I’ll Know My Song Well Before I Start Singin’

There were two new Dylan albums released today. The soundtrack for the upcoming Scorsese documentary (on DVD Sept. 20th, on PBS the week after that). “No Direction Home” and a Starbucks CD “Live At The Gaslight 1962”. On first listen, both are worth picking up for Dylanphiles (if you aren’t one, you should be).

No Direction Home is the 7th Bootleg Series, the first 5 of which are essential for any Dylan fan. It’s 2 discs cover 1959-1966, just like the movie will. Disc 1 highlights include fantastic covers of This Land Is Your Land and Dink’s Song, very good live versions of A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, When The Ship Comes In, Blowin’ In The Wind and It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.

Disc 2 is mostly alternate version of songs from Highway 61 Revisted and Blonde On Blonde, some of which are substantially different than the album versions. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, She Belongs To Me, Desolation Row, Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat and Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again are the highlights. The album closes with Like A Rolling Stone from the ‘Royal Albert Hall’ concert, previously available in its entirety as Bootleg Series Volume 4. If you don’t already have it, you need to: probably my favorite live performance by anyone, ever.

The Live at the Gaslight album is actually 2 concerts spliced together. Only 3 of the songs are Dylan originals (Hard Rain, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, and the previously unreleased Rocks and Gravel). The last 7 are all covers of folk songs. All are interesting, but the best are John Brown (previously available only on the Dylan Unplugged album), Cocaine and Barbara Allen. definitely worth going into Starbucks to buy it.

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