My copy of Bob Dylan and the Band’s Basement Tapes Complete arrived today. I’m currently ripping disc 4 onto my computer. I’m also in the middle of listening to track 5 on disc 1, “Belshazzar.” I am almost apoplectic with glee right now. (Yeah, that might be physically impossible, but I’m working on accomplishing it.)
Just switched to “I Forgot to Remember to Forget.” A lot of the tracks are covers of old Folk and Country classics, which might be why Robbie Robertson weeded them out on the truncated 1975 release. He probably wanted to showcase as much of the original stuff as possible, not to mention showcase the Band’s contributions as much as Dylan’s. I get that. But his curating led to all this amazing music being kept out of circulation. Well, legal circulation, anyway. The bootlegs of these recordings have been bouncing around almost since they were recorded. But this is the first official release of everything, with all the commensurate bells and whistles.
Among those bells and whistles are some amazing pictures and essays packaged in hardcover. They did their best to make this set worth the price tag. (Amazon ended up charging me about $30 less than the original list price, but it’s still more than a hundred bucks for everything.) Frankly, I’m so happy right now I could just spit. It might be enough to keep my mind off of politics tonight.
I’m not including a clip. I searched YouTube, but every title that matched one of these terrific tracks was “not available in your country.” I’m sure it’s available for streaming somewhere, so if you can’t pony up the bucks, you should probably be able to listen to it. I’d look it up, but I just want to get back to the music.