Pass it Around
"If I made records for my own pleasure, I would only record Charley Patton songs." - Bob Dylan
BIG Summer for Bob Dylan and the Band Box Set Releases 0f 2013
Two big pieces of Band news coming this summer. First is the tenth entry in the official bootleg series Bob Dylan's label has been putting together…this consisting of outtakes from the Self-Portrait and New Morning long players of 1970. New Morning is notable for Bob's only "Jazz" tune (If Dogs Run Free)…and Self-Portrait notable for a haphazard everything. BOTH have shining gems…but the real bonus is that the expensive deluxe version will release the complete performance with the Band at Isle of Wight, Dylan's first extensive gig since retiring to upstate New York to work on family, sanity and health rather than his touring career.
The Band stuck with Dylan after the legendary tours of 1965 and 1966. Grossman paid their bills and they were at Dylan's call. When Dylan didn't have something to try out (such as no less than the staggering group of recordings which emerged over the years as the Basement Tapes) the Band developed their own mature style. Well...most of them anyway...Levon went to work on an oil rig in a huff, but came back for the gigs.
While they backed Dylan at the Woody Guthrie benefit (which would have also been nice to have on the deluxe Another Self Portrait release) Isle of Wight was a big paycheck and he took it. The performance is neither Dylan's or the Band's best performance, but it is interesting…and it should have been released decades ago. It HAS, of course, appeared on numerous bootlegs, and a track was on the original Self Portrait. It will be interesting to see if they clean it up (or even if they have a master tape which will add the depth and quality lacking on the boots)
The second big news is the upcoming release of the famed (to some, anyway) try-outs which resulted in one of the greatest live albums of all time, Rock of Ages. To record that live album, the Band hired Allen Touissant, brought him up north to score brass charts and set up for a few days at the Academy of Music in 1971. Rock of Ages is truly the best Band Lp, and much of the material which was not included on the official release has been available on the "Academy of Outtakes" bootleg CD. To have any or all released officially is a treat.
Wild Wolf released 25 tracks from the shows not on the official Rock of Ages release as well as a rehearsal a few days earlier at Ultra-sonic studios. It truly is the Band at their peak.
BOTH box sets will be fascinating. This is the glory days of the enhanced CD box. Here's at tip for you collectors. The most rare recording packages and product are always those produced at the end of a certain technology. They are pressed in lesser quantities and are eventually much more scarce. An example is the recent Duane Allman box set. Pressed in a limited edition of 10,000, it sold out and is now trading for some four hundred dollars. The two products here will not be limited editions, but still, when a technology is dying, less folks purchase them Ultimately, that will result in fewer available copies for collectors and historians years from now.
Books and $5.99 ebooks by Jim Linderman are available for purchase or preview HERE