Saturday, February 16, 2019
Bob Dylan: The New York Tapes
A limited release from 2015, Bob Dylan: The New York Tapes features some of Dylan's earliest studio recordings as well as his first single for Columbia, "Mixed Up Confusion." Many of these tracks would appear in a more polished form on the debut record Bob Dylan, while others are rare outtakes, including some radio performances from the early 1960s.
Smokestack Lightening - A blues traditional made famous by Howlin' Wolf.
You're No Good - Another blues recording, would be the first track on the first album.
Roll On, John - Not the tribute to John Lennon that appeared on Tempest, but another blues number.
Talkin' New York - One of Dylan's first originals that's appeared on many releases.
Hard Travelin' - Sounds rough, but features a passionate vocal.
HIghway 51 - The guitar riff sounds like a primordial version of "It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
Standing on the Highway - A rushed and fragmented Guthrie pastiche.
House of the Rising Sun - A favorite from the early days that according to Dave Von Ronk Dylan stole from his repertoire, but the Animals would record the definitive rock version.
Dylan's rough vocals are almost in the grunge style made popular in the 1990s.
Mixed Up Confusion - The first single that features guitar, bass, and drum that never quite took off upon release. Still a fun record with Dylan making an early attempt to stretch his sound.
The Death of Emmett Till - Performed on a radio show, the song's power grows with each verse.
Man of Constant Sorrow - Another standout from the debut record, very much in the Woody Guthrie tradition.
Corrina, Corrina - A bit looser than than the official release on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, always an underrated song.
Song to Woody - Maybe Bob's first great song about saying goodbye his idol and going his own way.
All in all, The New York Tapes presents a vivid portrait of early Dylan emerging as a songwriter and performer.
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