My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1962 : The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes
When Dylan released his landmark album The Freewheelin’ in 1963 he had something special. Out of the 13 songs on this his second album 12 were written by Bob Dylan, and about half of the tracks became all-time classics. This very good outtakes bootleg, which was first released on CD in 1994, includes several great tracks that until today remain officially unreleased or has a very limited release. The cover photography is from the same photo-session as the official cover .
Other entries in this series:
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1969: The Dylan / Cash Sessions
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2011: Funen Village Odense, Denmark June 27
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2012: The Day of Wine and Roses, Barolo, Italy July 16
Hearing the songs that didn’t make the album, does not show us a weaker Dylan, but rather, other roads taken and other views. He was already then looking at different angles and ways to present a song. If you can find this album (and it is quite easy) get it and witness the beginnings of Dylan as we know him today. This is fresh, angry, bluesy and incredibly good!
Solid Road (Rocks and Gravel):
A great package. The cover is an alternate photo from the Don Hunstien West 4th street photo shoot that produced the official LP cover. Inside is Dylan at CBS studio NY with famed producer John Hammond. The recordings are clear, crisp, and right off of the mix down board. This CD belongs in every collection. It was re-released in 1999 by an unknown Label, and again in 2001 by OMR.
Text on the inlay (by the picture of John Hammond):
HOW MANY ROADS MUST A MAN WALK DOWN…
Bob Dylan has walked down many roads. For most of his 22 years he “rode freight trains for kicks and got beat up for laughs, cut grass for quarters and sang for dimes.” And his songs today are the sounds he sopped up all those years on the road – “the coyote’s call and the train whistle’s moan, the ol’ time pals an’ first run gals, the faces you can’t find again.”
Bob does what a true folk singer is supposed to do – sing about the important ideas and events of the times. And he does it better than anybody else.
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes features seven of Bob’s own compositions, including both sides of his rare debut single. Also classic interpretations of songs by icons Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, and Elvis Presley. Including four songs in stereo and additional bonus tracks featuring noteworthy alternate takes.
Hear it and you’ll know why Bob Dylan is the voice of the times.
In January 2013 Sony released a box-set, a four cd collection from the early career of Dylan. It has 86 songs all recorded in 1962, good sound, many great alternative takes, stuff that is very rare. A sure buy, right? Wrong!
You cannot buy it in the shops or online, it was released as a limited edition in Europe with only 100 copies made! It was made as a preventative measure to keep this Dylan material out of the public domain.
“This isn’t a scheme to make money. The copyright law in Europe was recently extended from 50 to 70 years for everything recorded in 1963 and beyond. With everything before that, there’s a new ‘Use It or Lose It’ provision. It basically said, ‘If you haven’t used the recordings in the first 50 years, you aren’t going to get any more.’”
– Sony to Rolling Stone Magazine
Copies have made their way to eBay for huge amounts of money.
The first two CDs include a chronological account of Dylan’s completed studio recordings from 1962, with no false starts or incomplete takes included. (Reports have surfaced that there is an error on the first disc, with “Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues (Take 2)” listed but absent. In its place is “Wichita Blues (Take 2),” which already appears on the same disc.) The third and fourth discs consist of live and home recordings, including performances from a Carnegie Hall concert and the Gaslight. (This set rounds up the Gaslight performances not included on Starbucks’ 10-track highlights CD as well as “No More Auction Block,” previously aired on The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3.)
So is everything on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes included here? Yes, with one exception, Let me die in my footsteps (alternative take with extra verse). And there’s so much more and with better sound, this is a dream-release, or not, as no one can get it (except for 100 lucky bastards).
Here’s a collection that I put together from a YouTube search:
In the meantime we have to make do with the bootlegs in circulation, or you can order it at Amazon(uk) in this grey-area release with a slightly different track listing (before Sony stops it):
Fantastic songs that hopefully will be get a wide release soon.
Amazon.uk has now listed a book and 4dvd box, region free and 3hours running time, set as a companion piece to this magnificent album/bootleg. It seems professionally done but it also looks like a “grey market” package. I’m not sure I can keep from buying it…
“the unique journey of one of the most ground breaking and influential US artists of all time Bob Dylan. Follow the authoritative text encompasses the complete inside story of Bob Dylan the man and his music; the book traces the Bob Dylan story with a detailed biography of his life from his early folk roots through to the world wide musical phenomenon that we know today. The book also features a comprehensive track by track analysis of his studio albums from the 1960’s. The DVDs feature in depth interviews with Dylan, complemented by a wealth of informative insights from dedicated musicologists, journalists and critics who toured with the band. This is the ultimate insight into Bob Dylan his life and music”
8 thoughts on “My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1962 : The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes”
I was friends with both Bobby and Suze back in the early 1960’s. One day in 1962 I ran into him on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. H e was really bummed out because She had gone to Italy. He told me he had just written a song about that. I’m now in my 80’s, still singing and have done a video that tells the story and I sing the song as I remember it from that long ago day. Should you enjoy the video I would recommend you look at the comments. They are quite appreciative of the video..
Thanks, John! One of the more beautiful things I’ve heard lately. Times do change, huh, but the things eternal don’t. They stay with you.
Love this stuff !!!!
I only buy bootlegs of concerts or recordings that would otherwise not be available to me….I think this is such a case…otherwise I totally agree with you
I must admit I did the same think earlier when I couldn’t find rare stuff, and you have a valid point, but I don’t like the idea of a “bootlegger” taking advantage of the artists. I believe all bootlegs should be liberated and that we should buy the official releases from the artists.
Rolling Stones have gotten it right with their stonesarchive releases. Classic bootlegs officially released with vastly improved sound. Other acts should do the same.
Thanks for the feedback!
I got a bootleg copy of the 50th anniversary collection here in Amsterdam from a guy who has a marketstall in the Waterlooplein Market for 65 euros!
I think that was a lot of money for a bootleg…
…the music is well worth that amount. I would be tempted to buy it myself but I will not pay for bootlegs anymore.
Thanks for the feedback
My copy was sent from Moscow. I got it on Ebay. Including shipping it cost me $60.00
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