The Basement Tapes

The Basement Tapes

by The BandThe Band

CD(Remastered / Digi-Pak / Reissue)

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Overview

The official release of The Basement Tapes -- which were first heard on a 1968 bootleg called The Great White Wonder -- plays with history somewhat, as Robbie Robertson overemphasizes the Band's status in the sessions, making them out to be equally active to Dylan, adding in demos not cut at the sessions and overdubbing their recordings to flesh them out. As many bootlegs (most notably the complete five-disc series) reveal, this isn't entirely true and the Band were nowhere near as active as Dylan, but that ultimately is a bit like nitpicking, since the music here (including the Band's) is astonishingly good. The party line on The Basement Tapes is that it is Americana, as Dylan and the Band pick up the weirdness inherent in old folk, country, and blues tunes, but it transcends mere historical arcana through its lively, humorous, full-bodied performances. Dylan never sounded as loose, nor was he ever as funny as he is here, and this positively revels in its weird, wild character. For all the apparent antecedents -- and the allusions are sly and obvious in equal measure -- this is truly Dylan's show, as he majestically evokes old myths and creates new ones, resulting in a crazy quilt of blues, humor, folk, tall tales, inside jokes, and rock. The Band pretty much pick up where Dylan left off, even singing a couple of his tunes, but they play it a little straight, on both their rockers and ballads. Not a bad thing at all, since this actually winds up providing context for the wild, mercurial brilliance of Dylan's work -- and, taken together, the results (especially in this judiciously compiled form with its expert song selection, even if there's a bit too much Band) rank among the greatest American music ever made.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/31/2009
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0886970822923
catalogNumber: 708229
Rank: 27757

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Band   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Bob Dylan   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Track Performer
Robbie Robertson   Acoustic Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Rick Danko   Bass,Mandolin,Violin,Electric Bass,Vocals
Levon Helm   Mandolin,Electric Bass,Drums,Vocals
Garth Hudson   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Keyboards,Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Clavinet
Richard Manuel   Harmonica,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals
Maretha Stewart   Vocals

Technical Credits

Band   Producer
Bob Dylan   Producer,Liner Notes,Author
Robbie Robertson   Composer
Steven Berkowitz   Reissue Producer
Didier C. Deutsch   Tape Research
Garth Hudson   Engineer
Jeff Rosen   Reissue Producer
Greil Marcus   Liner Notes
Bob Cato   Design Consultant
Mike Kull   Tape Research

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