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Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: [Deluxe Edition]

Track List

>Love Minus Zero/No Limit [Take 1] [Breakdown] - (take)
>Love Minus Zero/No Limit [Take 2] - (take)
>Love Minus Zero/No Limit [Take 3] [Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>Love Minus Zero/No Limit [Take 1] [ Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>I'll Keep It With Mine [Take 1] [Piano Demo] - (take)
>It's All Over Now, Baby Blue [Take 1] - (take)
>Bob Dylan's 115th Dream [Take 1] [Fragment] - (take)
>Bob Dylan's 115th Dream [Take 2] [Complete] - (take)
>She Belongs to Me [Take 1] [Solo Acoustic Version] - (take)
>She Belongs to Me [Take 2] [ Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>She Belongs to Me [Take 1] [Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>Subterranean Homesick Blues [Take 1] - (take)
>Subterranean Homesick Blues [Take 1] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Outlaw Blues [Take 1] [Complete] - (take)
>Outlaw Blues [Take 2] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>On the Road Again [Take 1] [Complete] - (take)
>On the Road Again [Take 4] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>On the Road Again [Take 1] [Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>On the Road Again [Take 7] [Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>Farewell, Angelina [Take 1] [Solo Acoustic Version] - (take)
>If You Gotta Go, Go Now [Take 1] [Complete] - (take)
>If You Gotta Go, Go Now [Take 2] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>You Don't Have to Do That [Take 1] [Solo Acoustic Version] - (take)
>California [Take 1] [Solo Acoustic Version] - (take)
>It's Alright, Ma [I'm Only Bleeding] [Take 1] [False Start] - (take)
>Mr. Tambourine Man [Takes 1-2] [False Starts] - (take)
>Mr. Tambourine Man [Take 3 With Band] [Incomplete] - (take)
>It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry [Take 1] [Complete [6/15/65] - (take)
>It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry [Take 8] [Alternate Take] - (take)
>It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry [Take 3] [Incomplete] - (take)
>It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry [Take 3] [Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence [Take 2] - (take)
>Tombstone Blues [Take 1] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Tombstone Blues [Take 9] - (take)
>Positively 4th Street [Takes 1-3] [False Starts] - (take)
>Positively 4th Street [Take 4] [Complete] - (take)
>Positively 4th Street [Take 5] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Desolation Row [Take 1] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Desolation Row [Take 2] [Piano Demo] - (take)
>Desolation Row [Take 5] [Remake] [Complete] - (take)
>From a Buick 6 [Take 1] [False Start] - (take)
>From a Buick 6 [Take 4] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Takes 1-3] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 4] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 5] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Rehearsal Remake] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 1] [Remake] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Takes 2-3] [Remake] [False Starts] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 4] [Remake] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 5] [Remake] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 6] [Remake] [False Start] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 8] [Remake] [Breakdown] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Takes 9-10] [Remake] [False Starts] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 11] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 12] [Remake] [False Start] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 13] [Remake] [Breakdown] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 14] [Remake] False Start] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Take 15] [Remake] [Breakdown] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Master Take] [Guitar] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Master Take] [Vocals] [Guitar] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Master Take] [Piano] [Bass] - (take)
>Like a Rolling Stone [Master Take] [Drums] [Organ] - (take)
>Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? [Take 1] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? [Take 17] - (take)
>Highway 61 Revisited [Take 3] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Highway 61 Revisited [Take 5] [Complete] - (take)
>Highway 61 Revisited [Take 7] [False Start] - (take)
>Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues [Take 1] [Breakdown] - (take)
>Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues [Take 3] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues [Take 13] [Complete] - (take)
>Queen Jane Approximately [Take 2] [Complete] - (take)
>Queen Jane Approximately [Take 5] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Ballad of a Thin Man [Take 2] [Breakdown] - (take)
>Medicine Sunday [Take 1] - (take)
>Jet Pilot [Take 1] - (take)
>I Wanna Be Your Lover [Take 1] [Fragment] - (take)
>I Wanna Be Your Lover [Take 6] [Complete] - (take)
>Instrumental [Take 2] [Complete] - (take)
>Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? [Take 6] [Complete] - (take)
>Visions of Johanna [Take 1] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Visions of Johanna [Take 5] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Visions of Johanna [Take 7] [Complete] - (take)
>Visions of Johanna [Take 8] - (take)
>Visions of Johanna [Take 14] [Complete] - (take)
>She's Your Lover Now [Take 1] [Breakdown] - (take)
>She's Your Lover Now [Take 6] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>She's Your Lover Now [Take 15] - (take)
>She's Your Lover Now [Take 16] [Complete] - (take)
>One of Us Must Know [Sooner or Later] [Take 2] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>One of Us Must Know [Sooner or Later] [Take 4] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>One of Us Must Know [Sooner or Later] [Take 19] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Lunatic Princess [Take 1] - (take)
>Fourth Time Around [Take 11] [Complete] - (take)
>Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat [Take 3] [Complete] - (take)
>Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat [Take 8] [Alternate Take] - (take)
>Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35 [Take 1] [Rehearsal and Finished Track] - (take)
>Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again [Take 1] [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again [Rehearsal] - (take)
>Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again [Take 5] - (take)
>Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again [Take 13] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again [Take 14] [Complete] - (take)
>Absolutely Sweet Marie [Take 1] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Just Like a Woman [Take 1] [Complete] - (take)
>Just Like a Woman [Take 4] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Just Like a Woman [Take 8] [Complete] - (take)
>Pledging My Time [Take 1] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Most Likely You Go Your Way [And I'll Go Mine] [Take 1] [Complete] - (take)
>Temporary Like Achilles [Take 3] [Complete] - (take)
>Obviously Five Believers [Take 3] [Complete] - (take)
>I Want You [Take 4] [Alternate Take] - (take, alternate take)
>Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands [Take 1] [Complete] - (take)

