columbia during the 70s and 80s, and also recorded three albums for Warner Brothers. His career stalled afterward, and he moved to Hawaii, where he worked throughout the 80s. He released more albums in the 90s. collaborating with both Eric Clapton and Etta James.
In 1997, he won Best Contemporary Blues album for “Senor Blues” at the Grammy Awards, followed by another Grammy in 2000 for “Shoutin’ in Key.” Mahal has continued to record and perform with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, and Sheila E. In 2017, he worked with Keb Mo’ on a joint album TajMo.

Taj Mahal is a major artist who has travelled somewhat under the radar all these years. but make no mistake, he is a gifted musician whose albums are well worth searching out.

“The Cuckoo,” From his first Columbia album “The Natch’l Blues,”  comes this laid back gem from our Taj Mahal.
“You know the cuckoo is pretty bird/But she warble as she fly/But baby you never heard a cuckoo/Until the Fourth of July.”

“Good Morning Miss Brown” – Taj is all the way live as he rolls through the streets of the Big Easy. This guy has to be one of the coolest cats alive with a resume that could stretch down Bourbon Street. Originally from his second album on Columbia, “The Natch’l Blues,” in 1969 it was the beginning of a 50+ year career that is still going strong.

BobDylan FalseProphet Spotify

Bob Dylan has been on a roll, getting us through lockdown with new singles that find him as clever and compelling as ever. On Thursday evening, May 7th, the Bob Dylan Twitter account posted another cryptic tweet – complete with a pulp book-inspired illustration and a lyric quote – which had fans everywhere wondering if we might get another treat to tide us over.

Well, come midnight, we got our answer as another new song “False Prophet” was released on digital streaming services. The third surprise single in what’s become a triweekly tradition, “False Prophet” is a departure from the more atmospheric “Murder Most Foul” and “I Contain Multitudes.”  The new track is a rollicking and bluesy, guitar-heavy track with intense and growling vocals from Dylan. As if a new single weren’t enough, Dylan also announced his first album of new original material in eight years.  Due out June 19th on Columbia Records, Rough and Rowdy Ways will be a ten-song, two-CD affair.

The album opens with “I Contain Multitudes,” followed by “False Prophet,” then by seven as-yet-unknown tracks.  The epic “Murder Most Foul” will be included on its own on CD 2.  The two discs will be housed in a 4-panel, 2-pocket gatefold digipak. A 2-LP edition will also be pressed up, boasting 180-gram vinyl, gatefold packaging, and printed inner sleeves.  That configuration is set to arrive July 17th.  And for those readers who may have ventured into streaming during lockdown, the album will be released across digital platforms, too, on the same day as the CD.

So mark your calendars for June 19th for this much-welcome gift from Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways.

Image may contain: 2 people

 

Delaney & Bonnie were the American musical duo of singer/songwriters Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett. In 1969 and 1970, they fronted a rock/soul ensemble, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, whose members at different times included Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge, King Curtis, and Eric Clapton.

Bonnie Bramlett, started as a backing singer for blues artists that included Little Milton, Albert King and Fontella Bass and gained attention as a history maker as being the first white Ikette for Ike & Tina Turner. Wanting to spread her wings she moved to Los Angeles, met up with Delaney Bramlett who was with The Shindogs and married him just days after their first meeting in 1967. Their daughter Bekka who was born the following year is herself an extremely successful singer. She and her husband became the duo Delaney & Bonnie who became one of the first successful white R&B acts and soon they would tour with Eric Clapton and perform with artists such as Dave Mason, Rita Coolidge , Leon Russell, Duane Allman, John Lennon and George Harrison where they would be known as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Seeing success in the charts the songs they are most known for now are possible “Only You Know and I Know” and “Never-Ending Song of Love”.

Also following her own solo career, she and Leon Russell co-wrote the song “Give Peace a Chance” and “Groupie” which would change it’s name to “Superstar” and be a huge 1971 hit for The Carpenters.

Delaney Bramlett passed away in December 2008, He learned the guitar in his youth. He moved to Los Angeles in 1959 where he became a session musician. His most notable early work was as a member of the Shindogs, the house band for the ABC-TV series Shindig! (1964–66), which also included guitarist and keyboardist Leon Russell. He was the first artist signed to Independence Records.

She and Delaney divorced in 1973.

Delaney Bramlett and Leon Russell had many connections in the music business through their work in the Shindogs and formed a band of solid, if transient, musicians around Delaney & Bonnie. The band became known as “Delaney & Bonnie and Friends”, because of its regular changes of personnel. They secured a recording contract with Stax Records and completed work on their first album, Home, in 1968.

