The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 (Legacy)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Dec. 18, 2015
Unlike past volumes in Dylan's Bootleg Series, this one separates the casual fan from those more obsessive. In multiple configurations – 2-CD ($19.98), 3-LP ($99.98), 6-CD ($149.98), and 18-CD ($599.99) – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 covers the making of Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde, three albums that changed the way people thought about rock music (Dylan goes electric!), and all recorded in the span of 14 months: January '65 to March '66. A creative high-water mark, it's the time of "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Desolation Row," and "everybody must get stoned." The 6-disc set witnesses the studio process as it unfolded 50 years ago, particularly the CD unfolding the complete session for "Like a Rolling Stone." (The 18-CD version contains every note recorded during those 14 months.) The packaging is exquisite, with two hardbound books collecting rare photos and essays from Dylanologists Bill Flanagan and Sean Wilentz. Experience history in real time.