Pass it Around
"If I made records for my own pleasure, I would only record Charley Patton songs." - Bob Dylan
The Best Album of the Year is over 40 Years Old. First Listen Another Self-Portrait
I have already heard enough (two sides) to believe the best album of the year is over 40 years old. That I have the Dylan performance from Isle of Wight left still (complete with a Trademark of Quality logo on the disc!) is a bonus indeed. What a different opinion we would have had if Dylan had released this material way back when. What a different opinion we would have had if we weren't, at the time, en masse, ignorant consumers without the smarts to appreciate the songs, the life, the gift we had been given from the history of recorded sound Dylan had access to as a performer, scholar and fan of that which preceded him.
How fortunate we are to have this set available. How it missed the hand of the bootleggers then is a mystery, but that it has come to light now is yet another remarkable gift from likely the most important artist of the 20th century. Listen and learn. Don't rush to judgement (as so many did back then.)
If you haven't purchased, or seen, the giant box…buy it. This is the best of the Dylan reissue packages yet, and it is without doubt the Grammy-nominated "best historical release" of the year. Like the Basement tapes? This is essential. All the camaraderie is there, in the studio this time, with pros just as thrilled to be making music as the fellows were in the basement.
More than anything else, besides that Dylan has an uncanny way of leaving the best off his commercial releases, is the rich, deep world this set of discs opens for us now. "Oh My Goodness" indeed.
Listen to Ben Keith. The warmth of the analog recordings, the bass. That voice. I think we should all be ashamed of our earlier judgement, our rush to dismiss and the lessons we missed by our ill-conceived dismissal. At least I am.