Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More doubts about Tell Tale Signs, the new Bootleg Series album

Thanks to Bernard McGuinn

“While I found myself nodding in agreement as I read through Liam Mogan's comments (below), I can't help thinking that every Dylan fan, not least myself, thinks that he/she could do a much better job with The Bootleg Series than any record exec, given half a chance.

“The reality is you can't please any of the people, any of the time, when it comes to Bob's archives.

“So, while we may get three versions of Mississippi, and question why they didn't supply us with, say, two more Bromberg out-takes, I also know that there will be some - me included! - who will be wondering how many more versions may be available!

“The obvious solution, from a purely selfish fan-based perspective, is to take advantage of the digital wizardry, and put everything online for downloading at a reasonable price.

“Some hope! ;-)”

And thanks to Brian Fairbanks:

“I would even go further -- I might not even buy them, as a protest. With all the content that's floating around out there, can't we get some of that?

“I'd love to have official versions of the ENTIRE Supper Club run, at least rather than this. I'd love to have Restless Farewell from the Sinatra birthday concert and that good song from Hearts of Fire...

”... and so forth.

“If the record company’s gonna release bootlegs, they should release the best stuff first.”


Thanks to Liam Mogan:

“Just read the track listing from the latest Bootleg Series, Tell Tale Signs. Don't know about everybody else, but I'm feeling kind of underwhelmed.

“It seems that there is a lot of repetition - 3 alternative versions of Mississippi! Now, whilst I think it's a good track (I even have a secret soft spot for the Sheryl Crow version), surely this is barrel scraping at its most brazen.

“Similarly, we get 2 alternative versions of Most of the Time, Born in Time and even the mediocre Can't Wait. Also, there's a few tracks the diehard Dylan fan will already have.

“I've already spent stupid prices for the Gods and Generals, North Country and the Lucky You soundtracks and the Ralph Stanley album. I don't particularly want to pay for them again.

“If it's a true 'bootleg' then give us something truly rare. Especially when you consider the $129.99 price for the Deluxe Edition on!

“Once it's released I'm sure I'll savour every track. I'm looking forward to hearing some pristine live tracks, the World Gone Wrong outtakes and the real rarities (Red River Shore, Miss the Mississippi etc).

“But where are the rest of the Bromberg outtakes, why no complete Supper Club set or DVD? It seems like a missed opportunity to me, and light years away from the majestic first instalment of the series and the historic Albert Hall set.

“Personally, I was hoping for a live album from the 'born again' era (some of the Toronto bootlegs are breathtaking), but, alas, it was not to be.

“I suppose all the people can't be all right all of the time.”

(Full details, inc full tracklist and stunning artwork, now online at

What do YOU think of the new release? Let me know. Gerry Smith, Ed)