 

D&B Together

The title of this album’s more than a little ironic because the principals’ had separated before the end of a series of events during which the record’s original configuration, titled Country Life, was refused release and the couple’s contract was transferred to Columbia Records.Ultimately released with a modified track sequence,  the dozen cuts include what’s arguably their most famous number, “Comin’ Home” (its guitar refrain courtesy Clapton), a bonafide hit of their own in the form of Dave Mason’s “Only You Know And I Know,” plus the original version of a song  subsequently made famous (in a decidedly sterilized interpretation) by The Carpenters, “Groupie (Superstar).”Reaffirmed with the addition of half a dozen bonus tracks, the gospel and r&b elements of Delaney and Bonnie’s musical approach are in full-flower here, as well as a stylistic departure in the form of the original title cut that, as a baroque waltz adorned with strings, might well have allowed for further expansion of the pair’s already eclectic style.

D&B Together 1972 album was their last album of new material, as Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett would divorce soon after its release. Although released by Columbia/CBS (catalog no. KC 31377), D&B Together was actually recorded for the Atco/Atlantic label, under the working title Country Life. According to his autobiography Rhythm and the Blues, Atlantic executive Jerry Wexler was dissatisfied with the album’s quality upon its delivery to the label, and, upon investigating the situation and discovering Delaney and Bonnie were splitting up, sold their contract – including this album’s master tapes – to CBS. CBS reordered the running sequence of the album. On reflecting on the matter in 2003, Delaney Bramlett was quoted as saying “I thought [D&B Together] was a fine piece of work, so did Bonnie. Unfortunately, Jerry Wexler didn’t agree.”

Delaney and Bonnie’s “Friends” of the band’s 1969-70 heyday also had considerable impact. After the early 1970 breakup of this version of the band, Leon Russell recruited many of its ex-members, excepting Delaney, Bonnie and singer/keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, to join Joe Cocker’s band, participating on Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen recording sessions and North American tour (March–May 1970; Rita Coolidge’s version of “Groupie (Superstar)” was recorded with this band while on tour). Whitlock meanwhile joined Clapton at his home in Surrey, UK, where they wrote songs and decided to form a band, which two former “Friends”/Cocker band members, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon, would later join. As Derek And The Dominos, they recorded the landmark album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) with assistance on many tracks from another former “Friend,” lead/slide guitarist Duane Allman. Derek and the Dominos also constituted the core backing band on George Harrison’s vocal debut album All Things Must Pass (1970) with assistance from still more former “Friends”: Dave Mason, Bobby Keys and Jim Price.

See the source image

Copperhead was a band organized by guitarist John Cipollina after he left Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1970. Cipollina, who had been a member of Quicksilver since its formation and whose lead guitar playing was its signature sound, had grown increasingly dissatisfied after the return of band founder Dino Valenti from a prison term, when the group grew larger and he found he had less space to play. He had also grown increasingly interested in playing sessions, which the band discouraged. The early days of Copperhead were casual, with the group consisting of a loose aggregation of people playing gigs with Cipollina. Eventually it coalesced into a quartet consisting of Cipolliana on lead guitar; Gary Philippet on vocals, second guitar, and organ; Jim McPherson on vocals, bass, and piano; and David Weber on drums. The group was initially signed to the Just Sunshine label run by Michael Lang, one of the organizers of Woodstock.

Cipollina had a unique guitar sound, mixing solid state and valve amplifiers as early as 1965. He is considered one of the fathers of the San Francisco psychedelic rock sound.

But in 1972 it was signed to a major-label record deal by Clive Davis at Columbia and recorded its debut album, Copperhead, released in the spring of 1973. Unfortunately, Davis was fired from Columbia shortly after the album’s release, an action that doomed any developing band that had been signed under his aegis. The album went nowhere, and when Columbia refused to release their second album, Copperhead folded. Cipollina went on to play in many different bands before dying in 1989. 

Cipollina formed the band Copperhead with early Quicksilver member Jim Murray (musician) (who was soon to leave for Maui, Hawaii), former Stained Glass member Jim McPherson, drummer David Weber, Gary Phillipet (AKA Gary Phillips (keyboardist), later a member of Bay Area bands Earthquake and The Greg Kihn Band), and Pete Sears. Sears was shortly thereafter replaced by current Bonnie Raitt bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson who played on the Copperhead LP and stayed with the band for its duration. Sears went on to play with the original Jefferson Starship and later Hot Tuna. During the 80s Cipollina performed with a number of configurations, including Fish & Chips, with Barry Melton, Thunder and Lightning, with Nick Gravenites, the Dinosaurs, and Problem Child. He was a founding member of Zero and its rhythm guitarist until his death. Most often these bands played club gigs, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Cipollina remained well-known to aficionados as among the great psychedelic guitarists. His style influenced many upcoming younger players, including Trey Anastasio of Phish.

