Archive for December, 2008

Hidden riches on your Dylan shelves

December 30, 2008
Becoming acquainted with Tell Tale Signs – the packaging as well as the CDs – reminded me that I routinely overlook hidden riches on the Dylan album shelves.

Quite apart from the high quality recordings, the various album and DVD box set products include well-executed, extensive booklets full of expert discussion of the music, plus beautiful photographs.

I have a high regard for this aspect of Columbia/Sony’s tending of the Dylan legacy.

In case you also tend to overlook these riches, here’s details of what’s under your nose, but largely invisible:

* CDs
Liner notes pp4-41 by Cameron Crowe; About The Songs pp42-62,
Cameron Crowe with Bob Dylan, 64pp, 1985

Bootleg Series vols 1-3
Liner notes by John Bauldie, 72pp, 1991

Bootleg Series vol 4 Live 1966
Liner notes by Tony Glover, 56pp, 1998

Bootleg Series vol 5 Live 1975
Liner notes by Larry ‘Ratso’ Sloman, 56pp, 2002

Bootleg Series vol 6 Live 1964,
Liner notes by Sean Wilentz, 56pp, 2004

Bootleg Series vol 7 No Direction Home: The Soundtrack
Liner notes by Andrew Loog Oldham, Eddie Gorodetsky and
Al Kooper, 60pp, 2005

Bootleg Series vol 8 Tell Tale Signs
Liner notes by Larry ‘Ratso’ Sloman, 64pp, 2008

The Essential Bob Dylan
Liner notes by Patrick Humphries, 12pp, 2001

DYLAN Limited Edition Box Set
Liner notes by Bill Flanagan, 40pp, 2007

* DVDs
Bob Dylan – Don’t Look Back (‘65 Tour De Luxe Edition)
Reprint of 1968 book, by D.A. Pennebaker, 159pp, 2007

The Other Side Of The Mirror:
Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965
Liner notes by Tom Piazza, 20pp, 2007

Masked And Anonymous: music from the motion picture
Liner notes by Alan Light, 16pp, 2003

I’ve purposely excluded the Traveling Wilburys box, but probably missed some gems – please let me know.

Gerry Smith


Paul Williams book series heavily discounted

December 19, 2008
Thanks to Andrew Kelly:

“Waterstone’s (ex-Dillons) in Malet/Gower Street, London yesterday (17th Dec) had four copies each of Vols 2 + 3 of the ‘Performing Artist’ series, and a Vol 1, all at £2.99 each in the 2nd hand/ remainders section on the first floor.”

(Other parts of the HMV empire – notably HMV, the former music now mainly games chain – as well as high street remainder shops and supermarkets have also been offering the Williams series – all fine books – at these silly prices for a few years. If you spot any discounted Dylan product in these straitened times, please let me know – Gerry Smith, Editor)

Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: a nice addition to the Christmas stocking

December 16, 2008
Thanks to Tricia J:

“I chanced on Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript, by Dylan and Barry Feinstein recently at my local bookstore and was very pleased with it, especially since it was a spur-of-the-moment purchase.

“The photographs are excellent and the accompanying words by Dylan work in sometimes unexpected ways. A quirky, poetic treat for anyone with a taste for black and white photography and the grungy underbelly of LaLaLand.

“Would be a nice addition to the Christmas stocking!”

Bob Dylan – The Songs He Didn’t Write: strongly recommended

December 10, 2008
Thanks to Johanna Moore:

”Regarding the Dylan books that you mention, I can strongly recommend Bob Dylan – The Songs He Didn’t Write.

“Yes, it’s a kind of encyclopaedia that you could dip into for facts, but still it is very readable for those who, like me, want to read it straight through.

“Sure, I was sceptical at first, thought maybe I’d better read another book about Dylan than one about a bunch of other people’s songs, but of course those songs are the basis of Dylan’s work and he has been inspired by them from his youth and throughout his career.

“Oftentimes when played in concert, the cover songs were treated with more care and respect than his own songs and most of the time turned out beautifully.

“Anyone with any interest in Dylan’s musical background and also anyone interested in more information about many of the songs played on Theme Time Radio Hour should certainly read this book.

“There are a couple of (mostly very minor) errors, but to be fair to the author, with a book so full of facts, this is bound to happen. Generally, it’s very well written and researched.”