Saturday, June 20, 2009

*The Bob Dylan Bootleg Legacy- "Genuine" And "Fake" Basement Tapes, Volume Four

Click On Title To Link To YouTube's Film Clip Of Bob Dylan Doing "You Aint Going Nowhere"


As noted below in the reviews below as of late I have been railing against the deluge of Bob Dylan secondary material that has come on the market over the past few years, probably as a result of the Internet’s ability to tap targeted audiences for some of this more esoteric music. Given that imperative and in order to ‘enhance’ my self-described role as Dylan aficionado I have decided to make a separate entry in this space to review the various bootleg, basement and other exotic products of the man’s long career.

Dylan 'Exotica'

The “Genuine” Basement Tapes”, Volumes 1-5, Bob Dylan and The Band (1967 members), Alternate Edge Productions, 2002

In a review of Bob Dylan’s “The Freewheeling Bob Dylan” elsewhere in this space I noted:

“In reviewing Bob Dylan’s 1965 classic album “Bringing All Back Home” (you know, the one where he went electric) I mentioned that it seemed hard to believe now that both as to the performer as well as to what was being attempted that anyone would take umbrage at a performer using an electric guitar to tell a folk story (or any story for that matter). I further pointed out that it is not necessary to go into all the details of what or what did not happen with Pete Seeger at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 to know that one should be glad, glad as hell, that Bob Dylan continued to listen to his own drummer and carry on a career based on electronic music.”

And I am still glad of that fact. What I am less enamored of is the virtual cottage industry that has grown up around various, bootleg, basement, cellar, barn, attic or other odd locations versions of Dylan’s work, electric or acoustic. This archival material is nice for folk, rock and cultural historians but I would argue that Mr. Bob Dylan’s usually well-produced albums are after over forty years more than enough to listen to without having to get into the minutia of his career. And, somehow, left to feel that one has missed something without this other more esoteric material. In short, these five volumes of practice, outtakes, cuts, etc. done with The Band while he was “hiding” out in rural New York after his motorcycle accident are strictly for aficionados.

That said, for those who insist on getting their little hands on this material here is the “scoop”. From Volume One- “Odds And Ends” and "Goin' To Acapulco". From Volume Two- “Quinn The Eskimo”. From Volume Three-“Tiny Montgomery”, “Santa Fe” and “Sign Of The Cross (excellent)”. From Volume Four- “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”, “Confidential To Me” and “Bring It On Home”. From Volume Five (the album to get if you get just one)-“Four Strong Winds”, Joshua Gone Barbados” “I Forgot To Remember To Forget”, “Bells Of Rhymney”, “Spanish Is The Loving Tongue”, “Cool Water”, “Banks Of The Royal Canal”. These are all covers and very nicely done.

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