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The Basement Tapes
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The Basement Tapes

The Basement Tapes is a series of recordings by North American folk-rockers Bob Dylan and The Band, recorded in the mid-1960s. The recordings were first heard on a bootleg called The Great White Wonder in 1968 (see 1968 in music) and were finally released (as The Basement Tapes, as they had become colloquially known) on June 26, 1975 (see 1975 in music).

The Basement Tapes peaked at #7 in 1975 on Billboard's (North America) Pop Albums chart.

Table of contents
1 The Genuine Basement Tapes
2 Track listing
3 Personnel

The Genuine Basement Tapes

In 1966, Bob Dylan was at the peak of his popularity, having officially broken into the mainstream with his popular and acclaimed albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. Late that year, he suffered a serious motorcycle accident near Woodstock New York. He hid out in the basement of his house there for a long time, playing with his band members (later known as The Band), recording hundreds of songs. These songs consisted mostly of new Dylan tunes, but included a large helping of Band compositions (Bessie Smith), classic folk songs (Wildwood Flower), popular tunes (All American Boy), and silly jokes (See You Later Allen Ginsburg).

In 1975, Capitol released 24 of the best songs on an official album. However, many songs did not make the official album. These songs are available from bootleggers on Ebay, usually sold on a 5-disc set known as The Genuine Basement Tapes. This collection is the centerpiece of Greil Marcus' well-known book of music journalism . In this book, The Basement Tapes are compared to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. The thesis of Marcus' book is that both collections accurately describe an alternate weirder history of the United States.

Many famous songs from the Basement Tapes sessions were not included on the 1975 album.

  1. Quinn the Eskimo (live version on Self-Portrait, major hit for Manfred Mann)
  2. Santa Fe (available on the Bootleg Series, Vol 2)
  3. I'm Not There (1956) (called the best song in the Marcus book)
  4. I Shall Be Released (a standard)
  5. Sign on the Cross (called the second best song in the Marcus book)

Track listing

  1. "Odds and Ends" (Dylan) - 1:46
  2. "Orange Juice Blues" (Blues for Breakfast) (Manuel) - 3:37
  3. "Million Dollar Bash" (Dylan) - 2:31
  4. "Yazoo Street Scandal" (Robertson) - 3:27
  5. "Goin' to Acapulco" (Dylan) - 5:26
  6. "Katie's Been Gone" (Manuel/Robertson) - 2:43
  7. "Lo and Behold" (Dylan) - 2:45
  8. "Bessie Smith" (Danko/Robertson) - 4:17
  9. "Clothesline Saga" (Dylan) - 2:56
  10. "Apple Suckling Tree" (Dylan) - 2:48
  11. "Please, Mrs. Henry" (Dylan) - 2:31
  12. "Tears of Rage" (Dylan/Manuel) - 4:11
  13. "Too Much of Nothing" (Dylan) - 3:01
  14. "Yea Heavy and a Bottle of Bread" (Dylan) - 2:13
  15. "Ain't No More Cane" (Traditional) - 3:56
  16. "Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)" (Dylan) - 2:03
  17. "Ruben Remus" (Manuel/Robertson) - 3:13
  18. "Tiny Montgomery" (Dylan) - 2:45
  19. "You Ain't Going Nowhere" (Dylan) - 2:42
  20. "Don't Ya Tell Henry" (Dylan) - 3:12
  21. "Nothing Was Delivered" (Dylan) - 4:22
  22. "Open the Door, Homer" (Dylan) - 2:49
  23. "Long Distance Operator" (Dylan) - 3:38
  24. "This Wheel's on Fire" (Danko/Dylan) - 3:49

Personnel