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Basement Tapes

Bob DylanAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, 2012 $28.35  
Audio CD, 1990 $29.39  
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The Basement Tapes The Basement Tapes 4.3 out of 5 stars (46)
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Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10


BOB DYLAN Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to ... Read more in Amazon's Bob Dylan Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002552
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,921 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Odds And Ends
2. Orange Juice Blues (Blues For Breakfast)
3. Million Dollar Bash
4. Yazoo Street Scandel
5. Goin' To Acapulco
6. Katie's Been Gone
7. Lo And Behold!
8. Bessie Smith
9. Clothes Line Saga
10. Apple Suckling Tree
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Too Much Of Nothing
2. Yea! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread
3. Ain't No More Cane
4. Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)
5. Ruben Remus
6. Tiny Montgomery
7. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
8. Don't Ya Tell Henry
9. Nothing Was Delivered
10. Open The Door, Homer
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The Basement Tapes can be heard as a manifesto for the '90s' underlying Americana agenda or as the greatest album never intended for commercial release. Homegrown 1967 recordings taped in the Band's fabled Big Pink hermitage in Saugerties, New York, many of the 24 songs resonated across American and English rock and folk long before their belated 1975 release through studio interpretations by the Byrds, Fairport Convention, Manfred Mann, Peter, Paul & Mary, and numerous other acolytes, as well as through myriad unauthorized bootlegs. Good as the covers were, Dylan and the Band rolled their own with an extraordinary coherence that sounds only more authentic in these rough-hewn, intimate, always musical performances, which dovetail with Dylan's stark John Wesley Harding and the Band's stunning debut, Music from Big Pink as well as the presciently lo-fi The Band. At a time when most rock culture was entranced with its post-atomic origins, these songs sounded timeless, plunging into pre-industrial folk, turn of the (20th) century barrelhouse and blues, and crackling, vintage rock & roll excursions with offhand verve and a thrilling disregard for what was hip. Time has only reinforced their visionary power. --Sam Sutherland

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost time is not found again July 22, 1999
By tcbnyc
Format:Audio CD
The Basement Tapes revealed that Bob Dylan, the visionary voice of a generation, the man who changed the world with a guitar, a harmonica and a hound-dog voice, was also a funny guy. These legendary Saugerties, NY "Big Pink" sessions with the Band show Dylan, recovering from a mysterious motorcycle accident and raising young kids, kicking back and having some fun with his pals and some music. The tunes are great, and many of them are completely non-sensical which is quite a departure for the composer of "Chimes of Freedom," etc. If you've never heard songs like "Tiny Montgomery," "Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread" or "This Wheel's on Fire" (which is quite possible since radio doesn't play anything but "like a rolling stone") you may be surprised. It's a sound that isn't really comprable to anything else in his catalogue, perhaps because he never intended to release them. This is the closest you could ever come to being a fly on the wall at a Dylan recording session. My only regret is that they have never released more from the sessions; over 100 songs were recorded in this period, many of them covers like "Folsom Prison Blues," others original, like the hypnotic "I'm Not There (1956)" and majestic "Sign on the Cross." They are available if you know where to look. A "Complete Basement Tapes" would be my vote for the next volumes of the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series.
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337 of 373 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
A few thoughts on the official Columbia Records Basement Tapes album:

The informal sessions recorded during the summer of 1967 mostly at Big Pink in West Saugerties, New York, are one of the essential bodies of work in the history of American music, as rich in their manner as the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens, Robert Johnson's 1936 - 37 recordings, or Hank Williams' MGM recordings. Their beauty is such that even this dodgily compiled and inferior sounding official release from 1975 cannot diminish their importance and their influence on an entire generation of musicians.

