Fragments - Time Out Of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17

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Fragments - Time Out Of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17

Fragments - Time Out Of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17

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All of these live versions are previously unreleased, apart from the 1998 recording of ‘Make You Feel My Love’ from L. At the end of the track, which has a Claptonesque guitar break, you can hear Dylan say ‘Nice,’ someone else in the studio replies, ‘Yeah – that’s beautiful,’ and then there’s a round of applause. With such a vast amount of material available for Dylan's career, it is easy sometimes to go for years without hearing a particular album or era. On Disc 2’s take on the folk standard “The Water Is Wide,” Dylan leans into the performance as if he might reach out and touch the shoulder of his beloved.

However, the outtakes and alternate versions on discs 2,3 and 4 are so good that the box is still a 5 star purchase. But it was the beginning of a split between the two that would define and nearly overwhelm the sessions. He reportedly felt haunted by Buddy Holly, and in tribute, he created his own ghostly version of the Crickets, pulling from his touring lineup, session-player royalty, and beyond. The definitive version of “Mississippi,” which wasn’t released until 2008 and included on the fifth disc, is suffused with air and light.

The remaining four discs—two of unreleased outtakes, one previously available, and a live set—repositions Time Out of Mind as a rebirth rather than a farewell.

This edition includes a new 2022 remix, by Michael Brauer, of the eleven original recordings on Time Out Of Mind, sounding more like how the songs came across when the musicians originally played them in the room. Whatever else was happening in the studio, the musicians achieved a rambling, spacious, loose cohesion. Sessions stretched to 10 hours while Lanois drove Dylan to try “Not Dark Yet” again in E-flat, then in B-flat, until Dylan finally snapped, “If you haven’t got it now, you ain’t getting it.You could speed his songs up, slow them down, throw rock drums behind them or do any old thing, and the songs would remain, somehow, themselves: “Desolation Row” remains recognizably “Desolation Row” on take 5 and Take 13. The out takes too are interesting, although the version 1 songs more so than some of the 2nd versions.

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