Glory be to all music fans today! We have reached the promised land! I read in my new issue of Rolling Stone today that Bob Dylan will be releasing the complete recordings from his sessions with the Band in Woodstock in the late 60s. Known as the Basement Tapes, they have long been one of the most sought after Dylan/Band bootlegs. These sessions were the crucible that helped form the musical identity of the Band, and are believed to contain some of the greatest, loosest, most freewheeling music ever.
After I finished keening incoherently*, I ran to the computer and pre-ordered my copy at Amazon. For anyone so inclined and with the bucks, the set is called The Basement Tapes Complete: Bootleg Series, Volume 11. It’s part of a long running series of Dylan recordings that have previously only been available as bootlegs. He’s basically been raiding the vaults in between making new music that sounds as vital as anything else he’s ever done. (Except for that damn Christmas album he released a few years ago. What the hell was he thinking?)
Back in 1975, a handful of the songs from those sessions was released as The Basement Tapes, compiled and produced by Robbie Robertson. If you’ve ever heard any of those songs you know what treasures there must be in this new release. “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” was one of the songs on the ’75 release, and it’s one I’ve always enjoyed. I’m seriously looking forward to hearing the complete thing, fully restored and remastered. Really, I never thought this day would ever come. Now I just have to hold on until November 4th.
*Seriously. It came out like a high-pitched moan. I may also have rocked back and forth like a traumatized Bart Simpson and trembled a little.