Thank goodness for the Bootleg Series; not only does it constantly present us with new ways of approaching our favorite Dylan songs and reveal his often fascinating creative process, it's also provided me with some of my very favorite Bob Dylan albums, which I return to again and again. This most recent installment rounds up unreleased, alternate, and live material from what can generally be called Dylan's "late" period--from 1989's to his most recent studio album, 2006's . When I first heard about this ..
The bootleg series has, if nothing else, provided an amazing document of some of the interesting side-roads that Dylan has taken. Some of the discs have been transcendental, showcasing little known or difficult to find songs; others have been full of alternate versions that have not been that different from versions that we know. Volume 8 is a revelation, shining a light on a period of Dylan's output that is much misunderstood for reasons that have never been completely clear to me. The 80's are a hard p..
This set was a very nice play to my surprise. It's a combination of early takes, developed takes, soundtrack one-offs, and live performances all of which date from March 1989 or later. The 1989 takes are particularly fine and make me wonder at the sheer cussedness of an artist who leaves songs like "Series of Dreams" and "Dignity" in an unfinished condition, and then puts out a 39-minute compact disc like "Oh Mercy." On quite a few of these songs Dylan even sings with his old "unruined" voice and it woul..