Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shades of Blue: Unreleased Recordings, 1965-1966

Shades Of Blue - Deluxe Edition

I'll Keep It With Mine - Outtake - Blonde On Blonde Sessions - 1966
Visions Of Johanna - Outtake - Blonde On Blonde Sessions - 1966
Tombstone Blues - Live - Los Angeles - September 3, 1965
I Can't Leave Her Behind - Unreleased - Hotel Tape - 1966
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? - Outtake - Highway 61 Sessions - 1965
What Kind Of Friend Is This? - Unreleased - Hotel Tape - 1966
Long Distance Operator - Live - Berkeley - December 4, 1965
Ballad Of A Thin Man - Outtake - Highway 61 Sessions - 1965
Maggie's Farm - Live - Los Angeles - September 3, 1965
Positively 4th Street - Live - Sydney - April 13, 1966
Why Be So Frantic? - Outtake - Highway 61 Sessions - 1965
Positively Van Gogh - Unreleased - Hotel Tape - 1966
Sittin' On A Barbed Wire Fence - Outtake - Highway 61 Sessions - 1965
You Don't Have To Do That - Outtake - Bringing It All Back Home Sessions - 1965
From A Buick 6 - Live - Los Angeles - September 3, 1965
On A Rainy Afternoon - Unreleased - Hotel Tape - 1966
I Wanna Be Your Lover - Outtake - Blonde On Blonde Sessions - 1966
Medicine Sunday - Outtake - Blonde On Blonde Sessions - 1966
Love Minus Zero/No Limit - Outtake - Bringing It All Back Home Sessions - 1965
Phantom Engineer - Live - Newport - July 25, 1965
She's Your Lover Now - Outtake - Blonde On Blonde Sessions - 1966

[Links Removed - See Below]

Here's the first compilation. I've worked on it for some time, and though I'm not entirely satisfied, it is very listenable. Included are outtakes and live performances from Bob Dylan's 1965-1966 sessions and tours. Edits have been kept to a minimum, and the volume has been adjusted to favor continuity.

1965 to 1966 was an extremely fertile period for Dylan's career, but much of the best available songs have been released officially in one form or another. Surprisingly, neither this outtake of Visions of Johanna or this Newport performance of Phantom Engineer have made it to a Columbia release. Similarly, the brilliant solo take of She's Your Lover Now was fair game.

This is an extensive expansion of an earlier compilation, Shades of Blue, which contained all of the hotel tapes from 1966. Only the best of these hotel tapes have been included on this collection. The sound quality of these is inconsistent, but tends towards poor. They are present here both for historical interest, as none of them made it to the studio as far as we know, as well as for their wonderful melodies. These function in some ways as an indication of what Dylan's next record may have sounded like had he not moved in a very different direction after the 1966 tour.

Speaking of that most notable of rock tours, the savvy listener may find that songs from Dylan's 1966 world tour with The Hawks are conspicuously absent here, with the exception of Positively 4th Street. These are extremely well-represented on the Bootleg Series Volume 4, available for purchase. The standard setlist makes inclusion here less important than these other songs which did make the cut, and space is so limited. Positively 4th Street was the only track in listenable quality which did not find its way onto that official release.

Hopefully you will find something enjoyable here, and it would make a pleasant starting point for those who have already heard all of the officially released tracks. For those who have not, I encourage you to buy those recordings as soon as possible - they are wonderful.

If you like this, I would encourage you to check out the following records by the artist, available at,, and iTunes:

Note: All links here are to, but these recordings are available at Amazon, iTunes, and possibly your local music store (if it still exists).

UPDATE - November 2, 2015: The links for this compilation have been removed, since most of the tracks are being officially released by Sony/Columbia later this month as The Bootleg Series Volume 12: The Cutting Edge. The record company has happily made available three separate tiers for this release, which you can learn about in more detail here. I, for one, would love to get the 18 CD set, but have a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed, after all; the 6 CD collection will have to do! As I did previously with the Basement Noise compilation, I will leave the playlist above for those of you who would like to make your own version using tracks from the new official release.


  1. Congratulations On A Great New Site ! Your Two New Posts Are Wonderful.Good Luck With Your New Undertaking.I'll Be Checking It Daily!
    Colonel Dan

  2. Hi,

    You've won the prize for first comment: the pride of knowing that you are the first commenter! Thanks for leaving a note. Currently it looks like there were multiple updates this week because I had to edit a couple of things, but I should let you know that the blog will only be updated weekly on Monday - I'd hate for you to feel discouraged if no updates were occurring. Hope you enjoy the music!


  3. Hi. This blog looks great. As for this collection, I have everything on it except for "Why Be So Frantic?" of which I have never heard. What is this? Google turns up nothing. Is it known by any other title? Thanks.

  4. "Why Be So Frantic?", so far as I am aware, is not known by any other title. According to Clinton Heylin, writing on this subject, the song did not make it into many recorded sessionographies of this period but was apparently the final song recorded at the Highway 61 sessions. It's truly fragmentary, and makes you wish it had seen more development.

  5. many thanks for the kind music and the lossless music

  6. Thank you for this! Why Be So Frantic? Is also know as "Lunatic Princess Revisited", and There's a Van Gogh also know as “Spuriously Seventeen Windows" So may great titles, some of the song are the same It's little confusing.
    This is a good article:
    Really nice to include the hotel room songs is this package of wonderment!

    1. Thanks for sharing the link. Good call on the different song titles. "Spuriously Seventeen Windows" ranks among the most amusing names I've ever heard!