When you cast a shadow as deep as Bob Dylan every loose tape, studio outtake, creative misstep and half-forgotten moment is going to be archived ‘n’ mined dry. But Bobby doesn’t give a hoot. The record companies have been throwing things like More Blood, More Tracks together for half a century.
Then again maybe the business isn’t all that important. Instead, it’s about the songs. We’ve all had our hearts broken and Blood On The Tracks has a pain which wraps around you. Inside and out Dylan’s world was in turmoil when had made this record. His marriage was breaking apart, his career ebbing below its ‘60s high. It all bled into one of his greatest statements.
And before you say, “I’ll butter my bread with the original, thanks!” Consider ‘Idiot Wind Take 6’. Thoughts like these are still circling decades later in a world only further drowned in images and distorted facts than the one that first met it.
Then there are the slow cuts like ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’ and ‘You’re A Big Girl Now’. They draw the listener into the moment, they’re there in the studio as the artists are cutting them live. ‘Lonsome’, ‘Big Girl’ and ‘Idiot’ are just three of the ten which can be streamed, word is the full deluxe set holds another 77.
Dylan comes stripped bare, yet still indecipherably mystic. A bitter lover cast out and spitting put-downs and sprawling confessional love. Confused, sedate, fatalistic, poetic – there’s as many Dylan’s here as anywhere else.
You can pity the poor soul that comes to Dylan through collections like these, but you can’t condemn them. The Dylan's intent may be ripped away but the music still carries hurt and honest messages. More Blood, More Tracks may lack an artist’s purpose but it’s Dylan you can pass through.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald