The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 was the very first Dylan I ever owned for myself. It was bought as a gift one Christmas by a beautiful woman, this is probably how everyone should get their first Dylan album. It should be a rite of passage that a person of beauty carry the first Dylan album to the supplicant on a red velvet pillow that they can rest their sweat wracked head upon after digesting the album.
This collection may have needed two red velvet pillows as it was a lot to digest at 58 unreleased versions of Dylan.
Here we are with Disc 5. Dylan on the cover looking like some punch drunk boxer fumbling his way through his first three chords in the Ralph McTell learn to play guitar book. This may be a good analogy for Dylan in the eighties heading towards the 90’s reeling from the blows he had taken to the head. Many saying his best days were behind him and he was a washed up has been, others lauding him as the great songwriter who cold do no wrong.
I wanted to hear Blind Willie McTell but I have a rule that you have to lay the whole album when listening to Dylan. Luckily this does not mean the whole box set.
On the way I was reminded how great When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky is from the much ridiculed and maybe rightly so Empire Burlesque album. It’s a brash hectoring song, full of great lines and attitude. Dylan is out Dylaning himself at times with his delivery.
Syd got into the woods again today, about a half second after this picture he ended up in the creek.