I keep forgetting to ask you all about Bob Dylan’s new album The Bootleg Series Vol. 17: Fragments – Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996–1997). Have you listened to it yet? What did you think?
I love it. I think I prefer the original album version rather than this new remix. I like the murkiness of Daniel Lanois’s mix, but I do appreciate how the new mix puts Bob’s vocals front and center. It has definitely affected the way I hear his lyrics. The outtakes are interesting. That “Water is Wide” is just gorgeous. Honestly, I’m really terrible at sorting through alternate cuts. I just don’t have the memory for it. I listen to a lot of these alternate versions of the songs and I can’t always tell what is different. I don’t know how to explain that properly. I do enjoy listening to the alternate cuts, but I can’t really review them. Naturally, I’m all about live tracks and I think these are just fantastic. I’ve heard some complaints that they used audience sources for them, but I think that’s just cool.
Anyway, I’d be interested in what you all think.
Listening to it this week got me thinking about the bootlegs from around the time the original album was released and so I’ve got a number of shows to share from the fall of 1997. Enjoy.
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.01 – Bournemouth, England
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.02 – Bournemouth, England
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.03 – Cardiff, Wales
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.05 – London, England
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.25 – Jackson, MI
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.29 – Athens, GA
Bob Dylan – 1997.10.30 – Columbus, GA
Bob Dylan – 1997.11.05 – Huntington, WV
Bob Dylan – 1997.11.14 – San Jose, CA
Bob Dylan – 1997.12.08 – New York, NY
Bob Dylan – 1997.12.20 – Los Angeles, CA
18 thoughts on “Bootlegs of the Day: February 13, 2023”
Absolutely love it.
The most fun BS release for a while. Great music with enough variation to create multiple playlists and versions (chronological/location/album running order etc)
The remix is also great as you say. Impossible for me to choose between them. He’s done a delicate job very well.
In general I prefer the first disc of outtakes. NDY and Can’t Wait version 1’s are both wonderful.
I prefer the new looser versions of Mississippi as well. The TTS versions were good but a bit ponderous for me – almost like he was trying to match the mood of TOOM.
Shout out to the 10 LP designer too. It’s the most gorgeously put together LP package I own. Stunning.
The liner notes and front cover image are a bit of a let down but really the only blemishes.
Now, if they’d only do Oh Mercy ….
Wouldn’t Oh Mercy be fantastic? Did you see the article in Rolling Stone that indicated they may not do very many more of these?
Yes – I can see them tapping out at #20.
The archival releases will still continue though, I’m sure … but the Bootleg Series will be put to bed. It’s been a great run. Unparalleled.
Truly a fantastic series. I do hope they do more archival releases. It would be amazing to get some of these shows in pristine form.
Amazingly – because Dylan is my favorite artist ever – I don’t have it yet. Hoping to get out this weekend to get it from a local record store.
If you just want the music, and not the physical copies, I know a guy who can help you out 😉
Thank you very much for offering! I am such a ridiculous Dylan fan I do have to get the physical copies – I haven’t missed a bootleg series release yet, lol.
I get it. And you need to get this release, it is fantastic 🙂
Yes. One of my favorite music writers, Greil Marcus – who seems hard to please, to me – writes about it in his latest newsletter:
Thanks for that. I didn’t realize Greil had a substack and now I’m subscribed.
Remember, Greil was the writer who famously reviewed Dylan’s “Self Portrait” in Rolling Stone in 1970 with, I believe, just these four words:
“What is this shit?”
I do remember. I tried to read one of his books once, can’t remember which one now. Was their one about the Basement Tapes? Anyways I only got a few pages in before I got distracted by something else. But I’ve read some of his other online stuff.
I have read a bunch of his books – including maybe the most famous rock criticism book ever, Mystery Train – but he can be abstruse to read. I always feel like he’s over my head, but I soldier onwards, lol.
That was the feeling I got from whatever book it was I started to read. He’s really wordy and it was difficult to understand what he was getting at.
Well google drive worked really well for me. I’ve got this stuff already (probably courtesy of the Cafe in the first place!) but I wouldn’t like to have to try and find what drive it’s on – so I had a browse of the artwork etc and it jogged my memory – eg I remembered “White Dove” was always considered a classic boot – and I grabbed a few shows for a fresh listen. Looking forward to it!! – also I checked out BobsBoots for reference, which I havn’t done in a looong time. ( PS The review for Wembley is in hindsight quite amusing (well, for the old-time Dylan fanatic it is) since it’s an early Crystal Cat and it only warrants 5 stars). Download speed was excellent as well, and I don’t have a very good connection. Many thanks Mat. cheers
I’m so glad Google is working well for you. It seems to be a pretty easy download for most and it is super easy for me to upload to. I do wish they allowed me to see how many times a file was downloaded but that is a small complaint.
I just downloaded one of the versions of the New York show from 12/08/97. Looking forward to hearing it. The download was easy and fast, so I think Google was a good choice. Thanks.
As far as the “Fragments” release, I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet, but the original album was always a favorite of mine. Fun fact : my wife and I danced to “Make You Feel My Love” at our wedding many years ago.
I’m glad Google is working for you. Fragments is really great, I definitely recommend it.
That’s sweet about your wedding, thank you for sharing