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The Basement Tapes: The Bootleg Series Vol 11 [VINYL] Box set

4.5 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

Price: £63.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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  • The Basement Tapes: The Bootleg Series Vol 11 [VINYL]
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  • Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 [VINYL]
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  • The Best Of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 [VINYL]
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Product details

  • Vinyl (24 Nov. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: COLUMBIA
  • ASIN: B00MXILUCY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Compiled from meticulously restored original tapes--many found only recently--this historic 3 LP set is the definitive chronicle of the artist's legendary 1967 recording sessions with members of his touring ensemble who would later achieve their own fame as The Band.

The Basement Tapes Raw is a 3 LP set of highlights from the complete 6CD box set collection.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Not wishing to re-hash the many favourable reviews to date, the 2 CD set is really all you need unless you have a large bank balance and do not own 'A Tree With Roots'. There is some great material here, with some songs which have never been released even on bootleg, such as the takes of One Too Many Mornings and Blowin in the Wind..

If you own the 1975 Basement Tapes set, this is still worth getting as it has more Dylan tracks and to my ears a more natural sound, although it's not hi-fi. The Band's tracks, while a good listen and valuable material, didn't really belong.

While I haven't done an audit, I think all the 1975 Dylan songs are here, sometimes in alternate takes, and most of the best material from the complete collection seems to be present as well. 'See You Later Allen Ginsberg' would have been nice but you can't have everything.

The set is worth it just for 'Get Your Rocks Off', a hilarious blues which features Bob singing, cracking up laughing, nice guitar and funny Richard Manuel backing vocals.

The 2 CD set is well priced but the 6 disc set has a stratospheric price and I'd wait for it to go on special or pick up a second hand copy. Thanks to Garth Hudson and the producers/compilers, and to Mr Dylan for allowing this material to be released at last. Packaging of the 2CD set is comprehensive and has all the information you need.

Highly recommended
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If you're new to Bob Dylan I would suggest you first of all don't listen to the hype which has surrounded these recordings since cover versions started to emerge in the late sixties. What you get here are loose, jam sessions amongst friends. Nobody, certainly not Dylan, is trying for "final take".

The Basement Tapes is a fine example of a record gaining a huge reputation amongst fans and collectors simply because it was never legally available. In other words it gathered a kind of mystique which grew through the ages as successive critics and writers each tried to outdo the other with superlative praise.

To make matters worse, the version of The Basement Tapes officially released in the 1970s were not the tapes at all. The Band tracks on that release were mostly recorded much later without Dylan, and others were overdubbed. Thankfully one can now throw that dishonest mixed bag in the bin and purchase the real item.

This album is the stepping stone between the heady days of Highway 61 & Blonde On Blonde (albums which in retrospect are quite non-representational of Dylan as a whole) and Nashville Skyline / New Morning. A band of musicians drawing breath, looking at their roots, deciding where, if anywhere, they want to go next. One could argue The Band (though I'm not a fan), gained perhaps more from the experience than Dylan himself, judging by both careers immediately after this project.

This is essential to your collection, but not a first choice by any means. As with the Beatles Get Back sessions, one is constantly left thinking what might have been. You listen to the tracks, certainly enjoying them, but it is left up to your imagination to complete the picture.
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Whereas the 1975 double-album The Basement Tapes had been prepared by Robbie Robertson and Rob Fraboni in an attempt to make the recordings sound like a finished product, the intention of this Bootleg series is to present them in their informal, homemade state. Garth Hudson had recorded the sessions on a stereo open-reel tape machine with the intention of mixing them to mono, and both the 1975 and 2014 versions sound mono, whether they are or not. This is not a review so much as a comparison.
If you own the 1975 set there no songs that you won't find here apart from those by the Band alone. These weren't actually from the Woodstock 1967 sessions anyway, although one of those songs, Don't Ya Tell Henry, which had a vocal from Levon Helm, does appear here with an earlier Bob Dylan vocal.
Six tracks appear in restored versions, with cleaner sound and reverb removed, and another eight that had additional instruments added for the 1975 release appear here in their original state. The other seventeen songs were not on the 1975 set and all but three of these were previously unreleased, those being a restored version of Quinn The Eskimo, I'm Not There and Santa Fé.
Here is the breakdown of the 1975 tracklist as the tracks appear on the 2014 RAW release
Odds And Ends (alternate take)
Orange Juice Blues (not included, by the Band only on original release)
Million Dollar Bash (alternate take)
Yazoo Street Scandal (not included, by the Band only on original release)
Goin' To Acapulco (without overdubs)
Katie's Been Gone (not included, by the Band only on original release)
Lo And Behold!
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In the early 70s I heard Little White Wonder and thought it brilliant. For over twenty years it was the only Bob Dylan album I owned. Such great songs, and played with The Band too. It was always a bit muffled and became crackly over the years, however, so I bought the Basement Tapes when it came out - and was disgusted. A dull recording, tracks ruined by pointless overdubs or missed off completely, and a load of neither here nor there fillers. So, when the current Bootleg Series Basement Tapes began to be discussed in magazine articles, the talk of clearer recordings, better mixes etc. caught my eye. The Complete version seemed a bit excessive and expensive, so I opted for the Raw release. It has to be said that the recordings are generally clearer - but, this is still not a replacement for Little White Wonder. Quinn the Eskimo and Million Dollar Bash are provided only in alternative takes (though these are not bad in themselves). The worst crime, however, is Lo and Behold. Which clown thought it would be a good idea to substitute this blundering attempt, with missed cues, bum notes, and a complete collapse into laughter for the excellent take on LWW??? The idea seems to be that Raw is a sort of companion/repair kit for The Basement Tapes, so you need to have both to make LWW - or pay over £100 for the Complete version. So this is an annoying release and includes all kinds of unnecessary stuff such as Santa Fe, One For the Road, Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Todd, and a blues version of Blowing in the Wind. So, I'm still stuck with my old vinyl bootleg unless I want to fork out yet more money for other stuff I mostly don't want.
What should be released is clear versions of the Little White Wonder takes, with other interesting material to fill up the (single) CD.
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