Monday, July 2, 2018

Paradiso A Basso Prezzo - 1973 - Paradiso A Basso Prezzo

Paradiso A Basso Prezzo 
1973 
Paradiso A Basso Prezzo 



01. Preludio e Castastrofe (11:24)
02. Ai Raggi del Sole Morente (14:28)
03. Danza di Zingara (17:04)
04. Spleen XVII (7:41)
05. Caino nel Tempo (6:07)

- Ugo Wuillermin / piano, acoustic guitar, flute, vocals
- Paolo Manfrin / keyboards, vocals
- Maurizio Baldassari / guitar, vocals
- Sergio Cardellina / bass
- Guidi Gressani / drums

Recorded live at Arc-en-ciel, Saint Vincent on December 26, 1973



 I dream about nights like this. Those of us who are hard core fans of Italian prog (RPI) often think about the magic year of 1973. While the early 70s were a difficult time socially for Italy, musically speaking this was an absolute high point (time and place) for progressive music. We RPI fanatics in other parts of the world, too young to have been there, fantasize at the thoughts of seeing the big Italian prog festivals of the day, when bands like this would get up on a stage for a chance to play their opus of the ages to huge crowds of open-minded young people. As a fan of the rough and tumble "difficult" branch of Italian prog, I dream of the chance of hearing the most challenging RPI bands play live in that time period. Those shows are not exactly easy to find. And while this show was not recorded at one of the well-known open-air festivals, it is a fantastic live document of a magical RPI night from 1973. Thank God yet again for Mellow Records for the rescue of this show.

History and influences: The time was December the 26th, 1973, the place was Arc-en-ciel, Saint Vincent, in northern Italy. Guido Gressani (the band's drummer) tells me the crowd was good-sized and the band was tense, as they were there to perform their concept album in its entirety. The one hour long set on this CD was to be their grand conceptual work entitled "Pika Dòn Hiroshima" and they had interest from Number One Records to release it. Unfortunately the band split up in 1975 before they were able to do so-and while it is tragic that this material never had benefit of a studio recording, I cherish this live show. Paradiso a Basso Prezzo ("Cheap Heaven") was influenced by the usual suspects of Crimson, Floyd, Zappa, Genesis, and Tull, along with fellow Italians Area, Orme, and PFM. Among many live performances they toured with The Trip-Guido remembered fondly how the band was treated as "superstars" even though they were the supporting act. He recalled jamming with Giulio Capiozzo (Area) and Franz Di Cioccio (PFM) at other shows while waiting for their sets to begin. The band formed in 1971 and the first line-up of Maurizio Baldassarri/guitar, Dario Cardellina/bass, Corrado Pivot/drum, Paolo Manfrin/keyboard, and Gianni Bruna/vocals lasted until 1972. The final line-up which is present on the album saw Sergio Cardellina assume the bass, Guido Gressani take over the drums, and Ugo Wuillermin handle e-piano, flute, acoustic guitar, and vocals. Bruna appears in a small role on the PBP album. They always performed original material and never were into covers like many bands begin with. The material for the album was written by Baldassarri, Wuillermin, and Manfrin. The group split up in 1975.

Music: This live album consists of 5 highly exploratory extended tracks ranging from 6-17 minutes in length. At different moments they can remind me of psych-era Pink Floyd, New Trolls (Tempi Dispari album), Deep Purple, Il Giro Strano, The Doors, or even Krautrock sometimes. Preludio e catastrofe opens the album with chirping birds followed by the most cacophonous guitar screechings of Baldassari, creating something of a dark-moment Zeppelin/Crimson/Doors feel. Thematically it's an interpretation of the universal questions of life, death, and man's spiritual meaning. Gressani and Cardellina do a nice job throughout of keeping the rhythm grounded during the moments of craziness foisted on them by the other musicians. I'm not sure where Baldassari and Manfrin find some of these cryptic sounds but they can get really "out there." Ai raggi del sole morente (Beneath the rays of the dying sun) is my favorite track and I consider it a masterpiece. This track reminds me very much of the powerful live versions of "Saucerful of Secrets" the Floyd used to perform around 68-70. A spoken word intro by former vocalist Gianni Bruna floats over classic RPI-flavored piano play, as dramatic crescendos ensue. Then a weaving flute comes into a very murky section that builds tension, finally exploding with the intense banshee vocals of Ugo Wuillermin, who I kid you not, can hit the high-end screech just like Ian Gillan. It is really strange how much this repeating e-piano (I think) low/high chord pattern sounds just like the part in "Don't Leave Me Now" from The Wall, though this music preceded it by 6 years. The whole track beautifully finds music for what feels like the process of dying, a very eerie and poignant affair. The track climaxes with a sweeping "Saucerful" sound of a descending organ runs and more spoken word narration by Bruna. Chilling and exciting RPI track it is. Next comes the 17 minute monster that is Danza di zingara (Gypsy Dance) and this is the one for those who lit up in the parking lot. This is a jazzy number with a relentless bass riff which goes on forever and reminds of the trippy fusion the likes of the "Tempi Dispari" Trolls or even Cincinatto. Gressani nails some amazing drum fills and the jamming is very spirited. The last 4 minutes are the most interesting with spacey keyboards coming in waves and finishing with the birds again. Spleen LXXVII sounds like it has a harpsichord opening (though one is not credited) moving to brisk keyboard/flute workouts. This is followed by sad vocals and some nice organ/flute work evoking haunted dark-ages forests and regal renaissance vibes. Caino nel tempo closes the album with wonderful classical piano and vocals a la Quella Vecchia Locanda, then to a heavier Deep Purple-like rock before flute interludes take us to a fade ending that sounds as if it was cut early. I have to wonder if there was a bit more to this recording that got chopped off. Unfortunately, Guido tells me this single Mellow release is the only recorded work of this sadly underappreciated band. Overall the music searches and is for people who enjoy the process of musical exploration over more obvious attempts at composition that is easily assimilated. In other words, you won't be humming these tracks after one play but if you like weirdness you'll sure as hell be intrigued.

Sound: There are two ways to view the sound quality of this rare live recording. Glass half empty or glass half full? Sure, by today's standards this is a real mess. Recorded in a somewhat primitive manner there are plenty of technical problems, not the least of which is very audible crowd noise in the soft spots. Thankfully it is talking and not screaming, still I'd love to choke these kinds of people who can't shut their piehole when artists are trying to perform for them. There are also moments of over-saturation that occur, yet I happen to be a glass half-full kind of guy regarding sound quality of archival recordings. I am thankful that someone (Mauro and Ciro again) had the insight to release this amazing music, warts and all. I accept the sound issues as part of the price for a chance to hear a very rare and very good RPI band perform live during the peak of the movement. The highs and lows of the frequency range are intact so in that sense this is a much better recording than other archival efforts like Giro Strano, the problem here is simply some glitches and those in the crowd chatting away. Bottom line, if you love this kind of music, don't let the "oh the sound is bad" wussies scare you away from a great time.

Conclusion: The rather brief booklet contains lyrics and five great stills of the band members, including Baldassarri playing his Les with a bow and Wuillermin playing two saxes at once. The rear panel photo shows PBP on the steps of the ancient Roman Theater at D'aosto. Today Mr. Gressani is an architect who still performs in a jazz quintet and collaborated on compositions with PBP keyboardist Paolo Manfrin. I thank Guido for taking the time to communicate with me about this special time. I heartily recommend this live recording to anyone into the "difficult" branch of RPI or anyone who likes a rather rough and tumble mix of different styles with improvisation. Not for those who like it safe or soft. It's 4 stars for this writer.

Q: What are your thoughts today looking back on the special period of Italian prog of the early '70s?

Guido Gressani: "I think that the period of Italian progressive of the early '70s was a magic time: the people were open to any musical proposal and the musicians invented the musical language---every band was special!"

Indeed.

