Record­ings weigh in on a Bob Dy­lan dilemma

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - EXPLORE - BY DAVID BAUDER As­so­ci­ated Press NEW YORK

The 14th vol­ume of Bob Dy­lan’s boot­leg se­ries won’t set­tle one of the most per­sis­tent de­bates about his record­ing ca­reer. But it will al­low fans to de­cide for them­selves.

Dy­lan’s 1975 al­bum “Blood on the Tracks” is con­sid­ered a mile­stone, a tor­rent of words and im­ages thought to be in­spired by the breakup of his mar­riage, al­though he in­sists the sto­ries he was read­ing at the time had more to do with it. The No­bel prize com­mit­tee likely had it in mind when giv­ing Dy­lan its 2016 award for lit­er­a­ture.

He recorded tracks like “Id­iot Wind,” “Tan­gled Up in Blue” and “Shel­ter From the Storm” in New York the pre­vi­ous Septem­ber, pri­mar­ily with his acous­tic gui­tar but oc­ca­sion­ally joined by a few other mu­si­cians.

But shortly be­fore the al­bum’s re­lease, on a holiday break home in Min­nesota, an ap­par­ently un­sat­is­fied Dy­lan con­vened a mostly un­known group of mu­si­cians and re-recorded half of the al­bum’s 10 songs.

Many of his fans, par­tic­u­larly those who heard il­licit out­takes of what he recorded in New York, have long de­bated whether that was a mis­take.

The six-disc box set out Fri­day, “More Blood, More Tracks,” lays it all on the line. It in­cludes ev­ery­thing he recorded in New York, so fa­nat­ics can see how songs pro­gressed as Dy­lan tried out dif­fer­ent ar­range­ments.

With a price ex­ceed­ing $100, the box is aimed at ra­bid fans with money and time to spare. But Sony has also com­piled a sin­gle-disc re­lease with al­ter­nate ver­sions of the songs on “Blood on the Tracks.”

Columbia Records

The cover of Bob Dy­lan’s Boot­leg Se­ries re­lease “More Blood, More Tracks.”

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