Spanning six discs and 138 tracks, this volume contains all of the unreleased tracks recorded by Dylan and The Band in the basement of a house called Big Pink between May and October of 1967.
I guess that makes Triplicate the unlikeliest Bob Dylan album of them all. Not only has Dylan released his third straight album of stately covers from the Great American Songbook, this one is a three-disc set. As Rolling Stone pointed out in their review, Dylan “has now made more successive albums in this idiom than in any other style since his world-changing mid-1960s electric trinity, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.”
In the midst of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war, just after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, this was viewed as a puzzling move by an artist who just five years earlier was soundtracking the protest era with The Times They Are a’Changin’.
First of all, this requires me to have a favorite artist, which I think is an impossibility. My favorite artist at any given moment depends on what I’m listening to, my mood and a dozen other factors. Second, what exactly does “features” mean in this context? Is it the same as ‘A Song By Your Favorite Artist,’ in which case why not just say that? Or does my favorite artist have to be featured on somebody else’s track (in the now ubiquitous “feat.” sense)?
A nice Random Weekend selection today from Bob Dylan’s album The Basement Tapes, which was released in 1975 but largely recorded in 1966. Dylan was backed by members of The Band on many of these songs, which were recorded in various homes in Woodstock, New York.
‘Tears of Rage,’ the closing track of Disc One, was written by Dylan and Richard Manuel. It is widely interpreted as an indictment of American materialism in the aftermath of the Vietnam war.
I’ve praised Bob Dylan’s recent albums of standards originally performed by Frank Sinatra, though my readers generally aren’t as impressed. Today’s song comes from Dylan’s second such album, 2016’s Fallen Angels.
This time around, I’ll let professional music critics do the heavy lifting. Here are a few quotes compiled on the album’s Wikipedia page.
This pairing was the one considered inevitable by many readers, and indeed it’s the championship battle I arrived at when running through the brackets myself. It pits the most celebrated solo artist in history against the most celebrated band.