Bob Dylan – Genuine Basement Tapes Volume 2


Bob Dylan – guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals
Robbie Robertson – guitar, drums, vocals
Rick Danko – bass, fiddle, vocals
Richard Manuel – piano, drums, vocals
Garth Hudson – organ, piano
(Levon Helm also appears on some tracks)

Volume two consists mostly of those songs available in 1967 and subsequently released on the official Basement Tapes album (hereafter called OA), but many of these versions have never been heard before by the general public, even though they have been known of for years. This is the core of the Basement Tapes. The nice thing about this disc is that is tends to present the multiple takes more or less in order, so that for the first time we actually have both versions of Quinn the Eskimo and all three takes of Open the Door Homer on one disc. Also, the multiple versions present further evidence that these songs were probably intended to be released as part of an album at one time or another.

Odds and Ends #1

A different take than the one on the OA, but not much different except that the ending is more ragged.

Nothing Was Delivered #1

Much different than the OA version. This one is more uptempo with a drum track. Just a fragment, though. There’s a more complete one later on.

Odds and Ends #2

The OA version, minus the piano which was actually overdubbed in 1975 (prove me wrong!). Otherwise, identical to the album track.

Get Your Rocks Off

One of the legends of the original Basement Tapes. Long available on various vinyl bootlegs, most notably VD Waltz, this one is a pretty funny blues number with everyone having a real good time. Covered by Manfred Mann, of all people. The lyrics are hilarious.

Clothesline Saga

Same as on the OA, except that the flub at the beginning was cleaned up for the album. It’s intact here. One of the highlights from the session.

Apple Suckling Tree #1
Apple Suckling Tree #2

Version 1 appeared on the OA and version 2 is only slightly different, being just a little bit more sloppy than the first one. Both are very good and Garth really shines. Has anyone noticed that the tune is almost identical to Froggie Went A-Courtin’?

Going To Acapulco

Before the release of the OA, this song was completely unknown. Here it is again, this time in a slightly different mix which emphasizes Richard’s backup vocal and Garth’s organ.

Gonna Get You Now

It’s funny that this would appear here, because it really belongs on volume one, seeing as it was one of the songs discovered only recently. One of the minor songs from the sessions, still very enjoyable.

Tears of Rage #1
Tears of Rage #2
Tears of Rage #3

All three versions of Tears of Rage, including one (version 1) in waltz time. One of these versions appeared on the album, but the most famous of them (version 2) did not. Compare for yourself and see which one you like best. Version 3 is the one that appeared on the OA.

Quinn the Eskimo #1
Quinn the Eskimo #2

Version 2 appears on Biograph, but it was really version 1 that was the more famous of the two. “Waitin’ on you”, Bob says at the beginning, apparently waiting for Garth to begin his famous flute-like organ riff before beginning the first verse. I suppose they thought the second run through was more polished. Until version 2 appeared on Biograph, the only official version of this song was the live one from the Isle of Wight concert that appeared on Self Portrait! In fact, that was the only live rendition of the song that Dylan has ever done. A huge hit for Manfred Mann in 1967.

Open the Door Homer #1
Open the Door Homer #2
Open the Door Homer #3

Three versions of this song, all pretty similar. The most famous one (version 1) appeared on the OA. It was also the best. The others show obvious signs of the song still being worked out and there are some pretty rough edges. It’s strange that the song started to collapse after take 1, unless the order here is confused.

Nothing Was Delivered #2
Nothing Was Delivered #3

Version 2 is the famous official version and version 3 is the full rock version complete with drums. The OA version is the best one, and it appears here in a slightly different mix.

I’m Not There (1956)

One of the true wonders of the Basement Tapes sessions, and the very best song on this CD. After years of hearing this song only in low quality sound, we finally have a brilliantly clear version to listen to. The lyrics are still mostly indecipherable, but at least we can clearly hear the mumbles for a change! Although it’s available in stereo on other bootlegs, it’s in mono here. There’s also a slight glitch at the beginning which sounds almost like a skip, but I suppose it could have been deliberate on the bootlegger’s part. Truly one of the best unreleased Dylan songs ever recorded. I’d still like to know where the “1956″ in the title comes from.

Don’tcha Tell Henry

At one time very rare because it had never before appeared on a bootleg, this drunken romp is a lot of fun. Don’t expect it to sound like the OA version as sung by Levon Helm, though. This one is so loose that you wonder how they can keep from falling down the whole time the song is going! Somebody plays trombone. Garth plays bass on the organ.

Too Much of Nothing #2

This is the most famous version of the song, but it wasn’t the one released on the OA. There was much complaining when the album came out because this version was replaced by a lesser known take (more on that later). I can’t get too upset about it, though, because with the GBT series we have it all!

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