Wednesday, October 1, 2008


"Some of these bootleggers, they make pretty good stuff," Dylan sang on Love and Theft.

He was right. Bootleggers have been coming up with some great stuff. To keep up with the demand for unreleased gems, bootleggers have been illegally issuing rarities from the Dylan archives since the very first bootleg, The Great White Wonder, was released on vinyl back in 1969.

GWW was strictly underground, under-the-table, contraband--a treasure trove of unreleased Dylan. This was the first time anyone heard him singing with The Band on such classics as "I Shall Be Released," "Open the Door Richard," "Too Much of Nothing" and "Tears of Rage." The fact that it was a bootleg, well, that was part of it--something about living outside the law, if memory serves me well.

This October 7th, Dylan will be releasing volume eight of his official bootleg series. Tell Tale Signs is comprised of demos, alternate takes, and live performances recorded between 1989 to 2006, the years Dylan gave us Time Out of Mind, Love and Theft, Modern Times and Oh Mercy.

Sure, these are outtakes, but don't think this is just a collection of second-hand, picked over stuff--Dylan is famous for not releasing some of his best material (a fact bootleggers are fond of reminding us when justifying their existence). I've heard the album already, and it's brilliant, but don't take my word for it. You can hear it over at NPR, where they will be streaming the album in its entirety until October 7th.

Click HERE to hear an exclusive preview of Tell Tale Signs.

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