Bob Dylan – Springtime in New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 / 1980-1985 (2021)

Posted by Green on September 16, 2021as

320 kbps | LINKS

It’s accepted wisdom among a faction of Dylan devotees that causing controversy, stirring emotions, and deliberately ruffling feathers—as happened when he went electric—secretly makes their hero very happy. Nothing (so far) in his career though has caused the ruckus that his late ’70s conversion to Christianity and subsequent gospel albums incited. For the second time in his career, he heard boos from a live audience as he stubbornly performed his new evangelical music on the tumultuous 1979-80 Gospel tour. Although it contained hints that perhaps a secular revival was at hand, the last religious album, 1981’s Shot of Love was savaged by the press and public alike. With the uproar in full swing, Dylan retreated from public view to refresh and regroup. In the spring of 1983, Dylan, who’d by then veered away from religion back to secular subjects, began tracking at the Power Station in New York City with a band that included former Rolling Stones guitar player Mick Taylor, singer Clydie King, and a rhythm section of reggae demigods Robbie Shakespeare (bass) and Sly Dunbar (drums). The resulting album, Infidels, and its closely related follow-up, 1985’s Empire Burlesque, marked a welcome return to relevance and success.

Springtime in New York, the latest volume in the extraordinary Bootleg Series, explores this period, collecting outtakes and alternates from the sessions for these albums—all but three of which are previously unreleased. If there’s a simple explanation for his religious period it lies in the first lines of opener (and Shot of Love outtake) “Angelina”: “Well, it’s always been my nature/ To take chances.” While each addition to the Bootleg series contains its share of revelations, this entry is particularly overflowing with surprises. The opportunity to hear a master musical creator working through songs, trying different tempos, rewriting lyrics on the fly, is fascinating and powerful. Debates over quality aside, the sheer volume of material that Dylan either wrote or covered in these sessions is absolutely astonishing. And longtime fans will particularly treasure the plethora of tracks where Dylan indulges his weakness for pop tunes by covering Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” the Michael Johnson hit “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree.”

CD1
1. Angelina (Shot of Love Outtake) (6:41)
2. Need a Woman (Rehearsal) (5:11)
3. Let’s Keep It Between Us (Rehearsal) (5:15)
4. Price of Love (Shot of Love Outtake) (4:15)
5. Don’t Ever Take Yourself Away (Shot of Love Outtake) (4:09)
6. Fur Slippers (Shot of Love Outtake) (2:49)
7. Yes Sir, No Sir (Shot of Love Outtake) (2:23)
8. Jokerman (Infidels Alternate Take) (6:12)
9. Lord Protect My Child (Infidels Outtake) (4:18)
10. Blind Willie McTell (Take 5 – Infidels Outtake) (4:26)
11. Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight (Version 2) (Infidels Alternate Take) (5:29)
12. Neighborhood Bully (Infidels Alternate Take) (4:11)
13. Too Late (Band Version) (Infidels Outtake) (6:17)

CD2
1. Foot of Pride (Infidels Outtake) (5:55)
2. Sweetheart Like You (Infidels Alternate Take) (3:42)
3. Someone’s Got a Hold of My Heart (Infidels Outtake) (4:35)
4. I and I (Infidels Alternate Take) (4:27)
5. Tell Me (Infidels Outtake) (5:01)
6. Enough is Enough (Live from Slane Castle, Ireland) (4:18)
7. Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anyone Seen My Love) (Empire Burlesque Alternate Mix) (5:14)
8. Seeing the Real You at Last (Empire Burlesque Alternate Take) (4:24)
9. Emotionally Yours (Empire Burlesque Alternate Take) (3:37)
10. Clean Cut Kid (Empire Burlesque Alternate Take) (4:42)
11. New Danville Girl (Empire Burlesque Outtake) (11:52)
12. Dark Eyes (Empire Burlesque Alternate Take) (4:58)

2 Comments

  • Heathcliffx says:

    Not sure why but this is only half the release which numbers 57 tracks in all.

  • gas.man says:

    This is the 2CD version. There’s also a 2LP version with no duplication vs. the 2CD version and thirdly the deluxe 5CD variant.

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