Nearly 50 years ago, Bob Dylan and the group that would become known as the Band moved to West Saugerties, New York, holing up in a house dubbed Big Pink and creating some of the most legendary recordings in rock history. Countless bootlegs and one overdubbed 1975 double-LP later, those recordings are finally receiving an official release, compiled on The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, out November 4th on Legacy Recordings.
Compiled with help from Band member Garth Hudson and restored by producer Jan Haust, the collection combines what’s being described as “every salvageable recording from the tapes, including recently discovered early gems recorded in the ‘Red Room’ of Dylan’s home in upstate New York.” These recordings were sequenced according to Hudson’s numbering system and moves from country songs written by artists like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Harlan Howard to Curtis Mayfield R&B, traditional rearrangements and plenty of originals.
Below, stream an alternate take of the original “Odds and Ends” (a more subdued version of which appears on 1975’s The Basement Tapes LP) that appears on both the six-disc The Basement Tapes Complete and the two-disc The Basement Tapes Raw, a slimmed-down collection of highlights.
In his 1968 Basement Tapes cover story, Rolling Stone founder and editor Jann S. Wenner broke a Dylan and the Band demo down track-by-track, eventually concluding, “Even though he used one of the finest rock & roll bands ever assembled on the Highway 61 album, here he works with his own band, for the first time. Dylan brings that instinctual feel for rock & roll to his voice for the first time. If this were ever to be released, it would be a classic.”