Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MilesSmiles, Jul 20, 2013.
Ray Charles' version ain't chopped liver either. (And I see I'm not the only one who thinks so. )
I much prefer Ray's version over any other version. Sinatra sings it well, but Ray is much more believable.
Oh, great. I missed that. At least the sessions are represented on BS10, even if only with one song.
Is there any discussion on the forum or elsewhere online about those sessions? I've not been able to find out much about them. Were they just a chance to so some more Nashville recording while he was in the area for the Johnny Cash show? Or was there more purpose than that?
There's not a lot left to be had from the April/May '69 sessions. "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues" (from May 3rd) have both been in circulation for about 40 years now, and they are wisely omitted from the BS10. They have only "car wreck curiosity" value to them, in my opinion. With the other "Spanish is the Loving Tongue" appearing on BS10, the remaining titles (with the exception of "Running") are on SP or Dylan.
The face kind of looks like the same composure as the photo of Charley Patton, if you ask me.
That's unclear so far. If you rule out any material from the George Harrison or Johnny Cash sessions, the only indisputable top-tier omission that is immediately obvious to me is "Tomorrow Is A Long Time." But the fact that so much of this material is uncirculated makes it hard to make confident pre-judgements based on the track listing alone.
As far as the early Nashville Self Portrait sessions, RayS has done a very good overview. I clearly like the outtakes of "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Ring of Fire" more than he does, but I won't argue that they are inspired recordings by any stretch. Aside from them, only the mysterious "Running" remains unaccounted for, and based on the quality of the remaining Nashville tracks, it's hard to work up too much optimism for it (though a Dylan fan is always wise to avoid sweeping judgements about these kind of things, as he's famous for throwing away his best material).
Once you get to NYC, there are several known outtakes that haven't been included. However the majority of them seem to exist only in fragmentary form. The various sessionographies differ on this point (we really need a good researcher to get Ernst Jorgenson/ Mark Lewisohn-style access to the Dylan vaults and publish the results) but I've put an asterix next to any of the known outtakes that one or more of the sessionographies suggest may be incomplete.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay [NYC] *
Universal Soldier [NYC] *
When a Fellow’s Out of a Job [NYC] *
Little Moses [NYC]*
Come a Little Bit Closer [NYC]
Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies [NYC]
My Previous Life [NYC] *
Which leaves only "Come a Little Bit Closer" and "Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies" as likely examples of complete recordings that were discarded. And "Come A Little Bit Closer" was singled out by Al Kooper as particularly embarrassing in the recent Rolling Stone article. So it's possible that these two were omitted for quality reasons. Although I personally want to hear EVERYTHING, I can respect the fact the compilers may be showing some editorial judgement. The apparent original "My Previous Life" is the only one of this set of recordings to really disappoint me by it's absence.
Versions of "Waiting For The Gypsy" and "Time Passes Slowly" were also recorded in these sessions, but for all we know they are also represented on this collection.
New Morning seems to be a little more neglected, as many of the covers in the vault have gone unused (as was the oddly titled instrumental "Ahooah").
Oh Lonesome Me
Long Black Veil
I Forgot To Remember To Forget
On the one hand, I tend to consider covers from these sessions more as Dylan LP outtakes than New Morning outtakes, and I doubt the prospect of more Dylan LP material fills many people with much confidence (though, really, it isn't that much more counterintuitive than a box set based on Self Portrait). That said, looking at those particular songs, I think the instinct has to be that Dylan would fall much more naturally into material like "Long Black Veil" or "Jamaica Farewell" than, say, "Can't Help Falling in Love." And in the case of "Alligator Man", it apparently came close to being included on Dylan, and I tend to feel that near-misses like that should get extra deference on archival sets. So perhaps Sean's theory that this material was all but overlooked may be due to Dylan's personal distaste for how the Dylan album itself originally came to be released (though I have trouble imagining him working up too much emotion about it one way or the other). It's also quite conceivable that it just wasn't as good as the other available material.
Otherwise, there is some scattered stray material from this period (the "Wanted Man" fragment that supposedly discreetly circulates is one I'd really like to hear), but nothing too glaring-- particularly if it turns out the rumored "Watching The River Flow" session outtakes don't really exist (or have been lost).