Jeff Lynne will release the 14th Electric Light Orchestra album, From Out of Nowhere, on November 1st via Columbia Records. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee previewed the LP , the second billed under the moniker “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” following 2015’s Alone in the Universe — with the dreamy title track.

“From Out of Nowhere” conjures vintage ELO, minus the symphonic edge of the band’s layered keyboards and strings. “Let me go, let me fly to a place that I love,” Lynne croons over a jangling, descending guitar progression and steady, choppy drums. “Let me fly away and start anew.

ELO recently concluded their second North American tour since 1981, featuring Dhani Harrison as opener. Lynne, the band’s singer-songwriter, performed virtually every instrument on the new record — just as he did on Alone in the Universe. Accordingly he played “nearly every note of the music on guitars, bass, piano, drums, keyboards and vibes, as well as singing all of the lead and layered harmony vocals,” with engineer Steve Jay “[adding] some percussion.”

“From Out of Nowhere — that’s exactly where it came from,” Lynne said in a statement. “That’s the first one I wrote for this album, and it’s kind of like that.” He noted that he was aiming to spread optimism with both the song and album: “Everybody’s got to have a bit of hope.”

bruce springsteen there goes my miracle, bruce springsteen, bruce springsteen western stars, bruce springsteen new album

Bruce Springsteen is gearing up to release his first new album in five years, Western Starsdue out on June 14th via Columbia Records. The solo album marks Springsteen’s first collection of new, original songs since 2012’s Wrecking Ball. He had previously released an album of covers and re-worked originals, High Hopes, in 2014.

Following the release of the album’s lead single, “Hello Sunshine”, Springsteen has shared “There Goes My Miracle”, the second single from his forthcoming Western StarsLP. “There Goes My Miracle” features some impressive vocal arrangements from The Boss along with a lush string section. “There Goes My Miracle” features a lush and orchestral arrangement, with melodic detours more reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds than Glen Campbell, even though some electronic drums show up midway through the bridge.

Much like Springsteen’s previous two albums, Ron Aniello produced the project in addition to playing bass, keyboard and other instruments during the tracking sessions. Western Stars also features work from over 20 musicians, including original E Street Band keyboard player David Sancious and violinist Soozie Tyrell, as well as organist Charlie Giordano, who currently plays with the group. Jon Brion, who’s best known for his work with Kanye West and Fiona Apple, also contributed in playing celeste, Moog, and Farfisa to the album. Springsteen’s wife and E Street bandmate Patti Scialfa is responsible for the vocal arrangements on four songs and contributes her vocals on several others. It’s uncertain whether Springsteen will tour in support of his forthcoming album. Recently, while chatting with Martin Scorsese at a Netflix event in Los Angeles, Springsteen revealed “I wrote almost an album’s worth of material for the band. And it came out of just … I mean, I know where it came from, but at the same time, it just came out of almost nowhere. And it was good, you know?”

He noted that it woke him out of a seven-year stretch where he was doubting the prospect of any new music. He said was relieved after the “little daily visitations” of creativity. “You go, Fuck, I’m not fucked, all right?” he said. “There’ll be another tour!”

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have been off the road since their Working on a Dream tour wrapped in 2017.

Western Stars arrives on June 14.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing

Vampire Weekend have shared yet another taste of their highly-anticipated LP Father of the Bride” in the form of two singles, entitled “This Life” and “Unbearably White.” . The rollout to “Father of the Bride” – due out on May 3rd – CONTINUES!.

Following on from the release of “Sunflower,” Vampire Weekend return with “This Life.”

It’s an ebullient piece of music that finds Ezra Koenig sharing vocal duties with Danielle Haim, with both artists singing about life’s woes over a sanguine guitar line that alludes to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”

The first tune features additional vocals from Haim guitarist Danielle Haim as well as guitar work by Time Crisis (Jake Longstreth), who hosts a Beats1 radio show with VW frontman Ezra Koenig.

On the other hand, the very tongue-in-cheek “Unbearably White” – which acknowledges a criticism often hurled at the band – is a production-heavy, somewhat psychedelic come down.

