GEOFF – The Bob Dylan masterpiece you don’t need

The Bob Dylan masterpiece you don’t needSix discs. 138 tracks.

Forty-seven years of waiting. andldquoThe Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol.

11andrdquo may be the most-hyped reissue release in years.But Iandrsquove got four reasons why this set, despite all that I believe in — the greatness of Bob Dylan, record porn in general — is so unnecessary.

I offer this knowing full well that my peers in the writing biz have spoken, teeing this up for every holiday gift guide west of Timor1 Too Much, Too Sloppy. Some slam the 1975, double-record compilation that documented the much-mythologized 1967 sessions featuring Dylan and the Band for having too much overdubbing and too little Bob.

(Eight tracks are Band only.) But that collection had something this doesnandrsquot: It was curated.

Those of us who love, say, gazing at Velasquez or reading Alice Munro donandrsquot expect to see every rough stab that led to the final product, unless weandrsquore doing a dissertation. Thatandrsquos whatandrsquos wrong with andldquoThe Basement Tapes Complete.

andrdquo Three deadly dull versions of andldquoNothing Was Deliveredandrdquo? Give andlsquoem to the Smithsonian so scholars can study upon request. For actual listening, pick up a copy of the andlsquo75 release.

2 The Jokeandrsquos On Us. Dylan certainly still has good records in him — 2012andrsquos andldquoTempestandrdquo is proof — but he also spends too much time playing merry prankster (that Christmas album, andldquoChronicles, Volume One,andrdquo his cameo on andldquoPawn Starsandrdquo).

Count the number of times on andldquoThe Basement Tapes Completeandrdquo that Dylan cracks up while singing. He is not laughing at Rick Dankoandrsquos Christmas sweater Heandrsquos laughing at you, the consumer, slapping down $82.

79 to hear a performance not even the player can get through with a straight face.3 andldquoBourbon Street.

andrdquo Track 21, Disc 4 Bob croaks andldquomarvelousandrdquo and andldquoplay it pretty now, boys,andrdquo over a wounded trombone. Makes you almost miss Uriah Heep.

4 So Much Needs To Be Reissued. My only copy of Helen Carroll and the Satisfiers doing andldquo(Oh Why, Oh Why Did I Ever Leave) Wyomingandrdquo should not be on a scratchy 78.

Other material worthy of proper release: Neil Youngandrsquos andldquoHomegrown,andrdquo the tracks Brian Wilson recorded with Andy Paley in the 1990s, and virtually everything in Princeandrsquos archives. Truth is, if you love Bob Dylan, youandrsquove had all of this andldquoBasement Tapesandrdquo material for years courtesy of the bootleggers.

Itandrsquos hard to understand why we need to buy it again. andcopy The Washington Post 201.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman