Want to test your vocal mettle against the Bard of Rock? A new microsite is being launched in conjunction with the recent release of "Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 — The Cutting Edge" album, allowing would-be spokesmen and women for their generation to match their singing against Dylan's own on his rock classic "Like a Rolling Stone."
The new Studio A Revisited site invites users to plug in a set of headphones and sing lead over the record's original backing tracks, minus Dylan's lead vocal, as the lyrics to one of the most influential songs of the rock era scroll up their computer screen.
FOR THE RECORD
Bob Dylan photo credit: A caption with an earlier version of this post credited the photo of Bob Dylan to Artistic License Films. The image should be credited to Pennebaker Hegedus Films.
They then receive a score, on a 0-100 scale, evaluating their accuracy in replicating Dylan's original phrasing and pitch, and those scores can then be shared over Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
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The six-disc deluxe and 18-CD collector's edition of the new album offer for the first time in an authorized version the individual stems of the four-track recording of "Like a Rolling Stone."
They're part of the set's in-depth exploration of Dylan's creative streak from January 1965 through March 1966, an extraordinary 14-month period during which he recorded and released three high-watermark albums, "Bringing It All Back Home," "Highway 61 Revisited" and the double album "Blonde on Blonde," as well as the hit single "Positively 4th Street," which was not included on any of those albums.
He also gave his career-changing performance at the Newport Folk Festival during this period, in which he famously "went electric."
Those achieving the highest scores in the Singing Lesson exercise can unlock a bonus level available only to the most-accomplished Dylanesque warblers.
Along with the Singing Lesson facet of the microsite, visitors also can explore various recording studio efforts in the "Listening Session" room, and create different mixes of "Like a Rolling Stone" or "One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)" in the "Jam Session" feature by dragging and dropping any combination of each track's four stems together to hear how the different combinations sound.
All the features further allow listeners to delve into the recording sessions that were part of one of the most fertile periods in Dylan's long career, yielding such now-standard rock songs as "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Ballad of a Thin Man," "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35," "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," "Tombstone Blues," "Highway 61 Revisited," "Desolation Row," "Visions of Johanna," "I Want You," "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" and "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands."
The "Cutting Edge" album, which also has been released in a two-CD "Best of" edition, includes multiple takes of various songs showing the changes Dylan took them through before arriving at the final versions that were released a half century ago.