Masterpieces by Bob Dylan [Music CD]
Wow - I can't believe I'm the first person to review this! So I'll be as comprehensive of my review as I can be in case anybody reads it! LOL!
Well this is a 3-CD set, released exclusively in Australia, New Zealand and Japan only in March, 1978, intended as sort of a greatest hits package mixed with some rarities! This was re-issued on CD by Columbia in 1991. Alas, this is now out of print so it is a treasure trove for any Dylan fan, especially this one! This is reminiscent of "Biograph" in that the tracks don't go in chorological order, they're sort of all over the place but still fit in nicely together! Now for the track listings!
1. Knockin' On Heaven's Door - from "Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid" - a top-notch hit for Bob in 1973 and is covered by such artists as Jerry Garcia and Guns 'n Roses!
2. Mr. Tambourine Man - from "Bringing It All Back Home" - my personal favorite Dylan song - The Byrds had a #1 hit with this one!
3. Just Like A Woman - from "Blonde On Blonde" - another classic and I believe was a top 10 hit for Bob in 1966.
4. I Shall Be Released - from "Greatest Hits Vol. II" - this one is from the 1971 recording session that produced "Down In The Flood", "Watching The River Flow", "George Jackson", and "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"
5. Tears Of Rage - from "The Basement Tapes" - one of the best songs from the sessions with the Band at the basement of Big Pink from 1967!
6. All Along The Watchtower - from "John Wesley Harding" - a true classic that most people give Jimi Hendrix credit for - but I've always preferred Bob's version the best!
7. One More Cup Of Coffee - from "Desire" - a cool, sort of love song with Emmylou Harris on backing vocals!
8. Like A Rolling Stone - from "Self Portrait" - this was the 1967 Isle of Wight performance which is okay but kinda sloppy and Bob gets his words mixed up a tad! I prefer the original recording or the "Bootleg 4" live version from Manchester England, 1966.
9. Quinn The Eskimo - from "Self Portrait" - this one is by far the best performance in the 1967 Isle of Wight concert - it ROCKS and is much better to my ears than the original version on "Biograph" and "Side Tracks"!
10. Tomorrow Is A Long Time - from "Greatest Hits Vol. II" - this is the live Town Hall performance from 1963 - Columbia had plans to release this whole show but it got shelved for some reason! Perhaps a future installment in the Bootleg Series?
11. Lay, Lady, Lay - from "Hard Rain" - really wish they would've put the original version on here instead... the backup singers on this one are super-annoying! Bob does change some of the lyrics though which makes it worth a listen!
12. Idiot Wind - a better track from "Hard Rain" - kind of an angry sounding version, unlike the one on "Bootleg 2" which has a much softer tone!
1. Mixed-Up Confusion - an outtake from "Freewheelin" - I think this is the same version found on "Side Tracks" - a good song but I like the single version better found on "Biograph".
2. Positively 4th Street - a non-album single from mid-'65 which had "From A Buick 6" as the B-side! An slightly extended version of this is found on "Side Tracks" and the 1999 reissue of "Greatest Hits".
3. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? - a cool rocking non-album single which had "Highway 61 Revisited" as the B-side. This is in mono but a stereo recording exists on "Bootleg 12".
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - the live version from 5/14/66 in Liverpool, England - also was the B-side to the "I Want You" single. This track is basically exclusive to "Masterpieces", unless you're wanting to invest in the "Complete 1966 Live Performances" CD.
5. Spanish Is The Loving Tongue - another tune from the 1971 recording sessions - this one was the B-side to the "Watching The River Flow" single! This is also available on the "Pure Dylan" compilation CD!
6. George Jackson - the big-band version which is good and not found anywhere else - but yet again, Bob has annoying backup singers... sounds like the same ones from the 1973 "Dylan" album! Where is Emmylou Harris when you need her? I like the acoustic version of this song better from "Side Tracks".
7. Rita May - a "Desire" outtake and a cool B-side to the "Stuck Inside Of Mobile" Hard Rain single from 1976. Another exclusive to this CD and found nowhere else!
8. Blowin' In The Wind - from "Freewheelin" - can't say enough about this song - I think its been covered more than any other song ever has been!
9. A Hard Rain's A Gonna-Fall from "Freewheelin" - made Allen Ginsberg cry when he first heard it and for good reason! A fantastic song!
10. The Times They Are A-Changin' - title track from the pivotal 1964 album - a single was also issued of this with "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" as the B-side.
11. Masters Of War - from "Freewheelin" and what a song this is! Bob performed this on his 1991 Grammy Lifetime Achievement ceremony!
12. Hurricane - from "Desire" - an 8-9 minute epic and a true story about how boxer Reuben Carter was falsely accused of murder!
1. Maggie's Farm - from "Hard Rain" - not one of my favorite tunes but it'll do! LOL!
2. Subterranean Homesick Blues - from "Bringing It All Back Home" - cool lyrics and the cue card scene is considered to be the first music video!
3. Ballad Of A Thin Man - from "Highway 61 Revisited" - so glad to see this make it onto a compilation album! This is dark, creepy and downright strange - I think even stranger than "Visions of Johanna"
4. Mozambique - from "Desire" - a cool little romance-type ditty with Emmylou Harris on backup vocals again! I wish Bob could've got her on backup for the "Hard Rain" album!
5. This Wheel's On Fire - from "The Basement Tapes" and probably the best song from there!
6. I Want You - another hit song from Bob on the "Blonde On Blonde" album! Cool stuff!
7. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - a #2 hit song for Bob located on "Blonde On Blonde". Check out the MTV Unplugged performance of this from 1995! It's ROCKING!
8. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - from "Freewheelin" - a classic country-sounding tune with great guitar finger-picking! Makes one wonder why Bob isn't in the Country Music Hall of Fame??
9. Song To Woody - a very early song dedicated to Woody Guthrie from the "Bob Dylan" debut album which stands the test of time!
10. It Ain't Me, Babe - from "Another Side" and another classic - Johnny Cash/June Carter made a hit with a cover of this - I prefer Bob's version better though!
11. Love Minus Zero/No Limit - from "Bringing It All Back Home" - happy to see this finally make in onto a compilation album! A great song and would've been a big hit had it been released as a single!
12. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - another cool country song from "John Wesley Harding" - love the steel guitar in this one!
13. If Not For You - when it comes to picking a song from the "New Morning" album, this one is always picked! What about the others? "Went To See The Gypsy" & "Winterlude" are better songs to my ears - but this is still a good song... check out the more rockier version on "Bootleg 2"!
14. If You See Her, Say Hello - from the monumental "Blood On The Tracks" - another classic tune with great acoustic guitar playing! There is a stripped-down version of this on "Bootleg 3" but I prefer this recording.
15. Sara - from "Desire" - a poetic masterpiece (pun intended)! The last song from "Desire" and is one of the best on there besides "Oh Sister", "One More Cup Of Coffee" & "Hurricane".
So there you have it - this is a great compilation although very rare to come by - Columbia should put this back in print as they'd have Dylan fans lining up to buy it! Hopefully they'll include "Rita May" & "George Jackson (Big-Band Version)" on a future installment of the Bootleg Series! Until then, this is the only place they can be enjoyed, unless you have their original 45 record releases of course! =)