Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The story of the making of Blood on the Tracks is pretty well chewed at this point: Dylan recorded most of the material that eventually made it on to the album in New York with the same session guys who did the music for Deliverance, then went home to Minnesota for Christmas. He played the demo for his brother, who thought it lacked spark, so Bob re-did all or most of it using local musicians. Over the years songs from the New York sessions have emerged on various compilations, and for the most part I'd have to say that Bob Dylan's brother made the right call. The Blood on the Tracks that we ultimately got is the best Blood on the Tracks. The New York session versions are interesting-- Dylan made some interesting changes in lyrics, and "Tangled Up In Blue", a song that plays a lot with point of view, is particularly fun to compare and contrast. One song that I had not heard the New York version of until just now has been "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts", a long shaggy dog story that I have always loved. Here it is. The most notable change is  the tempo-- in the St Paul version it rollicks along, but in New York, for what ever reason, it kinda drags. It does, however, feature the 'lost' verse that Joan Baez sings: "Lilly had her arms around the man she dearly loved to touch/She forgot all about the man she hated, who hounded her so much." For me it adds little: the official version seems to have more dramatic tension at that point in the song.

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