What We Learned From Bob Dylan's 'More Blood, More Tracks' Bootleg Expansion


For diehard followers, Bob Dylan might have by no means made a file extra shrouded in hypothesis than 1975’s Blood on the Tracks. 

For one, there’s the way it was made. Did he rent a complete studio band simply at hand all of them pink-slips and file alone? And what made him depart a virtually accomplished file in New York to make the entire thing over once more in Minnesota? Then there’s the tunes, filled with ultimatums and bitter farewells: was it his heart-on-sleeve divorce album or was Dylan basically setting quick tales to music?

While these questions might by no means be definitively answered, Dylan followers can console themselves with a brand new field set: More Blood, More Tracks. On Friday (Nov. 2), Legacy Recordings releases a whopping 87-track model of Dylan’s basic 1975 album. 

The assortment options a wide range of demos, alternate takes and different unreleased materials that sheds new gentle on how a folk-rock basic was made. In this heady six-disc version, followers can witness the evolution of key songs like “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Idiot Wind” and get a couple of new clues about Dylan’s headspace and strategy. 

By offering a tantalizing fly-on-the-wall look into A&R Studios and Sound One, the expanded album gives new data for fanatics and informal followers alike on how a key Dylan album was made.

We might by no means know the whole story behind Blood on the Tracks, however there’s sufficient bonus materials surrounding the album for heads to dissect, debate and cherish for hours. Here are three takeaways from the field: 

1. Blood on the Tracks might have began its life solo and acoustic, not the opposite approach round.

How did Dylan start to make Tracks? A narrative has popped up over time to elucidate the way it went on the outset: The session engineer, Phil Ramon, assembled Deliverance, a studio band named after the basic movie it soundtracked, to again Dylan up, just for the legendarily cantankerous songwriter to ship all of them dwelling. The bassist, Tony Brown, was the one man left standing. 

But More Tracks, unusually sufficient, doesn’t start with the band. Every disc is organized in chronological order -- and Disc 1 begins with solo renditions of “If You See Her, Say Hello,” “You’re a Big Girl Now,” “Simple Twist of Fate,” “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts,” and the outtake “Up to Me.” On Disc 2, Deliverance tries its hand on the tunes. 

While it’s true that he’d finally go in a distinct course, More Blood, More Tracks reveals that some Dylan followers have basically gotten the entire story backwards.

2. Songs had been rewritten till the eleventh hour.

Throughout the field’s six discs, we’re handled to a wide range of takes of its famously bitter centerpiece, “Idiot Wind.” They all fluctuate in nearly each respect, particularly lyrically; in Minnesota, Dylan would sing extra universally (“You’ll by no means know the damage I suffered nor the ache I rose above”), a marked change from the moodier, extra nuanced prior lyrics (“You shut your eyes and pout your lips and slip your fingers out of your gloves”).

By the sound of Disc 6, Dylan continued to tweak this put-down tune till the final second. By the time Dylan hit Minneapolis, that band was nonetheless enduring rewrites: “Bob was nonetheless scribbling final minute lyric adjustments on little pink post-it notes,” remembers session guitarist Bob Odegard within the liner notes. 

The sound had been radically reworked, too; if you already know the fanged, garage-rock model on the unique album, take a look at its spooky, sparse variations on Disc 2.

three. We can lastly hear Tracks like we’re proper there within the room.

It’s simple to overlook that a few of our ‘60s and ‘70s rock heroes’ data aren’t truly in Western tonality. In these days, it was widespread apply to hurry up studio recordings to present them a little bit additional zest, and Blood on the Tracks isn't any exception. According to the liner notes, Dylan particularly requested Ramon to fudge the pitch and tempo for the radio and file market. That’s not the case on More Tracks; for the diehards, that is how this music actually sounded because it was performed.

And for Dylanites who swear by the rawer New York classes as a substitute of the comparatively poppy Minneapolis takes, More Tracks has rather a lot to chew on. With this wealth of fabric, obsessives can nearly construct their very own model of the album. 

Will followers want the unique “If You See Her, Say Hello” or the model through which Dylan actually twists the knife: “If you’re making like to her, kiss her for the child”? Was Dylan’s blues outtake “Call Letter Blues” too good to omit? And who impressed such animosity to have Dylan write and rewrite “Idiot Wind” about them?

With this field set, anticipate fierce debate and loving communion. There have by no means been Tracks fairly like this.