Bob Dylan: The Cutting Edge

Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: 1965-66 The Cutting Edge (Columbia) Rating: 5 out of 5 stars When Bob Dylan released the first three volumes of his Bootleg Series back in 1991, he created a whole new paradigm for classic rockers and their audiences alike. An artist like Dylan could keep moving forward in real time while also indulging in an alternate past full of outtakes and unreleased songs. As if they were in some benevolent version of the television show Lost, fans could flash back and flash forward to their hearts’ content. At some point, the vaults of unreleased songs must run dry even for an artist as prolific as Dylan, which is why The Cutting Edge, his twelfth Bootleg Series release, carves out a fascinating new direction. The discs show how the sausage was made, how Dylan searched, strove, and eventually stumbled upon the iconic versions of the songs from his famed 1965-66 “electric” trilogy consisting of Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde On Blonde. The Cutting Edge comes in three versions. There’s a two-disc “Best Of”, a six-disc Deluxe edition, and a limited edition 18-disc “Ultra-Deluxe” set which includes every note Bob laid down in the studio during those two magical years. Unless you want to shell out big bucks for the latter, the six-disc set is the one you’re going to want, because it demonstrates just how meticulous Dylan was about finding that famed “thin, wild mercury sound” he sought at the time. This runs in contrast to the common image of Dylan as an impatient studio denizen, quick to commit a song to tape and move on to the next one. The discs also humanize him somewhat, as they demonstrate that he wasn’t just... Sign In to Keep Reading

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