Release Date: 18 February 2013
Format: LP Double Vinyl
|Bob Dylan And The Band The Basement Tapes Limited Numbered Mobile Fidelity 2LP Set
Bob Dylan and The Band / The Basement Tapes on numbered limited edition 180-gram double LP from Mobile Fidelity
Dylan at his most humorous, unguarded, loose: Folk tales, weird narratives, rock ballads, inside jokes, allusions pepper alchemic material
Includes the hits "This Wheel's on Fire," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," "Tears of Rage," "Million Dollar Bash," and "Yazoo Street Scandal"
Ranked No. 291 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Basements have long been associated with raw, off-the-cuff rock n' roll, the damp and dark spaces serving as the woodshedding venues for countless bands. Yet no basement is more famous, and none yielded music as familiarly weird, wholesomely American, joyously loose, and identifiably humorous as that in the upstate New York house dubbed Big Pink — the location where, during the summer and early fall of 1967, Bob Dylan and The Band played a vivid tapestry of covers, originals, and traditionals that signaled the advent of Americana. Once again, the Bard changed the world.
As part of its Bob Dylan catalog restoration series, Mobile Fidelity has mastered this iconic LP from the original master tapes and pressed it on dead-quiet LPs at RTI. The end result is the very finest, most transparent analog edition of The Basement Tapes ever produced-and the first-ever analog reissue. Inimitable, the particulars of The Basement Tapes — especially, the gather-‘round-in-a-huddle assembly of the instrumentalists, home-made character, domestic vibe, and low-volume nature of the recordings-come to fore here in a manner that takes the listener down the stairs at 2188 Stoll Road and brings the images of Dylan, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, and Co. to life.
Fresh off experiencing a motorcycle accident and the wrath of audiences hostile to his embrace of amplified music, Dylan elected to retreat to the comforts of rural and family life. He soon began collaborating with members of The Band in his house, ultimately moving the sessions to Big Pink. Informal, peaceful, relaxed, open-minded: The collaborations blanket country stomps, roots hootenannies, forgotten spirituals, earthy originals, chaotic marches, dreamscapes, dance tunes, folk laments, catch-as-you-can improvisations.
The Basement Tapes' capacity to remain so gloriously honest and timeless — performances that genuinely could've been made today, ten years from now, or back in the 1930s — helps account for their emotional resonance and unsurpassed reputation as a snapshot of how unencumbered American music, and art with deep historical roots and connective cultural tissues, is supposed to sound.
Mobile Fidelity's reissue squares away the late-night bleariness, jovial atmosphere, low-ceiling dimensions, and ensemble-based perspective of the sessions, allowing the listener to become Hamlet, the dog who slept nearby Dylan, Robertson, and Co. as it all went down. This is not to be missed.
Odds and Ends
Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)
Million Dollar Bash
Yazoo Street Scandal
Goin’ to Acapulco
Katie’s Been Gone
Lo and Behold
Clothes Line Saga
Apple Suckling Tree
Please Mrs. Henry
Tears of Rage
Too Much of Nothing
Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
Ain’t No More Cane
Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
Don’t Ya Tell Henry
Nothing Was Delivered
Open the Door, Homer
Long Distance Operator
This Wheel’s on Fire