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, right?

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.









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