Bob Dylan - 2015 - The 50th Anniversary Collection 1965

Bob Dylan
2015
The 50th Anniversary Collection 1965



February 17, 1965 (Les Crane Show, WABC-TV Studios, New York City, New York
001. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:24
002. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:25
March 27, 1965 (Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California
003. To Ramona 4:22
004. Gates of Eden 7:13
005. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:11
006. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:34
007. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 4:04
008. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:27
009. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:27
010. With God On Our Side [incomplete] 1:22
011. She Belongs To Me 3:36
012. It Ain't Me, Babe [incomplete] 1:10
013. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll [incomplete] 0:20
014. All I Really want To Do 2:22
015. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:41
April 30, 1965 (The Oval, City Hall, Sheffield, England
016. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:25
017. To Ramona 4:24
018. Gates Of Eden 6:58
019. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:54
020. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 8:02
021. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 4:36
022. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:06
023. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:49
024. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:56
025. With God On Our Side 4:49
026. She Belongs To Me 4:24
027. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:44
028. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:06
029. All I Really Want To Do 2:44
030. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 5:04
May 1, 1965 (Odeon, Liverpool, England)
031. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:03
032. To Ramona 4:25
033. Gates Of Eden 7:10
034. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:21
035. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:54
036. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:59
037. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:47
038. Talkin' World War III blues [incomplete] 4:25
039. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 4:07
040. With God On Our Side 4:46
041. She Belongs To Me 3:57
042. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:56
043. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:23
044. All I Really Want To Do 2:51
045. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 5:07
May 2, 1965 (De Montfort Hall, Leicester, England)
046. The Times They Are A-Changin' 2:55
047. To Ramona 4:21
048. Gates Of Eden 6:58
049. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:14
050. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:40
051. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:59
052. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:44
053. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:36
054. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:52
055. With God On Our Side 4:52
056. She Belongs To Me 4:08
057. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:50
058. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:20
059. All I Really Want To Do 2:35
060. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:52
May 5, 1965 (Town Hall, Birmingham, England)
061. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:15
062. To Ramona 4:05
063. Gates Of Eden 6:52
064. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:19
065. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:41
066. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 4:21
067. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:02
068. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:40
069. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 4:02
070. With God On Our Side 4:49
071. She Belongs To Me 4:14
072. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:41
073. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:33
074. All I Really Want To Do 2:56
075. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:41
May 6, 1965 (City Hall, Newcastle, England)
076. The Times They Are A-changin' 2:57
077. To Ramona 4:10
078. Gates Of Eden 6:51
079. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:11
080. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:44
081. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:57
082. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:26
083. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:21
084. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right [partial false start, complete] 4:39
085. With God On Our Side 5:05
086 She Belongs To Me 4:23
087 It Ain't Me, Babe 4:10
088 The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:34
089 All I Really Want To Do 2:51
090 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:54
May 7, 1965 (Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England)
091. The Times They Are A-Changin' 2:59
092. To Ramona 4:30
093. Gates Of Eden 6:50
094. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:28
095. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:50
096. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 4:14
097. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:02
098. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:27
099. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:32
100. With God On Our Side 5:04
101. She Belongs To Me 4:01
102. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:56
103. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:32
104. All I Really Want To Do 2:46
105. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 5:00
May 8, 1965 (Savoy Hotel, London, England)
106. She Belongs To Me 2:48
May 9, 1965 (Royal Albert Hall, London, England)
107. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:10
108. To Ramona 4:36
109. Gates Of Eden 7:08
110. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:15
111. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 8:11
112. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:53
113. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:19
114. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:36
115. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:36
116. With God On Our Side 5:03
117. She Belongs To Me 3:37
118. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:53
119. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:19
120. All I Really Want To Do 2:42
121. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 5:05
May 10, 1965 (Royal Albert Hall, London, England)
122. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:17
123. To Ramona 4:07
124. Gates Of Eden 7:11
125. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:13
126. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) [dropouts] 7:34
127. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:37
128. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:50
129. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:32
130. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:58
131. With God On Our Side 4:54
132. She Belongs To Me 4:19
133. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:47
134. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:32
135. All I Really Want To Do 2:40
136. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:57
June 1, 1965 (BBC Studios, London, England)
137. Ballad Of Hollis Brown 4:52
138. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:55
139. Gates Of Eden 6:50
140. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:34
141. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 6:03
142. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:51
143. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:39
144. One Too Many Mornings 4:00
145. Boots Of Spanish Leather 6:21
146. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) 8:35
147. She Belongs To Me 4:25
148. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:58
July 24, 1965 (Contemporary Songs Workshop, Newport Folk Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island)
149. Tombstone Blues 5:25
July 25, 1965 (Newport Folk Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island)
150. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry 3:29
August 28, 1965 (Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Queens, New York)
151. She Belongs To Me 4:05
152. To Ramona 4:22
153. Gates Of Eden 6:31
154. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:36
155. Desolation Row 9:31
156. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 5:01
157. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:36
158. Tombstone Blues 5:37
159. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) 4:38
160. From A Buick 6 3:14
161. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues 5:22
162. Maggie's Farm 4:42
163. It Ain't Me, Babe 4:34
164. Ballad Of A Thin Man 5:41
165. Like A Rolling Stone 5:59
September 3, 1965 (Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California)
166. She Belongs To Me 3:44
167. To Ramona 4:00
168. Gates Of Eden 6:13
169. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:48
170. Desolation Row 9:38
171. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 3:38
172. Mr. Tambourine Man 5:41
173. Tombstone Blues [incomplete] 4:37
174. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) 4:19
175. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues 4:47
176. From A Buick 6 2:57
177. Maggie's Farm 4:19
178. It Ain't Me, Babe 4:13
179. Ballad Of A Thin Man 5:38
180. Like A Rolling Stone 5:31
October 29 or 31, 1965 (Back Bay Theater, Boston, Massachusetts)
181. Tombstone Blues [dropouts] 4:46
182. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) [incomplete] 2:02
183. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down [partial, intro clipped] 3:24
184. Ballad Of A Thin Man [partial, intro clipped, dropouts and tape speed varies] 5:15
October 30, 1965 (Bushnell Memorial Hall, Hartford, CT)
185. She Belongs To Me 3:21
186. To Ramona [incomplete] 0:18
187. Gates Of Eden [incomplete] 0:25
188. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 4:51
189. Desolation Row [incomplete] 0:16
190. Love Minus Zero / No Limit [incomplete] 0:49
191. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:36
192. Tombstone Blues 5:21
193. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down 3:19
194. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues [incomplete] 0:238
195. Maggie's Farm 3:56
196. It Ain't Me, Babe 5:27
197. Ballad Of A Thin Man [incomplete] 0:47
198. Positively 4th Street 4:29
199. Like A Rolling Stone 2:52
December 4, 1965 (Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California)
200. Tombstone Blues [incomplete] 4:54
201. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) 5:04
202. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down 3:55
203. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues 5:35
204. Long Distance Operator 3:45
205. It Ain't Me, Babe 5:33
206. Ballad Of A Thin Man 5:34
207. Positively 4th Street 4:33
208. Like A Rolling Stone 5:55

Bass Guitar – Harvey Brooks (tracks: 158 - 165; 173 - 180), Rick Danko (tracks: 181 - 184; 192 - 208)
Drums – Bobby Gregg (tracks: 200 - 208), Levon Helm (tracks: 158 - 165; 173 - 199)
Electric Guitar – Robbie Robertson (tracks: 158 - 165; 173 - 184; 192 - 208)
Organ – Al Kooper (tracks: 158 - 165; 173 - 180), Garth Hudson (tracks: 181 - 184; 192 - 208)
Piano – Richard Manuel (tracks: 181 - 208)
Solo Vocal, Acoustic Guitar – Bob Dylan (tracks: 106)
Solo Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica – Bob Dylan (tracks: 1 - 105; 107 - 149; 151 - 157; 166 - 172; 185 - 191)
Vocals, Electric Guitar, Harmonica – Bob Dylan (tracks: 158 - 165; 173 - 184; 192 - 208)
Notes
"208 Live tracks consisting of close to sixteen (16) hours of previously unreleased Dylan performances from his landmark 1965 touring schedule, including fourteen (14) concerts, acoustic & electric, and an array of recordings from tv broadcasts, hotel rooms and other live appearances"

Presumably written before later releases


It is never a good time to be a shelf in the home of a rapacious Bob Dylan collector — as if there were any other kind — for you will buckle under the strain of the most recent "gotta have it" box set heaped upon your back. The latest collection to fit that bill is The Cutting Edge: 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12, which you likely have in one of three forms now that the Christmas season is over: the two-disc version, the six-disc whopper or the 18-disc mega-whopper containing every note of music Dylan made in the studio over those two galvanic years, retailing in a limited edition set of 5,000 for $600.

