Bob Dylan – The Basement Tapes

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The Basement Tapes is the 16th album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and his second with the Band. It was released on June 26, 1975, by Columbia Records. Two-thirds of the album’s 24 tracks feature Dylan on lead vocals backed by the Band, and were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album’s release, in the lapse between the recording and subsequent release of Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding, during sessions that began at Dylan’s house in Woodstock, New York, then moved to the basement of Big Pink. While most of these had appeared on bootleg albums, The Basement Tapes marked their first official release. The remaining eight songs, all previously unavailable, feature the Band without Dylan and were recorded between 1967 and 1975.

During his 1965–1966 world tour, Dylan was backed by the Hawks, a five-member rock group who would later become famous as the Band. After Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident in July 1966, four members of the Hawks came to Dylan’s home in the Woodstock area to collaborate with him on music and film projects. While Dylan was out of the public’s eye during an extended period of recovery in 1967, he and the members of the Hawks recorded more than 100 tracks together, incorporating original compositions, contemporary covers, and traditional material. Dylan’s new style of writing moved away from the urban sensibility and extended narratives that had characterized his most recent albums, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, toward songs that were more intimate and which drew on many styles of traditional American music. While some of the basement songs are humorous, others dwell on nothingness, betrayal and a quest for salvation. In general, they possess a rootsy quality anticipating the Americana genre. For some critics, the songs on The Basement Tapes, which circulated widely in unofficial form, mounted a major stylistic challenge to rock music in the late sixties.

When Columbia Records prepared the album for official release in 1975, eight songs recorded solely by the Band—in various locations between 1967 and 1975—were added to 16 songs taped by Dylan and the Band in 1967. Overdubs were added in 1975 to songs from both categories. The Basement Tapes was critically acclaimed upon release, reaching number seven on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape album chart. Subsequently, the format of the 1975 album has led critics to question the omission of some of Dylan’s best-known 1967 compositions and the inclusion of material by the Band that was not recorded in Woodstock.

Source: Wikipedia

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

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