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Bob Dylan's 'Basement Tapes Complete' Streaming on NPR, Rare Demos and Studio Cuts Glorified in New Set

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Oct 27, 2014 12:57 PM EDT

Anytime the Tambourine Man, Bob Dylan, does something, it makes a splash. This kind of stride has not yielded yet either, as the good folks at NPR are, now, streaming his forthcoming disc-set The Basement Tapes Complete for all to hear.

The new collection is a courtesy to the era of music the Band and him were helping cultivate around the time of the sessions, in 1967. Nestling up near Dylan's home and Big Pink in Woodstock, N.Y., the musicians carved out a nook of their own in the woods, hitting the record button only when the moment felt right.

But that is the word: right. When taking in some of the tracks from the new series, the definition behind what seemed fit and right for a recoding now seems skewed. False starts, vocal hiccups, dragging drum beats — these are not characteristics of what some might feel as proper — again, the word right coming into play.

As NPR notes, Dylan continued his workflow as he normally did on previous LPs: sprawling out on a typewriter, clocking in some new phrases and words just as he is about to walk to the basement and record a rough idea — which ultimately would take the shape of songs like "I Shall Be Released" and "Quinn the Eskimo."

Old tunes have a slower, more relaxed feel to them this time around, bringing to light the idea that this kind of release is more of an "audio documentary" than an addition to the ever-expanding Bootleg Series.

However you peg it, it is a change of pace from the judgmental light of his fans, who are not trying to "dig" into it but rather enjoy it.

And that is all anyone wants for now.

Also included is the "Folsom Prison Blues" cover by Dylan and his band:

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TagsThe Basement Tapes Complete, Bootleg Series, Big Pink, Woodstock, I Shall be Released, Quinn the Eskimo

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