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No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7)

4.6 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 30, 2005
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  • No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7)
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  • Bob Dylan: "At last I was here, in New York City... I was there to find singers, the ones I'd heard on record--Dave Van Ronk, Peggy Seeger, Ed McCurdy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Josh White, the New Lost City Ramblers, Reverend Gary Davis... most of all to find Woody Guthrie." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Direction Home: The Soundtrack comprises rare and unreleased recordings from 1961-1966, as well as revelatory, alternate takes of classic tracks that were unearthed during the making of the film, and will include an extensive booklet with previously unpublished photos, memorabilia and newly commissioned liner notes. Over 400 hours of archived tapes were painstakingly researched for inclusion in the film and on the soundtrack. In keeping with the high-end, deluxe packaging that has helped to define the series, the CD will be packaged in a double jewel case alongside a 60-page color book in one hardback slipcase. Sony. 2005.


Book-ended with an embryonic recording made by a high school friend and a live, boisterous take of "Like a Rolling Stone" less than seven years later, the fifth release in the Bob Dylan Bootleg series (and the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's Dylan documentary of the same name) proffers just how far the folk idol turned rock star had come between his last year in a Minnesota high school and 1966's contentious UK tour. The double CD is sequenced chronologically and features 26 rare and unreleased recordings (most between 1961 and 1966), including 1959's muddied "When I Got Troubles,' reportedly the first song Dylan ever put to tape, and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," performed live soon after Dylan's arrival in New York. While the usual suspects are present--"Don't Think Twice It's Alright," "Masters of War," "Mr. Tambourine Man"--this collection unravels the unexpected, including an outtake from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan ("Sally Gal"), captivating alternate takes of "She Belongs To Me," "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" and "Visions of Johanna" (with full band) and the ripping electric version of "Maggie's Farm" that throttled the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and carried Dylan over the genre-influencing threshold into generation-altering icon status. --Scott Holter

Recommended Bob Dylan

The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991 [BOX SET]

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall Concert

Bob Dylan Live 1975 (The Bootleg Series Volume 5)

Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964 - Concert at Philharmonic Hall

No Direction Home [DVD]

Don't Look Back [DVD]

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. When I Got Troubles
  2. Rambler, Gambler
  3. This Land Is Your Land
  4. Song To Woody
  5. Dink's Song
  6. I was Young When I Left Home
  7. Sally Gal
  8. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
  9. Man Of Constant Sorrow
  10. Blowin' In The Wind
  11. Masters Of War
  12. Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
  13. When The Ship Comes In
  14. Mr. Tambourine Man
  15. Chimes Of Freedom
  16. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Disc: 2

  1. She Belongs To Me
  2. Maggie's Farm
  3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  4. Tombstone Blues
  5. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
  6. Desolation Row
  7. Highway 61 Revisited
  8. Lepoard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
  9. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
  10. Visions Of Johanna
  11. Ballad Of A Thin Man
  12. Like A Rolling Stone

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 30, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: July 21, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Columbia/ Legacy
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • ASIN: B000A4AWRW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Oh man! This CD is just terrific!! I guess I need to write more though to turn out a decent review. Where to begin. "No Direction Home: The Soundtrack" is the 7th volume in Bob Dylan's archival Bootleg Series and is also the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese's excellent PBS documentary of the same title. The double CD is chronologically sequenced and features 28 recordings, 26 of them previously unreleased and rare, (most from between 1961 and 1966), including "When I Got Troubles," which is supposedly the first song Dylan ever taped. Many of the tracks are alternate takes of his classic songs, along with some surprise live versions, like "Chimes of Freedom" and "When The Ship Comes In." What a phenomenal body of work created in just six years! This is a superb retrospective of that time.