Is there any way on earth such a purchase is worth it? Two points: We're talking a period here when Dylan was at the level of Shakespeare in 1599, Mozart in 1787, Keats in 1819, the Beatles in 1963, Monet in 1916. Which is to say, an all-timer level even for the all-timers. And consider this: Purchasers of the ultimate shelf-buckler box received another box of sorts, this time in the form of a link that gave you 208 live cuts from 1965 to download.

The fidelity varies massively, from "I just heard a musician's boot squeaking on the floor" quality to making you feel like you're out there with Alan Lomax in the 1940s as he sets up his microphone in a shack to get Son House's latest musical thoughts on tape. The material spans 14 concerts. Some of the gigs are all acoustic, with others in the second half of the year mixing in a goodly helping of electric medicine, too. That this digital box is its own kind of museum piece naturally imbues the 18-disc set with better value, and makes a purchase more justifiable if you're fortunate enough even to be considering the outlay of cash. Better move spryly, though: Only 125 copies or so remain. But let's pick through the treasures of the in-concert add-on, manna to be had a long ways off from those studio walls.

"She Belongs to Me": May 8th, Savoy Hotel, London
A live song, after a fashion, but very informally so. This is Dylan in a hotel room. There's something about travel, and living for a spell in a room not your own, that inspires some wistfulness. The title is a cheat; this woman clearly doesn't belong to the singer at all, but in this performance, you can hear just how much her essence is twined with the singer's heart. A different mode of belonging, then. Various hangers-on are there to sing along. After the first couple lines, though, Dylan is gone, off on his own journey. At which point everyone shuts up and lets the man do his thing. It is his reverie. You simply listen in.

"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues": September 3rd, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Matters are getting rawked up significantly, as autumn draws near and Robbie Robertson cuts dense, geometric patterns on his guitar that prefigure the even denser patterns to come next spring on tour in England. The arrangement is looser in this instance, with more space to push around, and a slightly unsure backbeat rather than a soul-subsuming groove. Dylan isn't fully committed to the melismas that would later stretch over several bars, but the song has never had more of a Pied Piper quality, something more akin to a dandified Parisian playfulness than a black night of the soul in Mexico.

"Love Minus Zero/No Limit": May 1st, Odeon, Liverpool
Dylan could really stud it up in the home of the Beatles: His May 1966 gig there might be the finest of his career. The spring 1965 tour was an all-acoustic one, documented most famously in D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back. There you got the behind-the-scenes drama and feel of the man and his world. Now we have the music divorced from cinematic images, and flush with images born of timbre, lyric, delivery, metaphor. An underrated song, "Love Minus Zero" was always reliable in concert. It lilts more than just about anything Dylan ever wrote, and a song that lilts helps foster synergy between artist and audience. And while he's no Little Walter, there weren't a lot of harmonica players who could make a harmonica sound like it was caressing you, as Dylan does here.

"I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)" (incomplete): October 29th or 31st, Back Bay Theater, Boston
Well — isn't this fidelity rough-and-ready. Boxy, distorted, crackly. With a truncated performance, no less. No matter. The electric arrangement of "I Don't Believe You" — and the gods of electricity are doing their thing here — has always housed a lot of pain. If you've known loss that came sans closure, explanation, sanity, you've known what Dylan is working his way through here. The sound quality is also ether-y, like ghosts have descended into this hall in a tony Boston neighborhood. That the song cuts off abruptly only seems to dovetail with the experience it has been documenting.

"Positively 4th Street"/"Like a Rolling Stone": December 4th, Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley
Yes, we are cheating: two for the price of one here. Besides, the theme is continuous with the two cuts that close this performance: bitterness that goes so far beyond mere carping as to signal a victory for carrying on, busting your ass and believing in what you think you can do. Even if no one else really does. "Positively 4th Street" is the venom, the expulsion of bad juju, "Like a Rolling Stone" a serving of notice. When Dylan really opens up his throat for the first "How does it feel?" refrain, you detect more blues than later performances possessed. What fascinates, too, is hearing Dylan settle into a kind of private groove as performances like these go along. A man sharing a secret with himself, that moment of "ah, that's how I can sing those two lines." The gestation of genius in real time.

"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue": May 6th, City Hall, Newcastle, England
Here Dylan offers a set-closing performance of one of his most elegiac numbers. There is an extra measure in the guitar intro that adds a further beat of expectancy. That Dylan mixes metaphors matters not a jot in a song like this. Life mixes them, too. So away we go, and thanks, everyone, for coming out.

June 1st, BBC Studios, London
Full gig, fully awesome gig. The sound quality lacks for top end, and there's a shellac aspect, as if Dylan is performing inside an old 78, but what a blend of peace and power. "Mr. Tambourine Man" sounds folkier than usual, a coffee-house ode to a more bucolic, beckoning place, but one that won't be encountered for some time yet. "It Ain't Me, Babe" has more regret than bile — which is not the song's normal M.O. — and makes the sonic case that unrequited love is the bravest love of all. And then there is "One Too Many Mornings," which could have soundtracked The Iliad, it sounds so freakin' ancient, eternal, and of its moment. Of any moment.

"Tombstone Blues": July 24th, Contemporary Songs Workshop, Newport Folk Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island
Bob the pedagogue! You have to love the idea of an acoustic "Tombstone Blues" — electric bulldozer that it normally is — as part of a workshop. Dylan sings it totally straight, which makes him, and his audience, crack up a few times. This was when it was all changing. The going electric and all of that. Here you can hear why it had to change. It's akin to one of those record-store performances where the dude who is going to be rocking out across town later that night serves up a few stripped-down performances. You have the sense that Dylan, also, is making a point. A sort of "I can do it like this, people, or I can do it up large and blow your fucking minds."

"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright": May 5th, Town Hall, Birmingham, England
A Slim Harpo harmonica shuffle to start, some Hank Williams chording, some Woody Guthrie moxie and then pure Dylan. The NYC version of the song from the Halloween before started with a lot of mirth, before the emotional unburdening got underway, but this might be the most upbeat version of the song Dylan ever performed. It has the ring of a man looking back and able to retell a life event free of rancor, even if rancor had — judging by the lyrics — been a longtime bedside companion. There is whimsy, too, in the harmonica break. This is Schubert's Winter Journey rendered in the colors of mid-spring, in the gait of one having moved on from what one had to move on from.

August 28th, Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Queens
We're going full-gig again, and it's a doozy: half acoustic, half electric, Dylan in portions of two worlds, linking up both. The sound quality may displease you, but do yourself a favor and try and acclimate yourself to it. If you're a bootleg collector, you've heard way, way worse. "Desolation Row" has everyone laughing in the space of its first few lines. "Ho ho, Dylan's being funny" is the vibe, but the audience — which sounds so young — is forcing the chuckles. But the song starts going deeper. It's not just about whether Cinderella is a slattern or someone has their hands down their pants or that Romeo is a sort of nebbish tool. The laughter dwindles as the narrative unfolds and Dylan winds his way to the utterly shattering last verse of this performance. The year's earlier lessons and explorations throughout the various iterations of "She Belongs to Me," "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," step forward like battle-tested soldiers ready to take on the next front. Sometimes it's just time to step back and behold the assemblage and count what is there to be counted. And by the time we get to this gig out in Queens, there are some magical metrics at play, and so very much to process.

