Videos by American Songwriter
A series of YouTube videos that document Bob Dylan recording the 2005 track “Tell Ol’ Bill” have surfaced. The song was used for the North Country movie soundtrack and was a highlight on the Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8.
The 12 videos offer a fascinating, fly-on-the-wall peek into the modern Dylan’s recording process, as he and his band work to give the song life and shape. The storied songwriter sounds feisty on take 1 (“Again? You wanna keep that take or what?” he asks sarcastically,) and mercurial on take six (“Maybe we should just change it all, totally. Change the melody, change everything about it. Put it in a minor key, I mean everything.”)
Perhaps the most striking thing about the sessions is hearing Dylan’s casual speaking voice, which, compared to his singing voice, makes him sound 30 years younger.
Click on the video below for part one.