Song of the Day #4,999: ‘Wigwam (Without Overdubs)’ – Bob Dylan

Today’s random SOTD, ‘Wigwam,’ appeared on Bob Dylan’s 1970 album Self Portrait, considered by many the worst release of his career.

The version posted today is from The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971), a compilation featuring alternate tracks from Self Portrait and its follow-up from the same year, the much better received New Morning.

The new tracks do away with excessive overdubs and correct other lamentable production decisions, unearthing the far more promising album buried beneath the original Self Portrait.

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Song of the Day #4,839: ‘Crash On the Levee (Down in the Flood)’ – Bob Dylan

Today’s random track was recorded by Bob Dylan and The Band in 1967, as part of the casual sessions that were eventually released on 1975’s The Basement Tapes. Before that release, an alternate version of the song appeared on Dylan’s second greatest hits collection in 1971.

In much different form, and titled simply ‘Down in the Flood,’ this song was recorded by both The Derek Trucks Band and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

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Song of the Day #4,824: ‘Standing in the Doorway’ – Bob Dylan

Here’s a song from Bob Dylan’s great 1997 album Time Out of Mind, a “comeback” record that earned him the Album of the Year Grammy. Amazingly, this is the only Dylan release to ever win Grammy’s top honor.

‘Standing in the Doorway’ is a highlight of this elegiac album. It’s about the end of a relationship, but like most songs on Time Out of Mind, it feels like it’s just as much about the end of life.

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Song of the Day #4,809: ‘Going, Going, Gone’ – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s 1974 Planet Waves was released between the album widely considered his worst (1973’s Dylan) and one widely considered his best (1975’s Blood on the Tracks).

Planet Waves definitely falls closer to the Blood on the Tracks side of that continuum, even if it doesn’t come close to the heights of that classic. Its songs are thoughtful meditations on love and death with rich backing music provided by The Band, and it fits nicely just below the top tier of Dylan albums.

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Song of the Day #4,713: ‘Masters of War (Live)’ – Bob Dylan

Here’s a live version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War,’ recorded in 1963 at Town Hall in New York City. This song appears in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary No Direction Home and later on the Bootleg Series release of that film’s soundtrack.

Those who read my criticism of Jackson Browne’s overtly political songs might wonder why I’m not similarly dismissive of this track. And it’s a fair question.

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