Friday, March 9, 2007

Best of the Basement

Upon a brief inspection of today's lists, many Dylan fans will notice that I haven't posted anything that didn't appear on the officially released Basement Tapes from 1975. The album was, of course, put together by Robbie Robertson in an attempt to put out some great music/make some cash. Of the eight songs that did not feature Dylan—“Orange Juice Blues,” “Yazoo Street Scandal,” “Katie’s Been Gone,” “Bessie Smith,” “Ain’t No More Cane,” “Ruben Remus,” “Don’t Ya Tell Henry” and “Long Distance Operator”—only four were from the sessions held at the infamous Big Pink in Woodstock, New York.

But the thing that always gets me (and many other fans too, Greil Marcus included) is Robbie leaving out some of the best material from the actual sessions. This includes “Quinn the Mighty Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn),” “I’m Not There (1956),” “Ferdinand the Imposter,” “See You Later Allen Ginsberg,” “Get Your Rocks Off” and one of the best cuts Dylan ever recorded, “Sign on the Cross.”

Robbie, you're an awesome musician and great lyricist but you should let the professionals pick the best material for an album. After all, "Don't Do It" got left off of The Last Waltz.

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