This 2014 CD is part of a Japanese series of 14 Bob Dylan albums being remastered using Sony's Blu-Spec 2 process* and comes in a cardboard sleeve replica of the original album. It sounds heads above the previous release, a European CD titled A Fool Such As I, the album's title outside the U.S. Beware of a bootleg version that's tempting due to the extra tracks. This was one of the few Dylan albums never released on CD in the U.S. at the request of the artist himself......
'Dylan' was Bob's thirteenth studio album, released in November 1973 which reached #19 in the charts and earning a gold record despite being reviled by critics and the artist himself. It was his first album to contain no original compositions. Dylan's contract with long-time label Columbia Records was up for renewal that year, but he decided to sign with David Geffen's fledgling Asylum imprint. Columbia's reaction was to release this album without any input or blessing from the artist. The tunestack included session outtakes from his two previous 1970 albums; seven from the critically-acclaimed 'New Morning' (US#7) and two from his previous release, the equally critically-reviled (at the time) 'Self Portrait,' a double album which astounded confused fans due to it's heavy reliance on cover versions and sometimes overly slick musical backing. The album's also famous for Greil Marcus' opening line in his Rolling Stone review, "What is this s***?" No matter, the album managed a #4 chart showing upon release, showing that fans at that time would by anything he released "ears unheard." 'Dylan' had never been released on CD in the U.S. until it's inclusion in 2013's 47 disc mega-set 'The Complete Album Collection V.1' at the artist's request, showing that Dylan still despised the release even though 41 years had flowed under the bridge of time. Listening with fresh ears today it sounds exactly like what it is, a collection of outtakes not deemed releasable by the artist. In the liner notes to this year's Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10, Dylan states that he was tired of his deification and when it came time to record 'Self Portrait' "I threw everything I could think of at the wall and whatever stuck, released it, and then went back and scooped up everything that didn't stick and released that, too." He was hoping that "when critics dismissed my work, the same thing would happen to me." Dylan found however that withdrawing from the game of fame was much harder than joining the club. He would not release any more original material until 1973's soundtrack to the Sam Peckinpah film "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid" (which contained the now classic "Knocking On Heaven's Door"), his penultimate release for Columbia until he re-signed with them in 1975, releasing another stone classic, 'Blood on the Tracks.' In between were his two Asylum releases with THE BAND (now on Columbia), 'Planet Waves' and the live concert document 'Before The Flood.' Here's the 'Dylan' track list:
1. Lily Of The West (Trad.) 3:44
2. Can't Help Falling In Love (Weiss, Peretti & Creatore) 4:17
3. Sarah Jane (Trad.) 2:43
4. The Ballad Of Ira Hayes (Peter LaFarge) 5:08
5. Mr. Bojangles (Jerry Jeff Walker) 5:31
6. Mary Ann (Trad.) 2:40
7. Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell) 2:12
8. A Fool Such As I (Bill Trader) 2:41
9. Spanish Is The Loving Tongue (Charles Badger Clark) 4:13)
*The remastered albums currently (June 2014) available are: "Self Portrait," "New Morning," "Greatest Hits Vol.2," "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid," "Dylan," "Planet Waves," "Before The Flood," "Blood On The Tracks," "The Basement Tapes," "Desire," "Hard Rain," "Street Legal," "Bob Dylan At Budokan," and "Slow Train Coming." "Saved," "Shot Of Love," "Infidels," "Real Live," "Empire Burlesque," "Knocked Out Loaded," "Down In The Groove," "Dylan & The Dead," and "Oh Mercy" will be released on Aug. 27, 2014 (the links will take you to my other reviews)......