Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Bob Dylan – More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 on Friday, November 2.
The latest chapter in Columbia/Legacy’s highly acclaimed Bob Dylan Bootleg Series makes available the pivotal studio recordings made by Bob Dylan during six extraordinary sessions in 1974—four in New York (September 16, 17, 18, 19) and two in Minneapolis (December 27, 30)—that resulted in the artist’s 1975 masterpiece, Blood on the Tracks. One of the top-selling albums of Dylan’s career, Blood on the Tracks redefined the boundaries and structures of modern pop songwriting (a genre Dylan had virtually invented a decade prior), reached #1 on the Billboard 200, achieved RIAA 2x Platinum status and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.
Blood on the Tracks was originally recorded during four days in New York City in September, 1974. Soon thereafter, the album was mastered and review copies began to circulate. A few months later, Dylan felt the album needed a different approach and rerecorded five of the tracks at Minneapolis Sound 80 Studios beginning in late December of that year. While a few of the outtakes from the original New York sessions have been highly prized by bootleggers and collectors, most of these recordings have never been available in any format.
The single disc / 2LP configuration of More Blood, More Tracks assembles 10 of the most emotionally resonant alternate takes of each of the 10 songs appearing the original Blood on the Tracks plus a previously unreleased version of “Up to Me.”
The 6CD full-length deluxe version of Bob Dylan – More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 includes the complete New York sessions in chronological order including outtakes, false starts and studio banter. The album’s producers have worked from best sources available, in most cases utilizing the original multi-track session tapes.
The only recordings remaining from the Minneapolis Sound 80 sessions are the multi-track masters of the five performances included on the finished Blood on the Tracks album. Each of these has been remixed and remastered for the deluxe edition of More Blood, More Tracks.
In his liner notes for More Blood, More Tracks, Jeff Slate observes that, “Dylan cut each of these amazing performances – some of the best he ever committed to tape – one after the other, live in the studio, without headphones, and without the types of overdubs that most performers rely on to make their records sound finished. Instead, on these tracks, we find Dylan – just a singer with a guitar and a harmonica and a batch of great songs – delivering performances that thrill you when they’re supposed to and break your heart when they need to…. The performances are also in the purest state we’ve ever experienced them. During the production of Blood on the Tracks, Dylan asked [producer Phil] Ramone to speed up many of the masters by 2-3%, a common practice in the 1960s and ’70s, especially for records sent to AM radio. It was thought that doing so would give the songs a little extra bounce to better engage listeners. Most of the songs from the New York sessions that previously circulated, officially and unofficially, are the sped-up versions that Dylan requested. On More Blood, More Tracks, for the first time, we’re hearing the songs exactly as Dylan recorded them.”
Bob Dylan – More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 will be available in a single disc (or 2LP) configuration showcasing 11 essential tracks from the New York A&R Studio sessions.
Two previous volumes in Columbia/Legacy’s Bob Dylan Bootleg Series have taken home the Best Historical Album Grammy Award for its respective eligibility year: Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966, The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 in 2017 and Bob Dylan – The Basement Tapes Complete, The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 in 2016.
The deluxe box set is a limited edition. After it sells out, no additional copies will be made. This set includes a hardcover photo book featuring liner notes by rock historian Jeff Slate and a complete reproduction of one of Dylan’s legendary handwritten 57 page notebooks, where you can follow the lyrical development of the songs that would eventually comprise Blood on the Tracks.