NEW YORK (AFP) – Two years after his history-making 1965 electric performance, Bob Dylan (pic below) holed himself up in a basement in upstate New York and played what became some of the most famous recordings never released.
The prolific singer and songwriter, who had emerged as a defining voice of the 1960s, suf-fered a motorcycle accident that forced him to take a break from the road. The involuntary convalescence ended up producing some of the most critically acclaimed work of his career.
The 1967 recordings became what is con-sidered rock history’s first bootleg record: “Great White Wonder”, a title that was simply a name for the vinyl’s plain white packaging but occasionally became a moniker for Dylan himself.
Nearly a half-century later, Dylan is releasing the entirety of the collection. The six-CD boxed-set, “The Basement Tapes Complete: The Boot-leg Series, Volume 11”, goes on sale Monday in Europe and Tuesday in North America.
An official release announcing the exhaustive boxed-set described it as “a Holy Grail for Dylanologists”. The boxed-set comprises all known recordings, including several recent dis-coveries that have eluded Dylan’s devoted fan base, from the summer sessions at the house dubbed Big Pink in West Saugerties, New York.
The collection includes multiple versions of numerous songs performed in the basement by Dylan with his touring ensemble, The Band, with some equipment borrowed from Peter, Paul and Mary.
Columbia Records released a more concise and polished official version in 1975 as “The Basement Tapes”, that also included tracks by The Band without Dylan.