Bob Dylan - 2014 - The 50th Anniversary Collection 1964

Bob Dylan 
2014 
The 50th Anniversary Collection 1964



CBC TV Studios, Toronto, Canada, February 1, 1964
101. The Times They Are A Changin' 2:36
102. Talking World War III Blues 4:53
103. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 5:27
104. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall 6:02
105. Restless Farewell 5:03
NBC Studios "Steve Allen Show" Los Angeles, California, February 25, 1964
106. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 6:35
Eric Von Schmidt's House, 532 Beach Roadm Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida May 1964
All Tracks Performed By Bob Dylan And Eric Von Schmidt
107. Bob And Eric Blues #1 6:35
108. Black Betty 1:22
109. Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies 4:48
110. Florida Woman 2:58
111. Johnny Cuckoo 3:47
112. Money Honey 3:34
113. More And More 4:00
114. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:11
115. Suzie Q 5:36
116. Harmonica Duet 2:27
117. Glory Glory 3:08

Eric Von Schmidt's House, 532 Beach Roadm Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida May 1964
201. Dr. Strangelove Blues 5:45
202. Stoned On The Mountain 1:35
203. Stoned On The Mountain 3:28
204. Walkin' Down The Line 3:00
205. Joshua Gone Barbados 4:03
BBC Studios, London, England, May 12, 1964
206. With God On Our Side 2:00
Didsbury Studios, Manchester, England May 14, 1964
207. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:15
Royal Festival Hall, London, England May 17, 1964
208. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:35
209. Girl From The North Country 3:49
210. Who Killed Davey Moore? 3:17
211. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues 3:28
212. Ballad Of Hollis Brown 5:55
213. It Ain't Me, Babe 4:29
214. Walls Of Red Wing 4:00
215. Chimes Of Freedom 7:32
216. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:37
217. Eternal Circle 2:59

Royal Festival Hall, London, England May 17, 1964
301. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall 7:44
302. Talkin' World War III Blues 5:41
303. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 5:08
304. Only A Pawn In Their Game 5:47
305. With God On Your Side 6:20
306. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 6:54
307. Restless Farewell 7:13
308. When The Ship Comes In (Encore) 3:39
Columbia Studios, New York, New York June 9, 1964
309. Denise 3:01
310. It Ain't Me, Babe # 1 2:07
311. Spanish Harlem Incident # 3 3:09
312. Spanish Harlem Incident T# 3 1:31
313. Ballad In Plain D # 2 2:02
314. I Don't Believe You # 1 4:07
315. I Don't Believe You # 3 3:56

Columbia Studios, New York, New York June 9, 1964
401. Chimes Of Freedom # 1 3:12
402. Chimes Of Freedom # 3 3:07
403. Mr. Tambourine Man # 1 0:46
404. Black Crow Blues # 1 1:20
405. Black Crow Blues # 2 3:48
406. I Shall Be Free No. 10 # 1 0:50
407. I Shall Be Free No. 10 # 2 3:17
408. I Shall Be Free No. 10 # 3 5:09
409. I Shall Be Free No. 10 # 4 4:43
Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island July 24, 1964. Newport Folk Festival Afternoon Workshop
410. It Ain't Me, Babe 3:47
Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island July 24, 1964. Newport Folk Festival Evening
411. All I Really Want To Do 3:40
412. To Ramona 4:25
Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York, New York August 8, 1964 (Joan Baez Concert)
413. Mama, You Been On My Mind 2:35
414. It AIn't Me, Babe 3:51
415. With God On Our Side 5:33
Town Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania October 10, 1964
416. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:33
417. Girl From The North Country 4:06
418. Who Killed Davey Moore? 3:40
419. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues 4:12
420. To Ramona 5:11
421. Ballad Of Hollis Brown 5:48

Town Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania October 10, 1964
501. Chimes Of Freedom 7:18
502. I Don't Believe You 4:18
503. It's Alright, MA (I'm Only Bleeding 9:54
504. Mr. Tambourine Man 7:00
505. Talkin' World War III Blues 5:39
506. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall 7:44
507. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 4:20
508. Only A Pawn In Their Game 4:53
509. With God On Our Side 6:35
510. It Ain't Me, Babe 4:25
511. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll 6:19
512. All I Really Want To Do 3:20

Masonic Memorial Auditorium, San Francisco, California November 27, 1964
601. Gates Of Eden 6:04
602. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:54
603. It's Alright, MA (I'm Only Bleeding) 8:26
604. Talkin' World War III Blues 5:29
605. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 4:03
606. Mama, You Been On My Mind With Joan Baez 2:17
Civic Auditorium, San José, California November 25, 1964
607. The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:17
608. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues 3:36
609. To Ramona 4:20
610. Gates Of Eden 7:34
611. If You Gotta Go, Go Now 2:26
612. It's Alright, MA (I'm Only Bleeding) 7:30
613. Mr. Tambourine Man 6:02
614. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Intermission) 6:15
615. Talkin' World War III Blues 4:43
616. Don't Think Twice It's All Right 4:21