Disc 1 covers Dylan's early period, 1959 to 1965, from his last year as a Minnesota high school student through his years as the brilliant young troubadour, master folk singer, people's poet and the voice of protest in America. In 1960, Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York, where legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie was hospitalized with a rare disease of the nervous system. Dylan visited with his idol regularly in the hospital and performed his signature tune, "This Land Is Your Land," soon after arriving in Manhattan. The CD features the Guthrie anthem, recorded live as well as "Song To Woody." Other outstanding cuts on the first CD include: "Sally Gal," adapted from "Sally Don't You Grieve" by Woody Guthrie, ("Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"), "Masters of War" and "Blowin' in the Wind" - Dylan's own protest songs, and alternate takes of "Don't Think Twice" and "It's All Over Now Baby Blue.
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Format: Audio CD
This two-disc set is everything you hope you'll hear when you attend a Dylan concert. There are a few quality rarities from the Dylan songbook, the requisite traditional songs, and a lot of songs that are ordinarily recognizable to almost anyone but given a new spin. Anyone who has been to a Dylan show knows the experience of spending two or three verses trying to figure out which classic song Bob has completely re-imagined. There's nothing quite so radical here, but it's fascinating to hear all of Dylan's different takes on songs that fans know by heart. The sprawling "Desolation Row" is almost country-fied!

Because it sticks to a short time frame, 1959-1966, the tracklist of 30 songs also has time to portray Dylan's growth, from the home recordings that open the first CD to the Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 alternate takes that fill much of disc two. This is probably the most accessible of the Bootleg Series sets for casual fans, but true-blue, have-every-album fans will delight in the varied instrumentation and altered phrasing that pops up in song after song. A welcome addition to the Dylan discography!
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Format: Audio CD
The latest entry in the consistently excellent "Bootleg Series," "No Direction Home: The Soundtrack," is a seemingly schizophrenic collection, split between acoustic rarities from Dylan's first recordings, roaring live cuts and studio outtakes culled from Dylan's infamous transition to rock 'n' roll. But taken together, the two-disc set -- which accompanies a new Martin Scorsese documentary for PBS -- beautifully captures Dylan's momentous early career. The 28 tracks make for a fascinating listen, but, more importantly, it is a constant pleasure to discover new richness and complexity in the alternate performances.

The set starts off with "When I Got Troubles," purportedly Dylan's first recording. The song is simple and the sound quality is poor, yet you can hear that even way back in 1959, he was channeling the folk genius of Hank Williams, Leadbelly and his foremost idol, Woody Guthrie. And in his soft moaning and guitar strumming, you can hear the bluesiness that would influence his treasonous switch from acoustic to electric guitar.

Among the unreleased early material, Dylan's interpretation of the traditional up-tempo "Dink's Song" stands out. Folk can sound awfully soporific, but here the requisite repetitiveness is tempered by his heartfelt singing and energetic, almost percussive guitar playing. His infatuation with Guthrie has a strong presence. Besides the charming but relatively forgettable "Song To Woody," Dylan turns Guthrie's socialist anthem "This Land Is Your Land" into a melancholic and cynical ballad. When he sings the famous refrain, "This land was made for you and me," he sounds like an abandoned lover.

Here, Dylan slows down "Blowin' in the Wind" to a crawl, opening with a 50-second harmonica solo that takes away some of the song's initial blow.
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Format: Audio CD
This latest entry in Dylan's "The Bootleg Series" is the most satisfying since "Live 1966" (Volume Four). It spans the first known recording made by Dylan ("When I Got Troubles") in 1959 to the infamous "Judas" performance of "Like a Rolling Stone" in 1966.

"No Direction Home," interestingly enough, ends up being Dylan's answer to "The Beatles Anthology"--most of what we get here comes in the form of alternate takes of great album cuts. Disc One features the most new (officially released) titles, including the aforementioned "When I Got Troubles" and 1960's "Rambler, Gambler." Neither song is particularly good, but similar in quality to other first attempts at recording like The Beatles/The Quarrymen's "In Spite of All the Danger" or Elvis Presley's "My Happiness." Dylan's early nod to Woody Guthrie, here, a cover of "This Land is Your Land," shows him hitting his stride. Two early highlights from this disc are "Dink's Song" and "I Was Young When I Left Home," both which show how rhythmically dynamic a guitar player Dylan could be (in addition to being "a poet," he was/is actually a highly underrated guitarist). Arguably the best cut on Disc One is a live performance of "Blowin' in the Wind" that is powerfully sung by the young Dylan. Giving it a run for its money is "Chimes of Freedom," an often overlooked cut from "Another Side of Bob Dylan," which features some of Dylan's most affected vocals. The demo for "Mr. Tambourine Man," with Ramblin' Jack Elliott joining Dylan on vocals, is slightly disappointing, but still fascinating.

Disc Two is also a little underwhelming. It is easy to see why these takes did not end up on the albums they were intended for.
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No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7)
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