OK, inspired by Dee (above), I've pored over the track list, and put it into chronological order -- at least, as best I can based on Heylin's Recording Sessions book. Here's what I came up with -- feel free to correct or clarify:
ANOTHER SELF-PORTRAIT -- Chronologically:
BASEMENT TAPES SESSIONS - 1967
"Minstrel Boy" (unreleased, The Basement Tapes)
NASHVILLE SKYLINE SESSIONS - 1969
"I Threw It All Away" (alternate version, Nashville Skyline) (2/13/69)
"Country Pie" (alternate version, Nashville Skyline) (2/14/69)
SELF-PORTRAIT SESSIONS - 1969
"Spanish Is the Loving Tongue" (unreleased, Self Portrait) [technically, I guess, a Dylan outtake] (April 1969)
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" (Live, 8/31/69)
"Highway 61 Revisited" (Live, 8/31/69)
SELF-PORTRAIT SESSIONS - 1970
"All the Tired Horses" (without overdubs, Self Portrait) (Early March 1970)
"Wigwam" (original version without overdubs, Self Portrait) (Early March 1970)
"In Search of Little Sadie" (without overdubs, Self Portrait) (3/3/70)
"Pretty Saro" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/3/70)
"These Hands" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/3/70)
"Railroad Bill" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/4/70)
"Thirsty Boots" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/4/70)
"This Evening So Soon" (aka, "Tell Ol' Bill") (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/4/70)
"House Carpenter" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/4/70)
"Days of '49" (original version without overdubs, Self Portrait) (3/4/70)
"Belle Isle" (without overdubs, Self Portrait) (3/4/70)
"Alberta #3" (alternate version, Self Portrait) (3/5/70)
"Annie's Going to Sing Her Song" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (3/5/70)
"Little Sadie" (without overdubs, Self Portrait) (3/5/70)
"Copper Kettle" (without overdubs, Self Portrait) (3/5/70)
"Tattle O'Day" (unreleased, Self Portrait) (??/??/??)
NEW MORNING SESSIONS - 1970
"Went to See the Gypsy" (demo) (March 1970?) [Heylin lists this track receiving overdubs on 7/2/70]
"If Not For You" (alternate version, New Morning) (March 1970?) [Heylin lists this track receiving overdubs on 7/2/70]
"Working on a Guru" (unreleased, New Morning) [with George Harrison] (5/1/70)
"Time Passes Slowly #1" (alternate version, New Morning) [with George Harrison] (5/1/70)
"Time Passes Slowly #2" (alternate version, New Morning) (5/1/70)
"New Morning" (with horn section overdubs, New Morning) (5/4/70)
"Went to See the Gypsy" (alternate version, New Morning) (5/5/70)
"Sign on the Window" (with orchestral overdubs, New Morning) (5/5/70)
"If Dogs Run Free" (alternate version, New Morning) (5/5/70)
"Bring Me a Little Water" (unreleased, New Morning) (??/??/70)
MISCELLANEOUS SESSIONS - 1971
"When I Paint My Masterpiece" (demo) (March 1971?)
"Only a Hobo" (unreleased, Greatest Hits II) (9/24/71)
"Wallflower" (alternate version, 1971) (11/4/71)
BONUS TRACKS (we already have)
"Lay Lady Lay" (rehearsal) -- Modern Times bonus track
"If Not For You" (with George Harrison) -- on Bootleg Series 1-3
UNFORTUNATE OMISSIONS (imo)
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" (full-ending from recalled Biograph -- throw the fans a bone! Plus, this track kicked off the whole "Country Bob" phase)
"Lay Lady Lay" (rehearsal) (Released but "orphaned" tracks like this should be given a proper home; they did it with several from BS8)
"Song To Woody" (1970)
"Tomorrow Is A Long Time" (1970)
"Spanish Is The Loving Tongue" (1970; remastered)
"Father Of Night" (without overdubs)
"Three Angels" (alternate, if it exists)
"Lily Of The West" (without overdubs) -- Lift the Dylan (1973) ban!
"Sara Jane" (without overdubs) -- see above
"The Ballad Of Ira Hayes" (without overdubs) -- see above
"Big Yellow Taxi" (without overdubs) -- see above
"Mr. Bojangles" (without overdubs) -- see above
"Winterlude" (I know, but I'm a sucker for this song!)
"Watching The River Flow" (no outtakes for this one?)
Overall, this still looks like a spectacular set to me, despite any quibbles. Of the "omissions" listed above, the only ones I think are REALLY critical are "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue" (although at least it's still available), and "Song To Woody." Kudos to Bob's team (and Sony) for putting the time and effort into this -- in these dark days for the music business, this is as "courageous" as McCartney's lovingly restored McCartney II deluxe set. Can't wait to hear it!
Great post (I'm going to assume it doesn't come as a great surprise that it's right up my alley)!
On the subject of omissions, there are also two tracks that Sony has released digitally from the era, the iTunes-only "Waiting For the Gypsy (demo)" and the "I Threw It All Away" alternate from the "Sony Custom CD site" that purported to be from the Nashville Skyline sessions but was really the Dylan/Harrison version. One thing that I'm curious about is the "Gypsy" demo-- I was under the impression that it was the "Electric Piano" version w/Al Cooper so I never bothered to download it. Is that actually the case? In the YouTube preview, there is an excerpt of an acoustic version that sounds like a demo to me. Could it be that this track has already been released?
I think it's worth mentioning that the tracks chosen from Isle of Wight seem a bit questionable, but since the complete concert is being included in it's entirety in the deluxe set I haven't been able to summon too much emotion about it. Sure, "Highway 61 Revisited" is fantastic, and "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" is perfectly respectable (distinguished mostly by some terrific backing vocals), but, c'mon... Why on earth didn't they utilize the COMPLETELY OBVIOUS "Wild Mountain Thyme?" Almost everything else is clearly a matter of personal taste (I'd have squeezed in "It Ain't Me Babe"), but that one just seems like a no-brainer.
