Sunday 18 September 2016

#90 BOB DYLAN - Early Dylan (1961) (Flac)

This set has circulated for numerous years now but is still the ultimate compilation of Bob Dylan in 1961.  The latter tracks on disc two have seen official release and have been excluded but as they originate from February 1962 and are easily available, it doesn't lessen the worth of this bootleg in any way.

The tracks from the so called 'Minnesota Hotel Tape' have been sourced from the best circulating audio and are a massive upgrade to those that were selected and appeared on Dylan's first ever bootleg 'the Great White Wonder.' GWW was rubber stamped on the cover of a plain sleeved double LP that appeared in the summer of 1969. It comprised of mainly sessions from the basement of 'Big Pink' in upstate New York and these from Minneapolis, plus a few studio outtakes. It was the first bootleg of the rock era and indirectly has led you and I to this site.

The Minnesota sessions appeared on side one and side three of GWW. Which is where the similarity ends, here they appear in their best audio quality. The opening two tracks from Oscar Brand's radio show set the scene and he advertise's Dylan's upcoming show at Carnegie Chapter Hall. A show that is available in longer form but still incomplete. This set includes the eight tracks that are only currently available in flac. Nirvana fans will instantly recognise 'In The Pines', Basement tape fans will appreciate the early cover of  'A Long Time A Growin'' aka "Young But Daily Growing". These eight tracks show a young Dylan, live but somewhat hesitant between songs, a complete release of the 22-song performance would be greatly welcomed.

The set then moves on to December 22, 1961 at Bonnie Beecher's apartment in Minneapolis. These tracks were recorded by Tony Glover on a reel to reel tape recorder, about a month after Dylan had completed his final session for his debut album. Only four songs appear here that were included on that debut. Dylan's progress was beginning to gather apace. Tony Glover recollects that "Dylan had gone from a run of the mill player into a dynamic guitar picker and performer, doing bottleneck blues and playing some fine harp." At this time he had also written a few of his own songs. Sitting on the edge of Bonnie's bed, with the aid of a bottle of Jim Bean, Dylan rattles through a collection of folk and blues tunes, with such drive and energy, that makes this a compelling listen, even fifty-five years on. 

It's remarkable how some of these songs have lived on. As previously mentioned Nirvana covered 'In The Pines' see the MTV Unplugged album, Bob would revisit 'I Aint Got No Home' with The Band at the Woody Guthrie tribute, Van Morrison still sings 'Baby Please Don't Go' in concert, 'Cocaine' was also memorably performed by Keith Richards on the Stones bootlegs of Voodoo Lounge outtakes, 'Dink's Song' was a favourite cover by Jeff Buckley, see Live at Sin-é. 'Fixin' To Die' is still included in Robert Plant's live set and 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' was extensively featured in the Coen Brothers movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" in 2000.

Disc 1
WNYC Radio - Oscar Brand Interview, October 29, 1961
01 - Sally Girl
02 - The Girl I Left Behind

Carnegie Chapter Hall, November 4, 1961
03 - Pretty Peggy-O
04 - In The Pines
05 - Gospel Plow
06 - 1913 Massacre
07 - Backwater Blues
08 - Young But Daily Growing
09 - Fixin' To Die
10 - brief snippet of chatter (cuts)

"Minnesota Hotel Tape", Minneapolis, December 22, 1961
11 - Candy Man
12 - Baby Please Don't Go
13 - Hard Times In New York
14 - Stealin'
15 - Poor Lazurus
16 - I Ain't Got No Home
17 - It's Hard To Be Blind
18 - Dink's Song [Nora's Dove]
19 - Man Of Constant Sorrow
20 - Story - East Orange

Disc 2
"Minnesota Hotel Tape", Minneapolis, December 22, 1961
01 - Naomi Wise
02 - Wade In The Water
03 - I Was Young When I Left Home
04 - In The Evening
05 - Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
06 - Sally Girl
07 - Gospel Plow
08 - Long John
09 - Cocaine Blues
10 - VD Blues
11 - VD Waltz
12 - VD City
13 - VD Gunner's Blues
14 - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
15 - Ramblin' Round
16 - Black Cross

61/62 Compilation from Dylantree
Back Pages remaster

tracks 17-25 (Leeds Demos, February 1962) have been excluded, find them on the official release:
The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962–1964  (released in 2010)

Lineage information:
Uncertain, but probably has lineage like Remastered version > SHN > a couple CDR generations as SHN to me (no DAE?) > WAV via mkwACT > fixed track boundaries on disc 2 with shntool > SHN via mkwACT (SHN files have seek tables - SKT files - appended)

Notes on the remastering, posted on the Dylantree trade forum (May 2002):
Steve W. has done a wonderful job with this set. He said that he spent the better part of two days remastering the "Early Dylan" set because it literally contained well over 1,000 separate digital glitches.

Notes on the original Dylantree set made by Phil M. from "first generation sources":
This set donated by Phil M. is an outstanding early Dylan (61/62) compilation.
This set includes tracks from The Oscar Brand interview (10-29-61),
Carnegie Chapter Hall (11-04-61), Bonnie Beecher's Apartment (12-22-61),
and the Leeds Demo (Feb. 62).

The 11-04-61 and 12-22-61 shows are serious improvements from what most Dylan traders have access to. Phil speculates that only a handful of traders around the world have these shows in this quality. It is an unbelievable set. Another dylantree essential!

 Phil says... "The main purpose of this cd compilation is to give Dylan newbies excellent sounding early soundboard material. Both 12-22-61 and 11-04-61 are tremendous upgrades to anything that has been released on boot over the years."



  1. Thanks for this. I love Bob. It is funny to hear him totally making stuff up about where he grew up in the interview at the beginning. He actually grew up in Minnesota.

  2. Indeed Wilder, he was a master of Tall Tales and certainly ran rings around the unfortunate radio presenters.

    1. Hi basement67 - is there a download link for this bootleg? Thanks.

    2. It was only available for members