Father of the Bride will be release on May 3rd via Columbia Records

No photo description available.

Last week, Vampire Weekend continued to roll out tracks from their upcoming new album, Father of the Bride” (due out May 3rd via Columbia Records), and today the band shared a new video for one of the new tunes, “Sunshine,” a playful track featuring The Internet’s Steve Lacy.

The video, which was directed by Jonah Hill and features some disorienting camera work, follows Lacy and frontman Ezra Koenig as they walk through Upper East Side Manhattan staples Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass, and happen to run into comedian Jerry Seinfeld at the latter establishment.

Vampire Weekend will play a run of London shows later this month

Fresh off a two-record stint with Asylum, Bob Dylan returned to Columbia Records in 1975 with one of the most acclaimed records of his career.  Blood on the Tracks found Dylan reinvigorating the “confessional” singer-songwriter genre, even as he repeatedly insisted that the album’s songs had no relation to his own life and then-recent marital turmoil.  Whatever the truth, Blood on the Tracks was painfully raw, vulnerable, and altogether exquisite, boasting such all-time classic compositions as “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Simple Twist of Fate,” and “Shelter from the Storm.”   The making of the album was anything but smooth, however – and now, the full story can be told on the fourteenth volume of Dylan’s long-running Bootleg Series More Blood, More Tracks will be available on November 2nd as a 6-CD box set or 2-LP/1-CD highlights editions, chronicling the album’s original New York sessions and subsequent Minnesota rebirth via all of the extant session material including 75 previously unreleased tracks.

Dylan began recording at New York’s A&R Studios with producer-engineer Phil Ramone on September 16th, 1974. The first group of musicians including Eric Weissberg and his band, Deliverance, only lasted a couple of days before the artist brought in Paul Griffin on organ and Buddy Cage on steel guitar.  (Tony Brown was retained from Weissberg’s group.)  After ten days and four sessions with this group, Dylan had assembled an entire 10-song album which Columbia took to the test pressing stage in November.  But the restless Dylan had second thoughts.  With a new set of musicians, he entered Minneapolis’ Sound 80 studios in December.  In a couple of days, he re-recorded five of the ten songs, and the raw, stark, and powerful Blood on the Tracks as we know it was finished.

Over the years, session material has trickled out.  Only one of the five tracks from the test pressing, “You’re a Big Girl Now,” has ever been officially reissued.  It appeared on the Biograph box set along with a version of the outtake “Up to Me.”  Subsequently, The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3featured New York alternate takes of “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Idiot Wind,” and “If You See Her, Say Hello.”  “Call Letter Blues,” an embryonic version of “Meet Me in the Morning,” was also included on that set.  An alternate of “Shelter from the Storm” was released on the Jerry Maguire soundtrack, and in 2012, an alternate “Meet Me in the Morning” appeared as the B-side of “Duquesne Whistle” on a Record Store Day single.  That left “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts” as the only song from the New York sessions which had not been released in any take.

More Blood, More Tracks follows the format of The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 in presenting all of the available studio material in chronological order and so every song is heard in multiple versions.  (Alas, it seems much of the Minnesota session material no longer exists.)  The leadoff “single” is the first take of “If You See Her, Say Hello.”The 6-CD box set boasts a lengthy hardcover book featuring new liner notes as well as high-quality reproductions of pages from Dylan’s original notebooks used during the Blood on the Tracks sessions. A 1-CD or 2-LP version will have one alternate version of each song plus one take of “Up to Me.”

The Bootleg Series Vol. 14: More Blood, More Tracks arrives from Columbia/Legacy on November 2nd.

The earlier album sessions that went down in New York City left many more demos and alternate versions on the cutting room than most anyone outside the innermost Dylan camp imagined.

Disc 1 consists entirely of Dylan alone in the studio, accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica, at the very beginning of the process. None of these appeared on the original album. The second disc is made up of Dylan’s initial band sessions with the group Eric Weissberg & Deliverance, whom he quickly grew dissatisfied with and replaced. Only one of those made the finished album. It’s these two discs that may represent the greatest treasure trove for serious fans.

But the remaining four discs are hardly fool’s gold themselves. Disc 3 finds him continuing to work in New York with a mostly different band that was more to his liking and produced more of the eventual album. On Discs 4 and 5 and the first part of Disc 6, he ditches that band and performs the songs solo once again, or with just a bass player, ending the New York portion of the proceedings as intimately as they started, in the creation of what many consider his most intimate album.

Bob DylanMore Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14(Columbia/Legacy, 2018)