Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blood On The Tracks: The New York Sessions

Ever since I got the re-master, I've been fascinated with everything to do with Blood On The Tracks. If you haven't yet, get your hands on the original version of the album, the one Dylan recorded in New York. The final album had only five of those NY songs: Simple Twist Of Fate, You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go, Meet Me In The Morning, Shelter From The Storm and Buckets Of Rain. The rest are available on Biograph (You're A Big Girl Now) and The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 & 3 (Tangled Up In Blue, Idiot Wind & If You See Her, Say Hello), sans Lily, Rosemary & Jack Of Hearts.

The differences between the versions recorded in NY and Minnesota are stark. Personally I've always preferred the originals. The lack of drums and stripped-down bass-driven arrangements made songs like Tangled, Idiot and Lily much more intimate, allowing you to pay attention to the words. At the same time they sounded emotionally brutal and honest (actually Idiot Wind might be the exception here), and I mean they just down-right devastate you. All the songs sound pretty much similar in the NY sessions; that could be one reason why Dylan chose to re-record some of them.