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Album Review: Bob Dylan — More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14


Bob Dylan — More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14

(Legacy) ★★★★✩

THE Bootleg Series functions as a shadow catalogue to Dylan’s official studio albums. It does three things particularly well: it releases great live performances, uncovers lost gems, and reveals the way Dylan works. The latest instalment sits in that last category.

Blood On The Tracks (1975) is one of the greatest records made not only by Dylan but by anybody. He recorded it in two four-day sessions, one in New York then another in Minneapolis three months later, in which he reworked half the songs.

More Blood, More Tracks comes in two editions. A single-CD sampling of the unused recordings, which vary widely from the original selection, will be plenty for most listeners. The limited-run six-CD version sets out every take. It’s exhaustive but fascinating to hear how radically Dylan revises songs, arrangements and moods.

The way the furious, peerless revenge song, Idiot Wind, starts subdued and regretful is a revelation. And anyone who has seen Dylan play live will know how little regard he has for the idea of a definitive version.