Hippo Manchester
September 8, 2005

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CD Reviews
by
Robert Greene

Bob Dylan

No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7)

***

The Bootleg CDs are made up of live recordings, demos and practice sessions, for the most part. Volume 7 in the series is the soundtrack to No Direction Home, a two-disc DVD about Dylan and the artists he has inspired. I’m a Dylan fan, not a fanatic, so I settled for the two-CD boxed set.

Volume 7 is probably the most accessible of the Bootleg CD sets, meaning it has the most recognizable of Dylan’s classics among its 26 songs. Even casual fans should be able to sing along to most of them.

The double CD runs chronologically between 1961 and 1966, but includes 1959’s “When I Got Troubles,” allegedly the first song Dylan ever put to tape. Other standouts include an outtake from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (“Sally Gal”) and alternate takes of “She Belongs To Me” and “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” and the electric version of “Maggie’s Farm” that made waves at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

Hardcore fans could probably skip this one, although they probably won’t. However, the set is a good way for casual Dylan fan to get a bit deeper into the singer’s mythos.