There are a lot of moments that I will recall in the future about this blog. I will probably always remember listening to the entirety of A Tree With Roots on a plane to Singapore, for instance. I will always remember the crushing disappointment I felt the first time I listened, in my kitchen, to a bootleg of the only live version of “Brownsville Girl”. And I will always remember learning that the Eric von Schmidt tape was on The 50th Anniversary Collection (1964).
The 50th Anniversary Collection (1964) is the third, and biggest, dump of Dylan material into the European market in order to extend copyright protection on unreleased material for another two decades. For three years this has become a December ritual. The message boards fill with queries in October – “Will there be a set this year?” and then rumours in November – “Yes, and it will be nine LPs this year” and the detectives set to work, looking at Bjorner’s site and trying to imagine what unreleased material will be on there.
The discussion this year was interesting. Some people don’t seem to “get” these releases. They don’t get that Sony doesn’t care if anyone buys them. There was discussion about whether Sony would release the October 10 show from Philadelphia, which is a very poor quality audience tape. Why, some asked, would they release that? It’s not good enough. But good enough has nothing at all to do with it. Sony is protecting everything. Everything, that is, that they think is saleable.
What has become clear after three 50th Anniversary releases is that Sony does not much fear bootleggers. They put out 1,000 vinyl copies of the 1964 set. The sets appeared within the week on torrent sites and they’re still there. Sony must realize that there are very few casual Dylan fans that are going to bother getting these sets so that they can have the a recording of a show from Philadelphia where the recorder may have been smuggled in in someone’s armpit and left there all evening.
What they don’t want is for anything to fall into the public domain in Europe. It is the PD material that is the problem, because European bootleggers will print that stuff up and sell it on Amazon.fr, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk and all the rest. It will all be quite legal and it will look like “real” Dylan material and then someone will buy it and it will suck and they’ll be upset and they’ll blame Dylan and Sony, even though they had nothing to do with it. If Sony didn’t copyright the Town Hall show, bad sound quality and all, someone would release it this week legally and annoy a bunch of unwitting fans. So Sony puts it out for the cognoscenti, most of whom don’t even want it – because they already have it, and because they know the quality is poor.
While the presence or absence of this show was being considered in the fall, it also became possible that there might be unreleased music on this set. The 1962 and 1963 don’t have very much material that wasn’t already circulating among collectors. The era has been picked almost completely clean. 1964, however, had some rarities.
In his book, The Dylanologists, David Kinney writes about Dylan tapes that are so rare that even the most inside of the Dylan collectors don’t have them all:
Still deeper below the surface were the tapes that were so underground that the men and women who had heard them had sworn to say nothing about them: Tapes That May Not Be Mentioned. A group of preeminent collectors sitting down for dinner would own recordings they could not even discuss with each other. One estimated that as many as twenty-five of these did not circulate. I twas likely that no single person had everything. Even big-time collectors like Mitch were suspicious enough to worry about who was meeting behind their backs> Some lost sleep over the idea that a fellow collector might own a tape that they didn’t even know existed.
Secret stuff!
Well, I was in Florida visiting my parents in December when this year’s track list was released. My father brought in the local Sarasota newspaper and showed me an article – the Anniversary Collection included the “first known recording of “Mr Tambourine Man”, which had been recorded at the home of Eric von Schmidt – 532 Beach Road, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida. Say what?
Not being so fully immersed in the obscure side of Dylan collecting, I wasn’t even fully aware that this tape was rumoured to exist. Some quick internet surfing revealed that this tape was not widely circulating – or perhaps not circulating at all – and that people were going crazy for it.
The 1964 collection marks a change for Sony. The two previous sets included only things (with a couple of small exceptions) that were known to exist and that had been bootlegged. The assumption was that Sony didn’t want to add new things into the hands of the bootleggers, but were protecting what they knew could be released. This was a shift. They gave out new material – they were protecting what they had in their hands, whether anyone else had it or not.
The Von Schmidt tape wasn’t the only thing either. The holy grail of early concerts was Dylan’s 1964 London performance at Royal Festival Hall on 17 May. This show was professionally recorded with the intention of contributing parts of it to a planned live album that never came to pass. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see how this show was discussed by the experts as something that was known to be out there – maybe they’d even heard pieces or even the whole show once upon a time. Note how Clinton Heylin talks about this version of “Mr. Tambourine Man”. Now realize that this tape hasn’t circulated for fifty years. Do all that and then recognize that Sony just released this for 1,000 people in Europe.
Here’s the thing. I can understand the anti-bootlegging arguments and I can understand the pro-bootlegging arguments, and all that is fine and nice in the abstract. But last night as I was going to sleep it occurred to me that there were Dylan fanatics who dreamed of hearing this their entire life – people who literally died before Sony ever even acknowledged that, yes, yes, they had they whole thing. They just didn’t want you to know, because it didn’t fit into their release schedule. It’s infuriating.
What makes it so egregious is that the concert is just so great. Really, it is amazing. I’ve listened to it three times in the past twenty-four hours and for the first time I sort of get it. I get why so many of Dylan’s fans didn’t want him to go electric and begin writing the way he did in 1965 – he comes across as so fully formed here that he’s wrecking something perfect. I still don’t share that view – not even a little bit – but when I hear this show I begin to understand the point of view. I have some sympathy.
There are a lot of frustrations here. Sony refusing to sell this material to people outside of Europe is one (they only made the collection available to brick and mortar stores – no internet sales allowed, and there are stories on the message boards of Americans buying it online only to have their orders cancelled out from under them). Sony has also cut the stage banter (except for where it is integrated into part of the playing of the song). I guess this means that the stage banter is public domain – maybe someone will release it on CD (they did with Elvis!). There is now a trilogy of great early unreleased Dylan shows – Carnegie Hall and Town Hall from 1963, and Royal Festival Hall from 1964. It would make a great triple CD set.
The Von Schmidt tapes, not so much. Yes, a first “Mr. Tambourine Man” is historically significant, but the sound quality is what you would expect from a home recording at this point in history. There’s a lot of blues jamming between Von Schmidt and Dylan. They conclude with Von Schmidt’s “Joshua Gone Barbados” which is, ironically, also on this year’s Complete Basement Tapes – on shuffle my phone threw up both versions in close proximity, though, sadly, not back to back.
The other great material on the set comes late. There are well-circulated concert performances from later in the year (including Newport Folk Festival), but the fifth LP is all outtakes from Another Side of Bob Dylan, including “Denise” a song that I had never heard. There are alternate takes of “Spanish Harlem Incident”, “I Don’t Believe You”, “Chimes of Freedom”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and “I Shall be Free No. 10” (four of these). Since so much of these sessions has been gone over for the Bootleg Series, this isn’t the a-list material. There is an alternate take of “Ballad In Plain D”, my pick for worst Dylan song.
Most of the rest of the set I already had – partial recordings of shows in San Francisco and San Jose, for example.
Of the three 50th Anniversary Collections this one is, by a wide margin, the best. Not just the biggest, but the most revelatory – two “secret” tapes finally seeing the light of day for the typical collector. Also, it has really created excitement for 2015. It is clear that Sony is going to have to do another dump in December, this time of really key material – recording sessions for Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and parts of Blonde on Blonde. Also, there are a ton of concerts (not all recorded, obviously). It could be an enormous set. The 2016 set, covering 1966, would be even more enormous. That set has already been partially compiled by bootleggers as Jewels and Binoculars – it is 26 CDs. Presumably the Sony set might be even more inclusive than that. So for the next two years there could be enormous sets coming. After that, though, a few years of very little. Dylan did no touring after the motorcycle accident for three years, and what recording he did do was released this year as The Complete Basement Tapes. There will be some other material to protect, but they can probably release it as a seven-inch single….
The other thing to consider is the long-rumoured forthcoming contributions to the Bootleg Series. Fans have been waiting patiently for a Blood on the Tracks set, but there is also a sense that a Blonde on Blonde set is probably coming. If it is, it almost has to be this year. Sony can’t dump all of the recordings into Europe over the next two years and then come back in 2017 or 2018 with a curated Bootleg Series of that same material. They will need to get the Bootleg Series of 1965/1966 out this year, and then dump the stuff that isn’t good enough into the hands of the hardcore faithful. Don’t be surprised if we get a 1965/1966 Bootleg Series release this fall.
One final note. There is some dispute about the recording location of the Eric von Schmidt tape. Basically the question is: Did Dylan actually visit Sarasota in May 1964? Von Schmidt’s daughter is quoted as saying she doesn’t believe that he did. We know that Dylan played the Monterey Folk Festival on May 1 and that he left for England on May 9. Would he have gone to England from California via Florida? It’s conceivable, but it also seems unlikely. Could the tape have been recorded in New York? That seems more likely.
Nonetheless, and just in case, I made a pilgrimage to 532 Beach Road (we saw the Christmas lights). Whatever was there is not there any longer – like so much of Sarasota it has been torn down and turned into condos. At least we now have the tapes.
https://longandwastedyear.com/

Bob Dylan - 2013 - The 50th Anniversary Collection 1963

Bob Dylan
2013
The 50th Anniversary Collection 1963


Columbia Studios, NYC (August/October 1963)
101. Eternal Circle (Take 4)
102. Percy's Song (Take 1)
103. That's All RIght, Mama / Sally Free And Easy (Take1)
104. Hero Blues (Take 3)
105. East Laredo Blues (Take 1)
106. Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag (Take 2)
The Banjo Tape (February 8, 1963)
107. Lonesome River Edge
108. Back Door Blues
109. Bob Dylan's Dream
110. You Can Get Her
111. Farewell
112. All Over You
113. Masters Of War
114. Instrumental In Gerde's Basement/Jam
115. Keep Your Hands Off Her (Leadbelly)
116. Honey Babe
117. Goin' Back To Rome
118. Stealin'
Westinghouse Broadcasting Co. - Folk Songs and More Folk Songs (March 3, 1963)
119. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
Oscar Brand Show / World of Folk Music (March 1963)
120. Girl From The North Country
121. Only A Hobo
Town Hall - NYC (April 12, 1963)
122. Ramblin Down Through The World
123. Bob Dylan's Dream
124. Talkin' New York
125. Hiding Too Long

201. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
202. Walls Of Red Wing
203. All Over You
204. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
205. Boots Of Spanish Leather
206. Hero Blues
207. John Brown
208. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
209. Dusty Old Fairgrounds
210. Who Killed Davey Moore
211. Seven Curses
212. Highway 51
213. Pretty Peggy-O
214. Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag
215. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
216. With God On Our Side

The Home of Eve and Mac McKenzie - NYC (April 18, 1963)
301. James Alley Blues
302. Long Time Gone
303. Only A Hobo
304. Untitled Blues Jam
305. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
The Bear - Chicago, IL (April 25, 1963)
306. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
307. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
308. Bob Dylan's Dream
309. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
310. Talkin' World War Three Blues
311. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
312. With God On Our Side

WFMT Radio Studio - Chicago, IL (April 26, 1963)
313. Farewell
314. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
315. Bob Dylan's Dream
316. Boots Of Spanish Leather
317. John Brown

401. Who Killed Davey Moore?
402. Blowin' In The Wind
Songs of Freedom - WNEW TV Studios, NYC (July 30, 1963)
403. Blowin' In The Wind
404. Only A Pawn In Their Game
Lincoln Memorial - March on Washington (August 28, 1963)
405. When The Ship Comes In
406. Only A Pawn In Their Game
Carnegie Hall - NYC (October 26, 1963)
407. Blowin' In The Wind
408. Percy's Song
409. Seven Curses
410. Walls Of Red Wing
411. Talkin' World War Three Blues
412. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
413. Only A Pawn In Their Game
414. Masters Of War
415. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll

Previously unreleased studio outtakes, home recordings, radio appearances and live performances from 1963.



