Bob Dylan’s ‘More Blood, More Tracks’: Listen

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The long-rumored release of Blood on the Tracks in Bob Dylan‘s renowned Bootleg Series has been announced formally by Columbia/Legacy Recordings. The labels revealed on September 20 the release of More Blood, More Tracks, the 14th volume in the series. The title, available in numerous configurations on November 2, includes a limited Deluxe 6-CD set with “every surviving take” of the original 1974 recording sessions in New York and Minneapolis, encompassing over 70 previously unreleased recordings. It thus significantly expands upon Dylan’s 1975 album, considered one of the artist’s most essential releases, from both an artistic and commercial point of view.

[A early take of You’re a Big Girl Now” was released on October 19. Hear it below.]

The new release is also available as a single CD or 2-LP set that, the announcement notes, “assembles 10 of the most emotionally resonant alternate takes of each of the 10 songs appearing on the original album plus a previously unreleased version of ‘Up to Me.'”

From the announcement: Blood on the Tracks was originally recorded during four days in New York City in September, 1974. Soon thereafter, the album was mastered and review copies began to circulate. A few months later, Dylan felt the album needed a different approach and rerecorded five of the tracks at Minneapolis’ Sound 80 Studios beginning in late December of that year. While a few of the outtakes from the original New York sessions have been highly prized by bootleggers and collectors, most of these recordings have never been available in any format.

Listen to the alternate version of “Tangled Up in Blue” in this presentation clip

The limited edition, 6-CD full-length deluxe version includes the complete New York sessions in chronological order, including outtakes, false starts and studio banter. The album’s producers have worked from the best sources available, in most cases utilizing the original multi-track session tapes. The only recordings remaining from the Minneapolis sessions are the multi-track masters of the five performances included on the finished Blood on the Tracks album. Each of these has been remixed and remastered for the deluxe edition. The set includes a hardcover photo book featuring liner notes by rock historian Jeff Slate and a complete reproduction of one of Dylan’s legendary handwritten 57-page notebooks.

Watch the video for “If You See Her Say Hello” (Take 1) featuring Dylan’s handwritten lyrics

From Slate’s liner notes: “The performances are in the purest state we’ve ever experienced them. During the production, Dylan asked [producer Phil] Ramone to speed up many of the masters by 2-3%, a common practice in the 1960s and ’70s, especially for records sent to AM radio. It was thought that doing so would give the songs a little extra bounce to better engage listeners. Most of the songs from the New York sessions that previously circulated, officially and unofficially, are the sped-up versions that Dylan requested. On More Blood, More Tracks, for the first time, we’re hearing the songs exactly as Dylan recorded them.”

Listen to “You’re a Big Girl Now” (Take 2), released Oct. 19

Blood on the Tracks was originally released in late January 1975, reached #1 on the U.S. album chart in three weeks, and yielded an increasingly rare hit single for Dylan, “Tangled Up in Blue” (#31). The album presented his audience with so many interesting characters weaved into its songs that its original track listing resembles a mid-career greatest hits collection.

Such brilliant songs as “Shelter From the Storm,” “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts,” “Simple Twist of Fate” and “If You See Her, Say Hello” are among the 1975 album’s 10 tracks. Blood on the Tracks, however, was ignored by the Recording Academy, which failed to nominate it for 1976’s Album of the Year. (It was in good company: neither were such classic rock staples as Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti and Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self-titled album.)

Related: Our Album Rewind of Dylan’s “masterful” Blood on the Tracks

The complete track listings are available on Dylan’s website.

Watch Dylan’s official live performance video of “Tangled Up in Blue”

Dylan’s fall 2018 U.S. tour began October 4 with dates continuing into December. Tickets are available here and here.

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