Dylan, Velvets, Beefheart: November Will Be Historic

The Basement Tapes in their entirety will be released one week from today in a 6-CD set.  Yes, 138 out of 140 or so songs recorded by Dylan and The Band in ’66 and ’67 will finally be available legitimately (not as low-fidelity bootlegs).

You don’t have to be a Dylanologist, you don’t have to even really love rock’n’roll, to understand what an important event in American culture next week will be.  A victory by Republicans may set the clock back on election night, but our palliative will be to return to the bygone era in which The Basement Tapes were recorded — The Band plus Dylan crowded in The Red Room (Dylan’s place in Woodstock) or Big Pink (The Band’s group house) playing old folk songs, some of Dylan’s most enigmatic originals, Johnny Cash covers and the like.  And it will all be available next week.  (Picture us rubbing our hands together.)

On November 17th, we get to listen to Sun, Zoom, Spark: 1970-1972, a four-disk box set that spans Captain Beefheart’s least celebrated, yet hugely satisfying post-Trout Mask Replica period.  For the first time ever, Lick My Decals Off, Baby will be released on CD in its entirety.  And in addition to a new mastering of the sublime Clear Spot, we get rarities from the period.  (Drool forms in the back of the mouth… It’s so close now, how can we wait three weeks?)

The Velvet Underground  — the band’s third, and best, record will be released, along with contemporaneous live tracks never before legitimately set into the wild, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Maybe the surviving Velvets (John Cale and Mo Tucker) are so concerned with family values, they wish us all to be able to discuss the rarities over dinner with the relatives?)

Who knows.  What we do know is that we have likely never gone into a November believing that we will need to lock ourselves away with headphones to listen to the 16 disks — 16 disks — of music we have longed for years to be able to hear, all to be released in this single month…

One Response to “Dylan, Velvets, Beefheart: November Will Be Historic”

  1. There was a golden era in rock music and these records sum it up! Pleased to have found your blog – looking forward to more reading. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (drop a nickel!).

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