I realize loving Dylan is already a given for many music fans, but I have to admit it strikes me as bizarre that six times as many people are willing to listen to a triple-album of old man Dylan performing standards yet again than listen to all the remaining goodies from one of the best years of his career. Yes, there's an inherent redundancy here in that many of his biggest songs of the time appear on this album multiple times but if you take each performance on its own, many of them are quite enjoyable.

The only major dud for me was Town Hall and Bear Folk Club wasn't too necessary but even those had a few good performances. The March on Washington performance is completely unnecessary except for historical relevance, though the song choice of "Only a Pawn in Their Game" was either naivety or one of the biggest troll moves of a career filled with trolling.

The "Carnegie Hall" concert deserved its own album more than that Philharmonic set in the Bootleg series (even though the full set isn't here, those were already released in other forms and these are all the remaining tracks).

It seems they the label have deployed the same strategy in 2013 but are going the vinyl route this time around. The 50th Anniversary Collection 1963 is a vinyl box this time, a six-LP set in fact, which features a mixture of previously unreleased studio and live recordings from 1963 (see full track listings below).

It’s not particularly clear exactly how many are being produced, but it does appear to be hundreds, rather than thousands. What’s confusing is that these are supposed to be distributed via independent record shops, but have now turned up on Amazon. Quite how or why Amazon have these remains to be seen. It seems rather unlikely that they will be able to fulfill orders for a product where demand will massively outweigh supply, even at the high prices being charged, unless the production run is higher than it is rumored to be.

Bob Dylan - 2012 - The 50th Anniversary Collection 1962

Bob Dylan 
2012 
The 50th Anniversary Collection 1962



FREEWHEELIN' SESSION, April 24, 1962
101. Going Down to New Orleans - take 1
102. Going Down to New Orleans - take 2
103. Sally Gal - take 2
104. Sally Gal - take 3
105. Rambling Gambling Willie - take 1
106. Rambling Gambling Willie - take 3
107. Corrina, Corrina - take 1
108. Corrina, Corrina - take 2
109. The Death of Emmett Till - take 1
110. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle - take 2

FREEWHEELIN' SESSION, April 25, 1962
111. Rocks and Gravel (Solid Road) - take 3
112. Sally Gal - take 4
113. Sally Gal - take 5
114. Baby, Please Don't Go - take 1
115. Baby, Please Don't Go - take 3
116. Milk Cow (Calf's) Blues (Good Morning Blues) - take 1
117. Milk Cow (Calf's) Blues (Good Morning Blues) - take 3
118. Wichita Blues (Going to Louisiana) - take 1
119. Wichita Blues (Going to Louisiana) - take 2
120. Milk Cow (Calf's) Blues (Good Morning Blues) - take 4
121. Wichita Blues (Going to Louisiana) - take 2

FREEWHEELIN' SESSION, July 9, 1962
122. Baby, I'm in the Mood for You" - take 2
123. Blowin' in the Wind - take 1
124. Blowin' in the Wind - take 2
125. Worried Blues - take 1
126. Baby, I'm in the Mood for You - take 4


201. Bob Dylan's Blues - take 2
202. Bob Dylan's Blues - take 3

FREEWHEELIN SESSION, October 26, 1962
203. Corrina, Corrina - take 2
204. Corrina, Corrina - take 3
205. That's All Right, Mama - take 1
206. That's All Right, Mama - take 3
207. That's All Right, Mama - take 5
208. Mixed Up Confusion - take 3
209. Mixed Up Confusion - take 5

FREEWHEELIN' SESSION, November 1, 1962
210. Mixed Up Confusion - take 6
211. Mixed Up Confusion - take 7
212. Mixed Up Confusion - take 9
213. Mixed Up Confusion - take 10
214. Mixed Up Confusion - take 11
215. That's All Right, Mama - take 3
216. Rocks and Gravels (Solid Road) - take 2

FREEWHEELIN' SESSION, November 14, 1962
217. Ballad of Hollis Brown - take 2
218. Kingsport Town - take 1
219. When Death Comes Creepin' (Whatcha Gonna Do?) - take 1

FREEWHEELIN' SESSION, December 6, 1962
220. Hero Blues - take 1
221. When Death Comes Creepin' (Whatcha Gonna Do?) - take 1
222. I Shall Be Free - take 3
223. I Shall Be Free - take 5
224. Hero Blues - take 2
225. Hero Blues - take 4


McKENZIE HOME TAPES, January 29, 1962
301. Hard Times in New York Town
302. The Death of Emmett Till

McKENZIE HOME TAPES, autumn 1962
303. I Rode Out One Morning
304. House of the Rising Sun
305. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
306. Ballad of Donald White

GERDE's FOLK CITY, April 16, 1962
307. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
308. Talkin' New York
309. Corrina, Corrina
310. Deep Ellum Blues
311. Blowin' in the Wind

FINJAN CLUB, MONTREAL, July 2, 1962
312. The Death of Emmett Till
313. Stealin'
314. Hiram Hubbard
315. Blowin' in the Wind
316. Rocks and Gravel
317. Quit Your Low Down Ways
318. He Was a Friend of Mine
319. Let Me Die in My Footsteps
320. Two Trains Runnin'
321. Ramblin' on My Mind
322. Muleskinner Blues
323. Muleskinner Blues - part 2


CARNEGIE HALL HOOTENANNY, September 22, 1962
401. Sally Gal
402. Highway 51
403. Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues
404. Ballad of Hollis Brown
405. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

GASLIGHT CAFE, October 15, 1962
406. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
407. No More Auction Block
408. Motherless Children
409. Kind Hearted Woman Blues
410. Black Cross
411. Ballad of Hollis Brown
412. Ain't No More Cane


It's almost as if the major labels aren't even trying to hide how they like to abuse the spirit of copyright law in order to keep things locked up as long as possible. Sony Music recently "issued" (and I use the term loosely) a special limited release Bob Dylan collection and didn't even bother to try to hide the real reason for putting it out. It's in the name of the damn release: "Bob Dylan: The Copyright Extension Collection Vol. 1." 

Yes, the entire purpose of releasing this is so that Sony Music can keep Bob Dylan songs under copyright in Europe for a longer period of time. As they're all too happy to explain, copyright term extension for recordings happened in Europe recently, bumping it up from 50 years to 70 years -- but there's a "use it or lose it" clause in there:

Two spokesmen for Sony confirmed that the set was legitimate, its bootleglike appearance notwithstanding. They explained that the point of the release was to keep the recordings under copyright protection in Europe, where the laws are in flux. Currently, recordings can be copyrighted in Europe for 50 years, a much shorter term than in the United States, where recordings made since 1978 will remain copyrighted until 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.

In 2011 the European Union revised its copyright laws to extend copyright to 70 years. The change is not yet in effect but will be by 2014. And there’s a catch, a “use it or lose it” provision: recordings cannot benefit from the 20-year extension unless they were published before the 50-year term expired. The recordings on “The 50th Anniversary Collection” were about to fall over that legal precipice. 

