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Bob Dylan

No Direction Home: The Soundtrack — The Bootleg Series Vol. 7

Released in conjunction with Martin Scorsese's PBS "American Masters" documentary of the same title, No Direction Home paints a somewhat different picture of the artist as a young man than what is generally accepted. Covering the first nine years of Dylan's body of work, the 28 tracks (only two previously released) comprise a fascinating behind-the-scenes palette of rare and timeless jewels. Each one is loaded with significance and essential to truly understanding the artist.

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Beginning in 1959 with what is considered Dylan's first original recording, and concluding with the legendary "JUDAS!" version of "Like a Rolling Stone" from a 1966 electric concert in Manchester, England, the various live tracks and alternate takes show Dylan's development from a Woody Guthrie disciple to one of the world's most cherished musical creators. Dylan's varied stylistic manipulations included here provide a little peek into his creative process, whether he sings homage in a "Song to Woody" or turns his own "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" into a slow, dirty blues jam. The extensive liner notes by musical director Al Kooper, manager Andrew Loog Oldham, and Eddie Gorodetsky share a wealth of insider information about the man and his music, and while we will never know enough about the workings of Dylan's mind, this collection opens the window a little wider.