The Basement Tapes Ships On Vinyl

The final instalment of The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 on vinyl gets Nov 24th release

By Stephen Pate – Vinyl fans of Bob Dylan will soon be getting their reward. The 3-LP vinyl version of The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Vinyl)

has shipped from and other retailers since yesterday.

Along with the 180-gram vinyl LP’s, the box set has the 2-CD version sold as The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, along with a 12&Prime x 12&Prime booklet which has “extensive liner notes and rare photographs.”

The exact contents of the booklet are a mystery, but it probably mirrors the excellent material packaged with the The Basement Tapes Complete: Deluxe Edition, although the booklet is not bound like the 2 books in the Deluxe box set.

Whatever the contents, the vinyl box set will be highly collectible and rare.  Sony / Columbia only issue a limited number of the vinyl box sets and they hold their value or go up in value.

For example, Bootleg Series Vol. 7 No Direction Home LP Box Set is not the first run and costs between $99 and $399. I can’t say for sure but the lowest priced one looks like a bad re-print. In any event, the original pressing is gone at the low price.

The 38 tracks include the core of the new songs Bob Dylan wrote during the Basement Tapes cycle from March to October of 1967, along with the best of the covers and classic Dylan songs like “Blowin’ In The Wind.”

There is a lot of hyperbole going around on The Basement Tapes. Everyone is an instant expert on how important they are.  I eschew music as a historical artifact.  Either it entertains or it doesn’t. Personally, I don’t spend money on bad music, even if it is Bob Dylan demonstrating he knows country and rock and roll in 1967.

That out-of-the-way, The Basement Tapes are both musical and fascinating,  Some tracks on the 138-song 6-CD version are cringe worthy but even that has value. You might realize that if Dylan can record and sell music at that level, you should get out and record your own musical heritage. I’m serious.

For the 3-LP vinyl edition – The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Vinyl) it’s all great music in the vinyl format that many people appreciate more and more.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

1. Open the Door, Homer
2. Odds and Ends
3. Million Dollar Bash
4. One Too Many Mornings
5. I Don t Hurt Anymore
6. Ain’t No More Cane
7. Crash on the Levee
8. Tears of Rage
9. Dress it up, Better Have it All
10. I m Not There
11. Johnny Todd
12. Too Much of Nothing

Disc: 2

1. Quinn the Eskimo
2. Get Your Rocks Off
3. Santa-Fe
4. Silent Weekend
5. Clothes Line Saga
6. Please, Mrs. Henry
7. I Shall be Released
8. You Ain t Goin Nowhere
9. Lo and Behold!
10. Minstrel Boy
11. Tiny Montgomery
12. All You Have to do is Dream
13. Goin to Acapulco
14. 900 Miles from My Home

Disc: 3

1. One for the Road
2. I’m Alright
3. Blowin in the Wind
4. Apple Suckling Tree
5. Nothing Was Delivered
6. Folsom Prison Blues
7. This Wheel s on Fire
8. Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
9. Don’t Ya Tell Henry
10. Baby, Won t You be My Baby
11. Sign on the Cross (Unreleased)
12. You Ain’t Goin Nowhere

I don’t have my copy of the vinyl box-set yet: it’s in transit. I’ve had the complete 138 track version 20 minutes after it was released on iTunes, and the Deluxe CD box set. Both are worth owning, although the non-completist will probably not appreciate some of the jamming and partly finished tracks. The basement tapes were not intended for commercial distribution and they feel like a jam session at times.

Details from Sony Legacy Records

Also includes all the tracks on 2 CD’s Compiled from meticulously restored original tapes many found only recently this historic six-disc set is the definitive chronicle of the artist’s legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as The Band.

Among Bob Dylan’s many cultural milestones, the legendary Basement Tapes have long fascinated and enticed successive generations of musicians, fans and cultural critics alike. Having transformed music and culture during the early 1960s, Dylan reached unparalleled heights across 1965 and 1966 through the release of three historic albums, the groundbreaking watershed single “Like A Rolling Stone,” a controversial and legendary ‘electric’ performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and wildly polarizing tours of the United States, Europe and the UK. Dylan’s mercurial rise and prodigious outpouring of work during that decade came to an abrupt halt in July 1966 when he was reported to have been in a serious motorcycle accident.

Recovering from his injuries and away from the public eye for the first time in years, Dylan ensconced himself,along with Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and, later, Levon Helm, in the basement of a small house, dubbed “Big Pink” by the group, in West Saugerties, New York. This collective recorded more than a hundred songs over the next several months including traditional covers, wry and humorous ditties, off-the cuff performances and, most important, dozens of newly-written Bob Dylan songs, including future classics “I Shall Be Released,” “The Mighty Quinn,” “This Wheel’s On Fire” and “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.”

When rumors and rare acetates of some of these recordings began surfacing, it created a curiosity strong enough to fuel an entirely new segment of the music business: the bootleg record. In 1969, an album mysteriously titled Great White Wonder began showing up in record shops around the country, and Dylan’s music from the summer of 1967 began seeping into the fabric of popular culture, penetrating the souls of music lovers everywhere. With each passing year, more and more fans sought out this rare contraband, desperate to hear this new music from the legendary Bob Dylan.

The actual recordings, however, remained commercially unavailable until 1975, when Columbia Records released a scant 16 of them on The Basement Tapes album (that album also included eight new songs by The Band, without Dylan).

A critical and popular success, The Basement Tapes went Top 10 in the US and UK.

Over the years, the songs on The Basement Tapes have haunted and perplexed fans, with the recordings themselves representing a Holy Grail for Dylanologists. What’s on the rest of those reels?

The Basement Tapes Complete brings together, for the first time ever, every salvageable recording from the tapes including recently discovered early gems recorded in the “Red Room” of Dylan’s home in upstate New York. Garth Hudson worked closely with Canadian music archivist and producer Jan Haust to restore the deteriorating tapes to pristine sound, with much of this music preserved digitally for the first time.

The decision was made to present The Basement Tapes Complete as intact as possible. Also, unlike the official 1975 release, these performances are presented as close as possible to the way they were originally recorded and sounded back in the summer of 1967. The tracks on The Basement Tapes Complete run in mostly chronological order based on Garth Hudson’s numbering system.

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5 / 5 stars     
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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