Of course, since this is all about protectionism rather than actually getting people to hear the music, this collection is somewhat difficult to find (well, unless you go to unauthorized sources for digital downloads -- not that we recommend such things). That's because they only made 100 copies of them and gave them to a few stores in key European countries.

Only about 100 copies of the four-CD set were produced, with sparse packaging and an insert listing the details of the set’s 86 tracks, all previously unreleased studio outtakes and live recordings from 1962 and 1963.

It also comes as a downloadable version, available through the singers’s Web site, bobdylan.com, but only to fans who log on from France or Germany. (Prices for the CD set vary from country to country, from the equivalent of $39 to, in Britain, $138)

American collectors are locked out, although for those desperate to have an original CD set, several have made their way to eBay, where bids have gone as high as about $1,450. 

Anyway, I'm sure all of this activity is creating incentive for Bob Dylan to make more music from 1962.


Sony Issues Dylan CDs to Extend Copyright

By ALLAN KOZINNJAN. 7, 2013

In an unusual response to provisions in a new European copyright law, scheduled to take effect by 2014, Sony Music has released a compilation of early Bob Dylan recordings that is bound to become one of his most collectible albums. “The 50th Anniversary Collection,” which carries a subtitle — “The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. 1” — that explains its purpose, was rushed to only a handful of record shops in Germany, France, Sweden and Britain just after Christmas.

Only about 100 copies of the four-CD set were produced, with sparse packaging and an insert listing the details of the set’s 86 tracks, all previously unreleased studio outtakes and live recordings from 1962 and 1963.

It also comes as a downloadable version, available through the singers’s Web site, bobdylan.com, but only to fans who log on from France or Germany. (Prices for the CD set vary from country to country, from the equivalent of $39 to, in Britain, $138)

American collectors are locked out, although for those desperate to have an original CD set, several have made their way to eBay, where bids have gone as high as about $1,450. (For collectors who want the recordings, but who don’t care about having one of the 100 original CDs, the set has been turning up on file-sharing sites.)

Two spokesmen for Sony confirmed that the set was legitimate, its bootleglike appearance notwithstanding. They explained that the point of the release was to keep the recordings under copyright protection in Europe, where the laws are in flux. Currently, recordings can be copyrighted in Europe for 50 years, a much shorter term than in the United States, where recordings made since 1978 will remain copyrighted until 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.

In 2011 the European Union revised its copyright laws to extend copyright to 70 years. The change is not yet in effect but will be by 2014. And there’s a catch, a “use it or lose it” provision: recordings cannot benefit from the 20-year extension unless they were published before the 50-year term expired. The recordings on “The 50th Anniversary Collection” were about to fall over that legal precipice.
Photo
Sony Music has released a new compilation of previously unreleased Bob Dylan studio outtakes and live recordings from 1962 and 1963.

Because Sony has been considering some tracks on “The 50th Anniversary Collection” for its Bootleg Series, a program of archival releases that now encompasses nine multidisc sets, the company decided to throw a few dozen tracks onto the market, however tenuously, to ensure their ownership.

There was another concern. In Europe smaller labels have been releasing recordings that have gone out of copyright as public domain compilations — so-called gray market discs — including some by Mr. Dylan. Typically, these companies have not had access to master tapes but have released material that has already appeared on bootlegs, often in superb but not master quality. Sony hopes to fight those labels with this release and any sequels.

“The 50th Anniversary Collection” is an idiosyncratic compilation, made up largely of recordings from the sessions for Mr. Dylan’s second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Included are alternative takes of several songs from that record, including “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Bob Dylan’s Dream” and “I Shall Be Free,” as well songs that didn’t make the finished album, often in multiple versions.

Among the highlights is a series of seven increasingly rollicking versions of “Mixed Up Confusion,” which Mr. Dylan released as a single in 1962, and three takes — one on piano, two on guitar — of the Robert Johnson blues classic “Milkcow’s Calf Blues.”

Some of the studio recordings, as well as live performances from the Gaslight Cafe, Carnegie Hall and the Finjan Club, in Montreal, are familiar to collectors of bootlegs, though the quality here is improved. In fact, the outtakes from the “Freewheelin’ ” sessions sound notably clearer than “Freewheelin’” itself.

So far, few record labels have responded to the pending shift in European copyright protection by releasing copious amounts of archival material, although fans of bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones are hoping that such releases are in the offing.

But Sony is not alone. Universal, which owns the Motown catalog, has released a series of jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues albums under the rubric “Motown Unreleased 1962,” which makes a large body of its unissued archives eligible for the European copyright extension.


Released on the 27th of December 2012, the “50th Anniversary Collection” was released on 4 CDRs as a compilation of some of Bob Dylan’s earliest recordings for Columbia records. They were obviously a little too late to cover Dylan’s debut – or maybe unwilling to do so for so little return – an opportunity that had the grey market manufacturers leap to their feet with joy only for them to manage to squeeze out a stereo / mono hybrid 2 CD of the album.

The collection also featured long standing bootleg tracks from the Mackenzie Home Tapes (Originally released on Dandelion’s “I Was so much Younger Then” 4 CD set), Gerde’s Folk City (Released on the same set), the Finjan Club (Released on Yellow Dog’s “The Finjan Club), Carnegie Hall Hootenanny ( Hollow Horn’s ‘Just Like Marlon Brando’) and the Gaslight Cafe (Wildwolf/Scorpio’s “Second Gaslight Tape” as well as Rattlesnake’s “Gaslight Tapes 1962? )

The Anniversary release was doled out to a few renowned independent record stores within the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Sweden while being made available for download as an MP3 in the U.S. The set was released without a specific recommended retail selling price so for some of the legends of industry, there was a free for all for what to charge. Before the advent of this silver pressed copy (and as I post this review) people are still trying to sell their original CDRs at the cost of c. £2000 or $3000 on the internets best auction sites but as we know CDRs can be turned around and printed in a matter of days or minutes, a simple copy could have been photo copied and burned in a morning, a silver CD is a much more stable and desirable artefact .

The sessions for “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” album ran through the 24th of April 1962 up to the 6th of December the same year. While this compilation was released with the mind of making the various takes unbootlegable by the people who may have had them, not all of the takes from those sessions were included in this set (false starts and ‘outtakes’ were considered unworthy so only previously bootlegged tracks and a small handful of undiscovered tracks made it to this compendium.

Tracking back through the newer studio takes on the collection though would span a review as long as your arm so I’m indebted to the Eldis Appreciation Society group on Facebook for highlighting the newer takes on the set as outlined below;

Going Down To New Orleans (Mx. CO 70085-1) – NEW!
Going Down To New Orleans (Mx. CO 70085-2) – Previously circulated.
Sally Gal (Mx. CO 70086-2) – NEW!
Sally Gal (Mx. CO 70086-3) – Previously circulated.
Rambling Gambling Willie (Mx. CO 70087-1) – NEW!
Rambling Gambling Willie (Mx. CO 70087-3) – NEW!
Corrina, Corrina (Mx. CO 70088-1) – NEW!
Corrina, Corrina (Mx. CO 70088-2) – Previously circulated.
The Death Of Emmett Till (Mx. CO 70089-1) – Previously circulated.
(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle (Mx. CO 70091-2) – Previously circulated.
Rocks And Gravel (Solid Road) (Mx. CO 70096-3) – Previously circulated.
Sally Gal (Mx. CO 70086-4) / Sally Gal (Mx. CO 70086-5) – Previously circulated.
Baby, Please Don’t Go (Mx. CO 70099-1) – NEW!
Baby, Please Don’t Go (Mx. CO 70099-3) – Previously circulated.
Milk Cow (Calf’s) Blues (Good Morning Blues) (Mx. CO 70100-1) – NEW!
Milk Cow (Calf’s) Blues (Good Morning Blues) (Mx. CO 70100-3) – Previously circulated.
Wichita Blues (Going To Louisiana) (Mx. CO 70101-1) – Previously circulated.
Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues (Mx. CO 70102-2) ( Same as track 21. )
Milk Cow (Calf’s) Blues (Good Morning Blues) (Mx. CO 70100-4) – Previously circulated.
Wichita Blues (Going To Louisiana) (Mx. CO 70101-2) – Previously circulated.
Baby, I’m In The Mood For You (Mx. CO 75717-2) – NEW!
Blowin’ In The Wind (Mx. CO 75719-1) – NEW!
Blowin’ In The Wind (Mx. CO 75719-2) – NEW!
Worried Blues (Mx. CO 75723-1) – NEW!
Baby, I’m In The Mood For You (Mx. CO 75717-4) – Previously circulated.