As a few reviewers have noted on this page and elsewhere, the album as released is a bit of sleight-of-hand. The vast majority of tracks by The Band included here were not in fact recorded at the same time, or even in the same place (the legendary "Big Pink") as the Dylan tracks here. Partly, this is attributable to Robbie Robertson's disturbing tendency to obfuscate his own role i!n the formation of The Band's signature sound, and his de-emphasis of the collaborative nature of this wonderful group. In 1975, Robertson and Rob Fraboni compiled the official Basements album, and Robertson included a group of Band tracks on the official album, presumably to allege that he was writing songs along with Dylan at Big Pink. Unfortunately, there's little evidence to support this inference. The Band's earliest self-penned songs often came from Richard Manuel, who unfortunately is not alive to attest to his role in the Band's early years. Rick Danko is also no longer with us, while Garth Hudson and Levon Helm are generally disinclined to speak about the matter, leaving Robertson to parlay his falsehoods unchecked.
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104 of 114 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We need a bootleg series edition July 27, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I know, I know . . . it seems inevitable perhaps that one will be produced someday. But as Columbia (and Dylan himself) have made major errors in reading the public's desires (see Infidels and the upcoming Bootleg Series addition) when and if in fact this will happen is anyone's guess. So I propose that anyone who would like to see a re-mastered authoritative edition (and not another "best-of" watered down compilation of live or alternate versions of Dylan tunes that, while wonderful, have been packaged and re-packaged in some form or another over and over again - - how many live versions of "Blowin' In the Wind" do we need anyway?) of some of the finest material Dylan ever produced ("Sign On the Cross" and "I'm Not There (1956)" (the latter of which has provided the title for a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE for God's sake) as well as covers of "Four Strong Winds" and "A Fool Such As I" and alternate tracks of great, if lesser known, tunes too numerous to list here) please take the advantage of this forum and simply respond to this review as helpful. Perhaps then Columbia will get the message. And hopefully they'll have the wherewithal to hire someone like Greil Marcus or Paul Williams (and not Jeff Rosen, who should have been fired from the Bootleg Series long ago) to oversee the project and make sure this music is finally given the treatment it deserves. "Some of these bootleggers, they make pretty good stuff."
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't overlook this! May 18, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I'm an audiophile, and I must admit it sometimes gets in the way of appreciating great music. Possibly the greatest example of this is The Basement Tapes. Being a long-time Dylan fan I excitedly bought this album when it was finally released in '75. With all the mystique behind it, I had great expectations. But it just sounded so lo-fi, and the songs were not where my head was at in '75, so I never really gave it it's due. Of course, I purchased it again in the CD age, but still never really sat down and gave it my undivided attention. When I finally did, I realized what I'd been missing all those years. First, the album is not as lo-fi as I thought. Though recorded primitively, it is evident that great care was taken to get a good balance between the instruments and vocals. It's true that the fidelity is better on some cuts, but I don't buy the fact that the Band cut some of these tracks in the studio after the Basement Tapes sessions.
Anyway, what matters here are the songs and the way they are performed. Man, are these guys hot! To my ear, this is the best vocals you'll ever hear from Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon Helm. The instrumental backing is superb, at once totally sympathetic yet totally inspired. Oh, and Bob's in pretty good form, too. These songs have a wit, humor and accesability that seems to get stronger on every hearing.
There is a reason that these sessions are legendary. Buy it, listen to it, and discover why so much mystique surrounded these sessions in the first place. Absolutely timeless music.
Sony, please give us the entire sessions!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't do too much with the masters but SACD sounds better than any...
I have all the bootleg sets etc and this sounds better...but have to ask yourself if you need a cleaner version of old tapes. Obviously I did but mileage may vary
Published 10 months ago by N2HIFI
5.0 out of 5 stars steelpulse
if you are a dylan freak like me. the sacd puts you into a differnt world. i have no connections with anything sacd has. im not making money off of it. i just truely dig it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by steelpulse
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it
Classic Dylan, intro to the band. What more could us old farts desire?Classic songs . classic presentation. Enough said baby
Published 20 months ago by lardawg
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan Basement Tapes
Good collection of early Dylan music are there any recordings of the 1977 Sydney showground performance as I am Looking for it if anyone has a CD I am interested in getting it... Read more
Published 20 months ago by W. Shannon
3.0 out of 5 stars Dylan and The Band's earliest stuff.
This album was made from practice sessions in the Big Pink House of Bob Dylan and The Band. Recorded by Levon and Robbie. Read more
Published 20 months ago by John W. Byler
4.0 out of 5 stars mostly awesome
but I admit some of the tracks probably should have been kept in the basement under the rocks where the crickets and grasshoppers lurk. Just a *couple* songs. Read more
Published on March 12, 2012 by B. E Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars The Band and Bob Dylan Great Find and Wonderful Music
Personally I would have just made one excellent single album; a lot of material and marginal tracks, but the tunes like "Acapulco", "You Ain't Going Nowhere" and others make it a... Read more
Published on August 18, 2010 by M. Chropufka
5.0 out of 5 stars It Ain't Goin' Nowhere
This is one of my top 5 Bob Dylan records, and that says a LOT given a) the sheer breadth and quality of the man's recording career and b) the incomplete nature of this... Read more
Published on November 29, 2009 by Sugar Magnolia
3.0 out of 5 stars Strictly For Aficionados
Parts of this review were used in a review of The "Genuine" Basement Tapes from this same period. I make most of the same objections here for this set as I did there, except if you... Read more
Published on December 22, 2008 by Alfred Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars The Basement Tapes
The Basement Tapes is Dylans 1975 release and is a collection of songs that were recorded during sessions that took place between 1967 and 1975. Read more
Published on December 16, 2008 by Bjorn Viberg
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Topic From this Discussion
Are the Basement Tapes getting a new reissue?
I think its on the schedule for March 31 along with New Morning (finally!) and Dylan and the Dead (why?!), but I don't know if it will have more songs. Unfortunatley, I doubt it.
Feb 15, 2009 by Rene M. Passarieu Jr. |  See all 5 posts
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