The latest volume of the Bob Dylan “Bootleg” series of archival releases will explore in depth the high-water-mark albums considered by many music critics and Dylan aficionados to be the holy trinity of his 1960s catalog: “Bringing It All Back Home,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde,” albums that powerfully reshaped rock music during that creatively explosive decade.
“Bob Dylan -- The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12” will be released Nov. 6 in different formats, including a two-CD “Best of the Cutting Edge” version, a 6-CD deluxe edition and a massive 18-CD collector’s set said to include “every note recorded during the 1965-1966 sessions, every alternate take and alternate lyric.”
The three albums were recorded over a relatively short 14-month span from January 1965 to March 1966. In that period, Dylan evolved from his early status as a folk singer in the Woody Guthrie tradition to a full-blown rock musician whose poetically ambiguous and imaginatively colorful lyrics coincided with the arrival of the psychedelic era.
The sessions yielded many songs that went on to become Dylan standards including “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “She Belongs to Me,” “Positively 4th Street,” “Just Like a Woman,” “Desolation Row,” “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” and the song ranked the greatest rock song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, “Like a Rolling Stone.”
The set offers alternate takes of many of the songs, showing their evolution as Dylan and his fellow musicians honed in on arrangements that would become cornerstones of the rock music catalog.
“All recordings included in ‘The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12’ are pristine transfers and mixed from the original studio tracking tapes,” according to Thursday’s announcement by Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, Sony Music’s catalog division.
The Collector’s Edition, encompassing 379 tracks, will be offered only through Dylan’s website, www.bobdylan.com, for $599.99, and will be limited to 5,000 sets. It also includes nine mono 45 rpm singles , a 180-page hardcover book exploring the recordings and their cultural impact and other extras.
The two-CD set lists for $19.98, the six-CD edition for $149.98 and a three-LP vinyl edition for $99.98.