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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Song of the Day #1,533: ‘Seven Days’ – Bob Dylan

I had just listened to several songs from Tempest, Bob Dylan’s newest album (review to come), when I clicked the ‘shuffle’ button to choose my next Random Weekend selection.

And there was Bob again, 36 years earlier, performing a song that didn’t make it onto any of his 35 studio albums.

According to the Bootleg Series liner notes, Dylan performed ‘Seven Days’ only five times, during his celebrated Rolling Thunder tour. One of those is captured here in stirring fashion.

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Song of the Day #1,519: ‘Dink’s Song’ – Bob Dylan

Volume 7 of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series is the companion soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s excellent Dylan documentary No Direction Home.

The album, like the film, traces Dylan’s development as an artist from his earliest days through his electric phase, culminating with the famous “Royal Albert Hall” concert where an angry fan yelled out “Judas!”

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Song of the Day #1,506: ‘Need a Woman’ – Bob Dylan

Today’s Random Weekends selection is a track from Volume 3 of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series.

Before the Dylan-philes jump down my throat about the incorrect lyrics I’ve included below, understand that I have just included the “official” lyrics to this song posted on Dylan’s own website. He obviously changed them quite a bit when recording the track, but I like to offer both in order to explore the contrast.

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Song of the Day #798: ‘Like a Rolling Stone (Live)’ – Bob Dylan

I’ve read comments from Dylan fans along the lines of “If I had access to a time machine, the ‘Royal Albert Hall’ concert is the moment in history I’d revisit.” As for me, I’d probably opt for sometime during the Roman Empire, but I can appreciate the sentiment. Certainly it would have been something to watch this concert live, both for the music and the history.

Yesterday I featured the performance that closed Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There and today I’m moving to the song that closes Martin Scorsese’s fabulous Dylan documentary No Direction Home. (If you haven’t seen that film, do so immediately.)

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