Bob Dylan

More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 (Legacy / Sony / Columbia)

Top 10 Box Sets of 2018

These 87 tracks in a 6-CD bundle deliver an all-encompassing purge of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks studio sessions. Only amateur Dylan devotees will reach for the single-disc release of the highlights. The deluxe edition, meanwhile, offers a sometimes painful, often revelatory deep dive into how Zimmy's finest Seventies album awkwardly ripened to perfection.

The first take, attempted on Sept. 16, 1974, at New York's A&R Studios, is a strongly-strummed solo rendition of "If You See Her, Say Hello," after which producer Phil Ramone can be heard on the talk-back microphone: "That's really nice!" Not all of Blood on the Tracks' songs sprouted so evergreen. Later that day, Dylan and a backing quartet evidence real trouble while logging nine consecutive attempts of "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" at varying tempos and with drums that are so unfitting that Dylan abruptly halts some takes.

The collection's chronological sequencing, over four days in NYC and two at Minneapolis' Sound 80 Studios, shows how "Tangled Up in Blue" – cut 10 times, originally with second-person lyrics and a slow, front-heavy rhythm – wasn't a stroke of genius, but a work slowly materializing from unremarkable to perfectly transcendent. Such seminal versions make "the voice of a generation" seem unusually mortal at times, but the set overflows with amusing and inspired outtakes, alternate lyrics, and mumbled rehearsal runs.

More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 also validates Bob's brother's urging to scrap and drastically rerecord five songs last minute. It's all especially enlightening if you have the blood and guts to listen to the collection in one sitting.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Bob Dylan
Books, Box Sets & Reviews
Bob Dylan
Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (Record Review)

Scott Jordan, Dec. 6, 2019

Heart-Shaped Box Sets
Bob Dylan
Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 8, 2017

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Kevin Curtin
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re playing

July 10, 2020

Watch: Urban Heat’s “Running Out of Time”
Watch: Urban Heat’s “Running Out of Time”
Pandemic fosters a literally post-punk ATX trio

July 6, 2020


Bob Dylan, Gift Guide 2018

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle