Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tell Tale Signs – reaction and best price

A couple of hours in the company of Tell Tale Signs last night, courtesy of NPR Music’s streaming of the 2CD version, served as a reminder – as if it were needed! – that its author is an immense, unmatched talent.

The 27-track compilation is eloquent testimony to Dylan’s abundant creativity over the last 20 years. It underlines the continuity in his art and enriches your appreciation of the work, particularly the two strongest albums of the period, Oh Mercy and TOOM, as well as introducing many of us to almost a dozen new recordings demanding careful scrutiny.

Yes, it could have been done very differently, but I, for one, consider that Sony’s Bootleg Series programme is – still - a wonder to behold.

As for the main purchase options – one, two or three compact discs: I just don’t understand why anyone would buy the single CD version; the 2CD is the standard version, which 90% of Dylan Daily readers are likely to buy; and the 3CD version is clearly aimed at collectors (the extra disc is destined to be massively bootlegged, but the packaging extras and artwork can’t be).

The target (UK) price for the 2CD version is £12.99 delivered –,, cd-wow and hmv are all discounting to that price, from the list £16.99. I contemplated asking my son to get me one in Paris next week, to get the French packaging, but with the FNAC online price at euro27, I plumped for instead.

Roll on Monday: rapture in store! Thanks, Bob… Columbia – just keep ‘em coming!

Gerry Smith