Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Like the Dylan Concert You Wish You Could Attend

Another day, another review as content...this CD just came out today!

This two-disc set is everything you hope you'll hear when you attend a Dylan concert. There are a few quality rarities from the Dylan songbook, the requisite traditional songs, and a lot of songs that are ordinarily recognizable to almost anyone but given a new spin. Anyone who has been to a Dylan show knows the experience of spending two or three verses trying to figure out which classic song Bob has completely re-imagined. There's nothing quite so radical here, but it's fascinating to hear all of Dylan's different takes on songs that fans know by heart. The sprawling "Desolation Row" is almost country-fied!

Because it sticks to a short time frame, 1959-1966, the tracklist of 30 songs also has time to portray Dylan's growth, from the home recordings that open the first CD to the Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 alternate takes that fill much of disc two. This is probably the most accessible of the Bootleg Series sets for casual fans, but true-blue, have-every-album fans will delight in the varied instrumentation and altered phrasing that pops up in song after song. A welcome addition to the Dylan discography!

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