ORIGINALLY released as a Barnes & Noble exclusive, Blues seeks to
explain how Bob Dylan, as Bill Flanagan's liner notes state, "has bent,
stretched and turned over the blues in the years since his first recording sessions."
Err... sure! I mean, that's precisely why
the producers omitted Subterranean
Homesick Blues, Isis and Down the Highway
in favour of the appalling Gotta Serve
Somebody and Seeing The Real You At Last,
Of course, there are gems, like Down in
the Flood, Meet Me in the Morning, It Takes
a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry and
the magnificent Infidels outtake Blind
Willie McTell, to sink your teeth into. But
even then, I can't see this record as being
much more than an attempt to cash in on
Dylan's renewed popularity.
If you really want to hear how Dylan
moved from Bukka White covers and blatant mimicry to stuff like Cold Irons Bound,
High Water (for Charley Patton) and
Thunder on the Mountain, then you have to
delve deep into his catalogue ... the studio
albums as well as official bootlegs. It is, no
doubt, a daunting, not to mention costly
and time consuming, endeavour but well worth the effort.