An unreleased Bob Dylan song called “California” is set to debut on the NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack – Vol. 2 compilation on November 3rd. According to a press release, “California” was recorded in 1965 during the sessions for Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home, but remained in the vaults. The track has been freshly mixed and mastered for this release, and on the same day the soundtrack hits stores, the song will also be featured on an episode of NCIS.
Though “California” has never officially been released, outtakes of the song have been circulating for years. According to Clinton Heylon’s book Revolution in the Air – The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973, both “California” and Bringing It Back‘s “Outlaw Blues” were recorded on January 13th, 1965. Originally considered a early version of “Outlaw Blues,” “California” itself was in fact a piano-driven number that Dylan ended up scrapping, but not before lending one of its verses to “Outlaw Blues.”
This isn’t the first time the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has employed Dylan: The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s Oscar-winning “Things Have Changed,” previously featured on the soundtrack of 1999’s Wonder Boys, also appeared on NCIS and the first volume of its soundtrack.
Dylan isn’t the only artist to contribute an exclusive track to NCIS, which prides itself as television’s most-watched show with 20 million viewers per episode, according to a press release. John Mellencamp will contribute “Somedays the Rain Will Fall,” Sheryl Crow offers up “Murder in My Heart” and artists like Norah Jones, Joss Stone and Sharon Little will provide new tracks. Even actor Michael Weatherly, who plays Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS, has a song on the show’s second soundtrack.
As Rolling Stone previously reported, ’tis the season for new Bob Dylan songs, as the legendary singer-songwriter’s Christmas in the Heart is out today, October 13th. Proceeds from the album benefit Feeding America.
• Bob Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart”: Fricke’s First Listen
• Clips of Bob Dylan’s “Christmas In the Heart” Hit the Web
• Bob Dylan Welcomes Guitarist Charlie Sexton Back Into His Band