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By Chris Moore:
Well, it may not have been recorded in my basement with an as-yet-unknown Canadian rock band, but this is the best version of “Odds and Ends” you’re going to get out of me! I’ve always loved this song. It sets the tone nicely for the 23 songs that follow. Indeed, “Odds and Ends” encapsulates the spirit of The Basement Tapes: often absurd lyrics sung over raw yet warm instrumental tracks. For Dylan, this set of songs signified his retreat from the “wild, mercury sound” of Blonde on Blonde and the wild world tour of 1966. At the same time, you can listen as the Band begins to really gel and find their collective voice.
The primary reason I chose this song tonight — one of two that I will post tonight — is in honor of Dylan’s brand-new album being released tomorrow. It is titled Together Through Life, and I’ve already recorded a Laptop Session of the lead track, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin.'” There is at least one other song that’s been leaked online, but I’d rather save the other nine tracks for my first listen to the album as a whole.
Instead, I’ve gone back to this 1975 release of these 1968 recordings.
Why choose The Basement Tapes to cover now?
The answer, quite simply, is that I was too busy with other videos and writing to be able to record these songs a couple weeks ago when several Dylan albums — The Basement Tapes, New Morning, Dylan and the Dead — were reissued in digipack format. I saw them in the stores, and although I really don’t see why anyone who already owns these albums would want to buy the updated versions (aside from sound quality, of course), I can’t help but feel it necessary to celebrate any and all attention that Dylan’s back catalog is given.
It hasn’t been all that long since I would scan the CD racks at stores like Sam Goody, FYE, Best Buy, Borders, and a host of others, looking for Dylan albums to complete my collection. For a while, I would buy two at a time in an attempt to satiate my thirst for new Dylan material. Although I don’t feel that same urgency for Dylan’s releases when I walk into a CD store, I have lost none of my passion and respect for his music.
As Jim knows and is probably already thinking (and he’s right), I’ll jump at any excuse to record a Dylan song!!
Okay, that’s it for the first post. I need to save something to write about in my second post of the night, coming very shortly…
See you next session!