Album Reviews:

Billboard - "The artistic journey detailed here sheds light on Dylan's much ballyhooed transition from folk to rock music and his sharp integration of rock 'n' roll, blues and countrified sounds with lyrical fever dreams, spitfire beat-poetics, obtuse personal observations, amphetamine confessionals and biting social commentary."

Paste (magazine) - "The songs on THE CUTTING EDGE are just as brash, bristling and amazing to hear as they were when they were first unleashed half a century ago."

Album Notes

Audio Mixers: Damian Rodriguez; Steve Addabbo.

Liner Note Authors: Bill Flanagan; Ben Rollins; Sean Wilentz.

Photographers: Rowland Scherman; Don Hunstein; Fred McDarrah; Jean-Marie Périer; Daniel Kramer ; Eugene Smith; Jerry Schatzberg; Val Wilmer; Dale Smith; Tony Frank; Jan Persson; Bjorn Larrson.

"I'll do this one more time and if I can't do it, we'll do another song. I'll do any song as good as I can do it the first time."

Bob Dylan says these words once his first solo take of "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" breaks down after a minute. Dylan's definition of "good" is fluid, of course. Sometimes, a first take satisfied him -- "Maggie's Farm" and "Gates of Eden" are two prime examples -- but often he'd find he could do a song better or at least do it differently, swapping out words, speeding up the tempo, and changing the feel, occasionally radically transforming his song. Sometimes, these radical transformations are the versions that found their way to the finished record, so they're now seen as etched in stone but The Cutting Edge 1965-1966, the 12th volume of The Bootleg Series, shows Dylan didn't enter the studio with posterity in mind when he went to cut Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde: he was making music of and for the moment.

Familiarity hasn't necessarily dulled the impact of these three records, all written and recorded within a span of 14 months -- a period of time when Dylan also filmed Don't Look Back, electrified the Newport Folk Festival, and was declared a Judas at the Royal Albert Hall -- but they have made them seem inevitable, works carved out of granite whose fates were preordained. The gift of The Cutting Edge is that it makes this, the greatest run of creativity in Dylan's career and perhaps in rock & roll in general, once again seems wild, nervy, and quicksilver, upending expectations and undercutting conventions. Within one of the three sets of liner notes, Bill Flanagan calls these six discs of outtakes, alternates, and rehearsals "work tapes," which is technically true, but undersells how this music crackles as it shape-shifts, sometimes soaring, sometimes stumbling, but always feeling fiercely alive. If it's difficult to claim that a solo "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" and a locomotive "Visions of Johanna" recorded with the Band are superior to the versions on Home and Blonde, they're nevertheless magnificent in their own right while also shedding light on how Dylan worked; with producer Tom Wilson, the singer/songwriter wasted no time, while Bob Johnston allowed Bob to twist and test his songs, letting him discover the soul that lay within. Along the way, Dylan was truly fearless -- he'd goose a tempo to see if it gave a ballad life, he'd let Mike Bloomfield and Robbie Robertson run wild; the fact that he abandoned a song as wonderful as "She's Your Lover Now," possibly because it never quite withstood such stress tests, speaks volumes -- and among the many gifts The Cutting Edge has to offer is that it illuminates these three great records while also illustrating that they were just mere snapshots in time. By breaking down the barriers that separated these three albums, The Cutting Edge shows how for Dylan during this blinding, brilliant peak his music was a living thing, evolving from song to song, take to take, where the quest itself was as transcendent as the final destination. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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