The next installment of the Bob Dylan‘s heralded Bootleg Series will focus on the development of his electric sound in two crucial years during the ’60s.
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12, due on Nov. 6, includes early demos, alternative versions and outtakes from a period that saw Dylan release Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. Those sessions produced signature tracks including “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Visions of Johanna.”
“At the beginning, most songs were fairly shapeless,” Dylan sideman Al Kooper says in the new issue of Rolling Stone, which will be available Friday. “Only little by little did they come together.”
Expected highlights include Bob Dylan’s early attempt at a plugged-in version of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” months prior to the Byrds crafted a breakout hit with it. A take on “Visions of Johanna” includes alternate lyrics. And the whirlwind sessions for “Like a Rolling Stone” are comprehensively explored.
There are also early Blonde on Blonde tracks featuring future members of the Band, recorded before Dylan changed direction and decided to use a group of Nashville musicians. Those sessions differed greatly from the more loosely organized Highway 61 Revisited, said Kooper, who unexpectedly found himself sitting in on organ for “Like a Rolling Stone.”
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 will be available in three different editions: an economical two-disc size, an expanded six-disc version and a massive 18-disc package, which includes, among other things, sessions for “Like a Rolling Stone.”