Bob Dylan’s Blues (Mx. CO 75718-2) – NEW!
Bob Dylan’s Blues (Mx. CO 75718-3) – (The “Free Wheelin'” Take)
Corrina, Corrina (Mx. CO 76981-2) – NEW!
Corrina, Corrina (Mx. CO 76981-3) – NEW!
That’s All Right, Mama (Mx. CO 76983-1) – Previously circulated.
That’s All Right, Mama (Mx. CO 76983-3) – ( Used for Nov. 1st remake )
That’s All Right, Mama (Mx. CO 76983-5) – NEW!
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-3) – NEW!
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-5) – Previously circulated.
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-6) – NEW!
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-7) – NEW!
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-9) – NEW!
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-10) – Previously circulated.
Mixed Up Confusion (Mx. CO 76982-11) – NEW!
That’s All Right, Mama (remake/overdub CO76893-3) – Previously circulated.
Rocks And Gravel (Solid Road) (Mx. CO 76986-2) – NEW!
Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Mx. CO 77003-2) – Previously circulated.
Kingsport Town (Mx. CO 77004-1) – NEW!
When Death Comes Creepin’ (Whatcha Gonna Do?) (Mx. CO 77005-1) – Previously circulated.
Hero Blues (mx. CO 77020-1) – Previously circulated.
When Death Comes Creepin’ (Whatcha Gonna Do?) (Mx. CO 77021-1) – Previously circulated.
I Shall Be Free (Mx. CO 77023-3) – Previously circulated.
I Shall Be Free (Mx. CO 77023-5) – Previously circulated.
Hero Blues (Mx. CO 77020-2) – Previously circulated.
Hero Blues (Mx. CO 77020-4) – Previously circulated.

Now as far as the live or none studio tracks are concerned they were recorded under beds, around people homes or in clubs without any real recording systems. However, the company was able to source the best quality of these recordings (IE: Probably not the tapes that were apparently mined by Anthony Scaduto while the originals were played for him) and they have been refurbished just as well as the best bootlegger might have mustered.

The 6 tracks here span two sides of the launch of Dylan’s fame. The first two tracks, “Hard Times In New York” and “The Death of Emmett Till”, both featured in this repotoire and 16 days earlier he had recorded the two songs in session for Cynthia Gooding’s record show, and was on the very cusp of rocketing to a revered cult following.
The four following tracks “I Rode Out One Morning”, “House Of The Rising Sun”, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” and “Ballad Of Donald White” were probably written or remembered in the interim and are performed on Dylan’s next recorded visit to Eve and Mac Mackenzie’s home.

Dylan’s show at Gerde’s Folk Club has Dylan playing the performer, storyteller and host. He’s much more animated than in private, jerky and playful while he mends with his performing voice and dry wit. The sound though suffers as the recording was no professional enough to be cleaned up properly or has been taken from old vinyl – “Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance” suffers the most from this errant noise but it’s not too distracting due to the actual performance. It’s no wonder that Robert Shelton gave glowing praise from this performance and gave props to Dylan for his magnetism.

The Finjan club show has a much more rounded sound, just as good as it’s original Yellow Dog release and is no less fun as Dylan rips through more of his ever-expanding catalogue. The only unfortunate disappearances are the asides that Dylan squirrels between songs. Sony have seen fit to cut them out for time restrictions which is a shame as we lose more of Dylan’s formative stage presence to the cutting room floor.

On to disk four and the show at the Carnegie Hall Hootenanny, the songs like they were recorded from the venues grand balconies. An echoey, slightly distant sound this sounds like it was included just to give the label something to muscle in on. Were it released on a bootleg people would complain, as it stands, if only 100 people heard it it wouldn’t matter. Dylan but not worth the space.

The Gaslight tapes – another oft bootlegged piece and retail CD in Starbucks in North America – rounds up the set. Another quiet affair but not as quiet as the Carnegie Hall tape. Dylan was fast moving on in to more political, darker themes. Slipping in to a quieter, more closed, reserve but, of course, the in-between chatter has been chopped out again and for no good reason this time it would seem.

This set is essential for Dylan fans – taking it away from the exploitative price point being charged by others and this time it’s packaged properly. Sparsely but properly in a ‘fat-boy’ jewel case with real printed inserts and a basic booklet but that’s got to be better than 4 A4 stapled pages.

The CDs are silver but pressed to look like the basic CDRs that were originally released. For the amount of new material there is here, it’s a must have even if you might still have to keep your older CDs for the studio chatter in-between the live cuts.


Bob Dylan has made some puzzling moves in his celebrated career, but the compilation that his record label recently released may be as odd as anything he's ever put out.

The compilation, 50th Anniversary Collection, is a limited-edition, four-CD set that was only released in Europe. It seems to have been designed by the label to exploit a recent change in European copyright law.

The collection is a scrapbook of recordings from the first years of Bob Dylan's career: unreleased home tapes, live performances from Greenwich Village folk clubs and outtakes from the sessions for his second studio album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.

The packaging of the 50th Anniversary Collection is minimal — just four discs, a brown paper cover and a cursory list of the 86 tracks.

Dylan's record label declined requests to talk about the collection or its unconventional release strategy.

But the subtitle, The Copyright Extension Collection, Volume 1, speaks for itself.

"Even record executives occasionally stray into honesty," says James Boyle, a law professor at Duke University. "This is, in fact, a copyright extension collection. That's what it is."

Boyle says Dylan's label appears to be exploiting an obscure but potentially lucrative change in European copyright law.

The European Union recently extended the term of copyright for sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years. But, there's a catch.

"You actually have to have, at some point, distributed these songs during that initial 50-year period. These were masters that were lying in the vaults," Boyle says, "and none of them had ever seen the light of day. And so he had to get them out before that 50-year period expired in order to get the extra 20 years."

Because this material was recorded in 1962 and 1963, the label essentially has to use it or lose it to the public domain.

In Britain, the European Union copyright extension is known as Cliff's Law — named after Sir Cliff Richard, the 1960s-era singer who pushed hard for its passage.

In an interview with the BBC, Richard says it's not fair that artists should lose the right to collect royalties from their records just because those records happen to be 50 years old.

"That's my creative juices," Richard says. "I created it, I helped to arrange it. I helped sometimes to produce it. And you make this record. And then someone takes it away before you're even dead."

But critics say the copyright extension will mainly help record companies and artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, whose recordings might otherwise begin entering the public domain in the next few years.

"The vast majority of musicians won't see a dime," Boyle says. "The evidence was that in fact, the benefits would go to very, very few people — the megastars."

Boyle says the European Union law does include a few provisions that are supposed to help common musicians, too. After 50 years, for example, they can terminate their original contracts with their record labels and get ownership of their recordings back. But Boyle says there's a catch here, too.

"In order for them to be able to exercise this termination, it had to be that the record label hadn't put a new version out within a year of the directive passing," Boyle says. "So we're probably going to see a large number of reissued songs, or aging rockers are gonna be terminating their deals and getting their rights back over their recordings."

Whatever its intentions, Boyle thinks the copyright extension will ultimately end up hurting the public. Dylan fans in Europe might beg to differ, though: If they weren't lucky enough to snatch up one of the 100 physical copies of the discs, they can buy MP3s of the Copyright Extension Collection from Dylan's website.

The rest of us can bid for one of those copies on eBay — where one recently sold for more than $1,000 — or wait for a proper U.S. release.