Song of the Day #1,981: ‘Pretty Saro’ – Bob Dylan

dylan_another_self_portraitBest Songs of 2013 – #11

Another Self Portrait, the latest installment of Bob Dylan’s great Bootleg Series, goes a long way toward redeeming Self Portrait, widely considered Dylan’s worst album.

Or at least it makes you wonder about the album Dylan might have released had he gone in a different direction.

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Song of the Day #1,888: ‘This Evening So Soon’ – Bob Dylan

dylan_another_self_portraitThe latest installment of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series (the tenth) is, at first glance, a bit of a head-scratcher.

Titled Another Self Portrait, it’s a collection of tracks recorded mostly for 1970’s Self Portrait, the album widely considered Dylan’s worst. That was the record that prompted critic Greil Marcus to start his infamous Rolling Stone review with the words “What is this shit?”

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Song of the Day #1,724: ‘Walls of Red Wing’ – Bob Dylan

dylan_bootlegHere’s one of those early tracks from the first volume of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series. This song was an outtake from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

Unlike many of the songs that were inexplicably left off of Dylan’s albums over the years, scrapping this one was a good choice. It’s certainly not bad, but neither does it rise to the high level of everything else on Freewheelin’.

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Song of the Day #1,668: ‘Mississippi (Alternate Take)’ – Bob Dylan

telltale_signsHere’s a nice little palate cleanser after yesterday’s Christina Aguilera electro-pop atrocity.

‘Mississippi’ is one of Bob Dylan’s greatest achievements, and thanks to the wonder of his Bootleg Series, fans now have no fewer than four versions from which to choose (not counting Sheryl Crow’s cover).

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Song of the Day #1,540: ‘Blowin’ in the Wind (Witmark Demo)’ – Bob Dylan

One of the downsides of a truly random selection — such as that of my Random Weekend Songs of the Day — is that you wind up with clusters.

I haven’t checked the numbers, but it seems like tracks from Dylan’s Bootleg Series have turned up here on a pretty regular basis. Granted, he has released nine volumes of those bootlegs — all double-CD sets — so those songs make up a healthy percentage of my music collection. Around 3 percent, to be exact.

But 3-in-100 odds aren’t exactly the sort you’d bet heavily on in Vegas. Mathematically, these songs are over-performing.

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