Anyone else want to argue on behalf of Dylan (LP) tracks that might benefit from the no-overdub treatment?
Is the BS-10 version the solo piano take which appeared on the B-side of the "Watching the River Flow" single (also on the 70s Masterpieces comp), or yet another take altogether?
Ray's version is amazing, will definitely check out the Sinatra — but here's a vote for Jerry Lee Lewis's performance on the Great Balls of Fire soundtrack.
A different take. The b-side version was from the New Morning sessions in 1970, the BS10 version seems to be from the same 1969 session that produced the Dylan (LP) version of the song.
I feel like we're traveling down this alley arm-in-arm!
Damn, I knew I was forgetting something! Yes, the iTunes-only "Went To See The Gypsy" should be on there too -- but maybe it is? The iTunes track (released simultaneously with Chronicles Vol. 1) is indeed the "electric piano" version, and there are two versions of the song on BS10. I kick myself periodically for not collecting the rarities offered in Sony's "make your own CD" program -- I must have TRIED; maybe you couldn't do it with a Mac? I don't know ... Anyway, that "I Threw It All Away" (from 1970) is nice; it has a woozy, boozy quality that enhances the sadness of the song.
I don't know why they bothered to include the live tracks at all in the two main discs; I would rather have had a few more of the studio takes I listed above, or some JWH outtakes. I have to admit, bashfully, that I've NEVER heard the Isle Of Wight concert -- I always heard it was a dog, so never got a boot of it. So, while others are griping out the expensive deluxe set containing only stuff "we already have," I'm secretly pretty excited to hear the live disc. JWH and Nashville Skyline tracks, in the late-60s voice, with the Band? Yes, please! All of which is to say, I have no idea what's so special about "Wild Mountain Thyme," but y'all are raving about it, so I'm looking forward to it.
I know I already named half the album, but I'd honestly take the whole damn thing with the "Naked" treatment. It couldn't be WORSE, and I genuinely like most of the tracks. I've even gotten into "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue" in a weaker moment. When the whole track goes full-blown mariachi at about 1:48, I kinda dig it.
Wild Mountain Thyme (a perfectly respectable recording, but I'm really looking forward to hear the professionally taped version):
So will the IOW disc be included with the vinyl version ?
I wouldn't object to Sony someday releasing a Dylan: DE, with the undubbed versions on disc two (and, of course, all the remaining unreleased cover songs). I'm sure it'd be better, and it'd certainly be a day one purchase for me. But, much like the Nashville SP recordings, given the full band that recorded with Dylan during these sessions I don't see the same potential for the pre-overdubs to "wow" like I'm hoping the NYC SP tracks will.
But geez, why did Dylan (and/or Bob Johnson) feel the need to clutter up his songs with those awful background vocals? Maybe it made more sense in the 70's, but I find it hard not to cringe when I hear them today.
I was able to resist listening to that ... for about 10 seconds. Very nice.
I'll add that I've never bought the "revenge" theory of the origins of the "Dylan" LP-- at least not in terms of track selection. Obviously there may have been bruised egos about him leaving (and perhaps that influenced the timing of it's release), but Columbia was a business first and foremost. I think they just took what they thought was a reasonable selection of the most recent Dylan outtakes that they had available (I'm not suggesting that the person who spearheaded this showed much taste or insight!) and made an album out of them. Sure, they could have released a "better" album by exploiting outtakes from earlier in his career, but no one would have mistaken that for a "new" Dylan album. At least these songs sounded consistent with his most recent previous Columbia album, and could obscure the embarrassing fact that he had left the label.
Some people claim that Columbia purposefully took the worst material and made an album out of it just to sabotage Dylan's future career. Until I see some "on the record" quotes from Columbia execs to support that, I'll have a hard time believing that their motivations were much deeper than the short term profit a "new" Dylan album would generate.
Excited about this but, god, that cover is awful. Somebody should have told bob to have another go and maybe put the red crayons away this time - looks like a burns victim.
Thanks for posting such detailed info about what's going to be released. I'm a bit mystified by the Basement Tapes song on there but once I hear it I doubt I'll care about it being "out of place". The '71 tracks are just as out of place anyway.
I hope the mastering is good...
maybe charlie poole?
I suppose it worth mentioning the two versions of "George Jackson"-- now, I don't think they're terribly interesting, so I'm not going to bemoan their absence too much, but the OCD collector in me feels they (along with the much more worthy "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue" b-side) shouldn't be orphaned (or perhaps more accurately marooned) on the now-rare Masterpieces collection when almost all of Dylan's other officially released material from the period is readily available.
Note for anyone interested: "George Jackson (acoustic version)" did appear on the "Listen Whitey" protest music collection in recent years.
Sean, when you finally hear Wild Mountain Thyme for the first time, welllllll ... I can only say it's a performance for the ages. Just Bob and his guitar singing the most beautiful song imaginable, to 150,000 listeners.
It's gosh darn drop dead gorgeous.
and I got that collection JUST for that song. Both versions should be on a Dylan record. I still have my original 45. Love them both
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