The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966, Disc Five Reviewed

Written by | November 25, 2015 5:32 | No Comments

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Highway-61-studio

So begins the new regime over in Bob Dylan land (50 years ago, of course), with Bob Johnston being warned not to mention moving the recording sessions to Nashville again, and a calm descending over the sessions with the absence of the apparently abrasive Tom Wilson. If I’d have been aware of all this back in the day I’d have sworn it was creative suicide switching horses in midstream and guess what?

Disc 5
1. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 1 (7/29/1965) Breakdown. – Six weeks later. A new producer, a top five single, and it sounds the same, he still doesn’t have the melody. Then it falls about, Dylan sounds relaxed laughing and claiming “It’s not such a terrible song to do.”

2. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 2 (7/29/1965) False start. No whistling Tom anymore,

3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 3 (7/29/1965) Incomplete. –Dylan thinks it’s the harp that will get it into shape, but it is obtrusive…

4. Tombstone Blues – Take 1 (7/29/1965) Complete. – The melody isn’t there at all, but the lyrics sure are.

5. Tombstone Blues – Takes 2-3 (7/29/1965) False starts. Bob: “I’d like some background on the chorus. Johnston: “Sure, whatever you want”.

6. Tombstone Blues – Take 4 (7/29/1965) Complete. You can hear him inch one step closer, half the line he has down… this is exciting. This is the one where it begins to change on him.

7. Tombstone Blues – Takes 5-7 (7/29/1965) False starts, rehearsal. Johnston: “Really get a groove going”

8. Tombstone Blues – Take 9 (7/29/1965) Released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, 2005. – Inches away, just a nudge will get him there… even the problem with the chorus lyrics is fixed.

9. Tombstone Blues – Take 10 (7/29/1965) False start. “I can’t sing so loud”  Bob claims.

10. Tombstone Blues – Take 11 (7/29/1965) Breakdown. – It breaks off when a guitar lick goes too long and that is good news because…

11. Tombstone Blues – Take 12 (7/29/1965) Released on Highway 61 Revisited, 1965.The finished product and the first time he’s in trouble…

12. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 1 (7/29/1965) Complete. – This is where I have a problem the difference between track three and this one is huge… what the hell happened? When did he figure to slow it down? He is nearly there.

13. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 2 (7/29/1965) False start. – One more time…

14. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 3 (7/29/1965) Complete. – Here is genius, because this sounds ready but it isn’t

15. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Take 4 (7/29/1965) Released on Highway 61 Revisited, 1965. – Here it is ready.

16. Positively 4th Street – Takes 1-3 (7/29/1965) False starts. “Black Dally Rue” or “Crimson Dally Rue” take your pick.  PS Rue is French for Road…

17. Positively 4th Street – Take 4 (7/29/1965) Complete.- The tune aint there, but close, but very close.

18. Positively 4th Street – Take 5 (7/29/1965) Complete. – Al Kooper is missing at the start. I wish I could hear the conversation when=re Dylan figured that out.

19. Positively 4th Street – Take 6 (7/29/1965) Breakdown. – “Did you break a thumbnail?”

20. Positively 4th Street – Take 7 (7/29/1965) Breakdown.- “Maybe you should sing a Hank Williams song?” -Dylan sounds quite relaxed

21. Positively 4th Street – Take 8 (7/29/1965) Breakdown. – I prefer this vocal to the finished product… oh well… Kooper is in place.

22. Positively 4th Street – Take 10 (7/29/1965) Breakdown.- One more

23. Positively 4th Street – Take 12 (7/29/1965) Released as a single, 1965 – There you go.

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