Dylan, Bob & The Band: The Basement Tapes (Vinyl 2xLP)

Dylan, Bob & The Band: The Basement Tapes (Vinyl 2xLP)

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Some years back, The Band cut a song called "The Rumor." It's a tune that could well describe the music now collected here. The Basement Tapes are a bit like the phantom 1956 session that brought Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash together for the first and last time. In spite of the bootlegs and cover versions, The Basement Tapes have always been more of a rumor than anything else.

Some facts, then. The twenty-four songs on these two discs are drawn from sessions that took place between June and October, 1967, in the basement of Big Pink, a house rented by some members of The Band, up in West Saugerties, New York. Bob Dylan sings lead on sixteen numbers; one of them, "Goin' To Acapulco," has never been bootlegged -- for that matter, it has never even been rumored. Richard Manuel, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Robbie Robertson take the lead on eight others, none of which has ever surfaced either. There's a lot of back-up singing all around.

The instrumental line up is: Rick Danko, bass (mandolin on "Ain't No More Cane"); Garth Hudson, organ (sax on "Orange Juice Blues (Blues For Breakfast)," accordion on "Ain't No More Cane"); Richard Manuel, piano (drums on "Odds And Ends," "Yazoo Street Scandal," "Ain't No More Cane" and "Don't Ya Tell Henry," harp on "Long Distance Operator": Robbie Robertson, lead guitar (drums on "Apple Suckling Tree," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and "This Wheel's On Fire," acoustic guitar on "Ain't No More Cane"); Bob Dylan, acoustic guitar (piano on "Apple Suckling Tree"). Levon Helm, who had left The Band when, as The Hawks, they were backing Dylan on stage in 1965, had yet to rejoin his group when most of the material with Dylan was recorded; he was back, on drums (mandolin on "Yazoo Street Scandal" and "Don't Ya Tell Henry," bass on "Ain't No More Cane"), for the tunes by The Band.

Cut live on a home tape recorder, with from one to three mikes, all of the tracks have been remastered; highlights have been brought out, tones sharpened, tape hiss removed, and so on. The sound is clear, immediate, and direct; as intimate as a living room and as slick as a barbed wire fence.

2017 reissue on 180 gram vinyl.
  1. Odds and Ends
  2. Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)
  3. Million Dollar Bash
  4. Yazoo Street Scandal
  5. Goin' to Acapulco
  6. Katie's Been Gone
  7. Lo and Behold
  8. Bessie Smith
  9. Clothes Line Saga
  10. Apple Suckling Tree
  11. Please, Mrs. Henry
  12. Tears of Rage
  13. Too Much of Nothing
  14. Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
  15. Ain't No More Cane
  16. Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)
  17. Ruben Remus
  18. Tiny Montgomery
  19. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
  20. Don't Ya Tell Henry
  21. Nothing Was Delivered
  22. Open the Door, Homer
  23. Long Distance Operator
  24. This Wheel's on Fire

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