Friday, May 15, 2009

Basement Tapes re-mastered: impressive

You learn some useful stuff from expert contributors to The Dylan Daily.

First, Liam Mogan raved on about the sonic improvements on the newly re-mastered Basement Tapes 2CD. So I made a note to buy it.

But where?

Right on cue, Martin Cowan told us that HMV are discounting all four newly re-mastered albums. And even my sorry little local branch had a digipack copy of The Basement Tapes in stock, at only £8 (though it had none of the other three titles).

So I bought it and, like Liam, I’m very impressed by the sound: it’s like hearing the album for the very first time.

Even after degrading the sound by ripping/burning a CDR copy via iTunes, to excise the Band tracks, the production is still a revelation, with Dylan well up in the mix and the mud cleansed.

The improvement was more noticeable after I’d tagged on the three official Basement Tapes sessions out-takes, released on Biograph and Bootleg Series 1-3, and listened to them back-to-back with the newly cleaned-up album.

So, tomorrow I’m off to a bigger HMV, to buy Before The Flood, a long-time favourite tape in my car, though often derided by the Dylan Police.

And, as a bonus, I can park all the non-Bob tracks from both the re-mastered albums onto a dedicated The Band CDR.

If, like me, you’d never bothered buying The Basement Tapes on CD, now’s the time!

Gerry Smith