50 years ago: Bob Dylan – The first recording session for “Bringing It All Back Home”

Bob Dylan - bringing it all back home

I never wanted to write topical songs,…. Have you heard my last two records, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61? It’s all there. That’s the real Dylan.
~Bob Dylan (Frances Taylor Interview, Aug. 1965)

50 years ago – 13 January 1965 – Bob Dylan entered Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios, NYC for the first of three seminal days in the studio… It was time to show the “real” Dylan on record.


Bringing It All Back Home is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in March 1965 by Columbia Records. The album is divided into an electric and an acoustic side. On side one of the original LP, Dylan is backed by an electric rock and roll band—a move that further alienated him from some of his former peers in the folk song community. Likewise, on the acoustic second side of the album, he distanced himself from the protest songs with which he had become closely identified (such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”), as his lyrics continued their trend towards the abstract and personal.

The album reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart, the first of Dylan’s LPs to break into the US top 10. It also topped the UK charts later that Spring. The lead-off track, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, became Dylan’s first single to chart in the US, peaking at #39.

Photo by Columbia Records photgrapher Don Hunstein

….when Dylan and Wilson began work on the next album, they temporarily refrained from their own electric experimentation. The first session, held on January 13, 1965 in Columbia’s Studio A in New York, was recorded solo, with Dylan playing piano or acoustic guitar. Ten complete songs and several song sketches were produced, nearly all of which were discarded. None of these recordings would be used for the album, but three would eventually be released: “I’ll Keep It With Mine” on 1985’s Biograph, and “Farewell Angelina” and an acoustic version of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” on 1991’s The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991.

….when we recorded Bringing It All Back Home, that was like a break through point, it’s the kind of music I’ve been striving to make and I believe that in time people will see that.
~Bob Dylan (Paul Gambaccini Interview, June 81)

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
Biograph 1985-11-07 BIO
The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3
(Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991
1991-03-26 TBS1-3
The Bootleg Series Vol 7. No Direction Home: The Soundtrack 2005-08-30 TBS7
Exclusive Outtakes From No Direction Home: The Soundtrack 2005-11-01 EOFNDH
NCIS The Official TV Soundtrack Vol. 2 2009-11-03 NCIS

Studio A
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
January 13, 1965, 7-10 pm

Produced by Tom Wilson.
Engineers: Hallie and Catero.

  1. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
  2. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
  3. I’ll Keep It With Mine – BIO
    I’ll Keep It With Mine – a heartbreakingly lovely solo performance on piano & harmonica, did turn up on Biograph, after sitting in the vault for 20 years. How can Dylan record something so beautiful and then let it remain unrealesed?
    ~Paul Williams (BD – Performing Artist 1960-73)

    I’ll Keep It With Mine by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
    And what an exquisite song it is. Author Paul Cable once described
    “I’ll Keep It with Mine” as “possibly the best thing he had written up to that point . . .
    ~Clinton Heylin (Revolution In The Air)
  4. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – TBS7
    It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue [Take 1] by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
  5. Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream
  6. Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream
  7. She Belongs To Me
  8. Subterranean Homesick Blues – TBS1-3
    The acoustic version included here with Dylan singing in an extraordinary skip-rope monotone comes as quite a surprise. Possibly recorded as a guide for his musicians to learn the song, it works perfectly well as a solo take an might have fitted unobtrusively on Another Side Of Bob Dylan
    ~John Bauldie (notes for TBS1-3)

    Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
  9. Outlaw Blues – EOFNDH

    Outlaw Blues by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
  10. On The Road Again
  11. Farewell Angelina – TBS1-3
    ..it’s a treat to hear Dylan sing this song at all, but what a stunning version with its subtle, beautiful variation of the melody familiar from Joan Baez’s recording, the slow, deliberate way in which those extraordinary words are sung…
    ~John Bauldie (notes for TBS1-3)
    Farewell, Angelina by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
  12. If You Gotta Go, Go Now
  13. If You Gotta Go, Go Now
  14. You Don’t Have To Do That
  15. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
  16. She Belongs To Me
  17. California
  18. California – NCIS
    California by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocal).

bd 1965_10


  •  1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 14, 18  are in circulation.

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