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Fragments - Time Out Of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17

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Critics even suggested it might be the final great Bob Dylan album – it wasn’t of course, but, as it turned out, Time Out of Mind, was the last album Dylan made with a producer – all his records since have been self-produced, under the pseudonym Jack Frost. Prior to its release, Dylan had been plagued by ill health – a life-threatening respiratory infection caused by inhaling fungus spores, which he put down to riding his Harley in the Louisiana swamps.

This makes for a really fascinating and rewarding listen as you not only trace the evolution of the songs but can decide whether you prefer the album as released or as a more upbeat version. But Fragments reveals the truth of the matter: The man who croaked about walking through “streets that are dead” already had his glittering blue eyes on the next horizon.I don't know if they're entirely audience recordings or a combination of sources but I would have far preferred professionally recorded versions. The compilation includes a remix of the original Time Out of Mind album, outtakes, alternate versions and live recordings. He reportedly felt haunted by Buddy Holly, and in tribute, he created his own ghostly version of the Crickets, pulling from his touring lineup, session-player royalty, and beyond. It’s as devoted as he ever sounded, and behind him, Garnier and Mangurian play so subtly and understated they register as lighting. Wer die Möglichkeit hat seine Live-Auftritte zu besuchen sollte dies tun oder sich die Bootlegs an Land ziehen.

The story began, appropriately enough, in a picaresque old playhouse Lanois dubbed the Teatro, filled with storybook touches—cob-webbed 16mm projectors, dusty mirror balls. Accompanied by bassist Tony Garnier and drummer Tony Mangurian, they built the tracks on top of those primordial beginnings. Sessions stretched to 10 hours while Lanois drove Dylan to try “Not Dark Yet” again in E-flat, then in B-flat, until Dylan finally snapped, “If you haven’t got it now, you ain’t getting it.takes a fresh look at ‘Time Out Of Mind’, Dylan's mid-career masterpiece, celebrating the album and its enduring impact 25 years after its original release on September 30, 1997. With its electric guitar licks and echoes of The Band, it could’ve been cooked up in the basement of Big Pink. Rolling Stone 's David Browne gave the album a positive review, writing that the Time Out of Mind sessions deserve the "under-the-microscope treatment". And the extra sides of outtakes from the convoluted sessions that produced this gem are equally as compelling. Disc 5 gives us the original haunting take of “Can’t Wait” that raised Howard’s arm hairs: Over a hard backbeat, Dylan’s block piano chords and impressively tasty riffing from Lanois, Dylan chews the scenery with the unhinged glee of a Shakespearean actor let loose in a Hollywood blockbuster.

It includes such iconic songs as “Love Sick”, “Not Dark yet” and “Make You Feel My Love”, which became a modern standard after it was covered by artists as wide ranging as Billy Joel, Garth Brooks and of course Adele. So in conclusion, I am glad I bought it, it offers more than I thought, although the inclusion of CD 5 is annoying if you bought the deluxe Tell Tale Signs.

And the final Tell Tale Signs disc, well I can see why it’s here it adds a piece to the journey of the songs on Time Out of Mind. These are not driving rock numbers, and yet they were three or four drum kits rolling away at any point.

But the true glory of these recordings is witnessing session legends like Mangurian, Jim Dickinson, and Bucky Baxter—giants whose playing pushed the blood through the veins of American song—sound momentarily lost, reverent, uncertain. Bob is always capable of pulling surprises within different versions of the same song, so it is all there to argue about, enjoy or not.But the story of Fragments—the story of the album Time Out Of Mind isn’t, but almost was—rests with “Mississippi. The remaining four discs—two of unreleased outtakes, one previously available, and a live set—repositions Time Out of Mind as a rebirth rather than a farewell. Disc 1 is a new mix of the original album, with a less gloomy feel, and bringing Dylan's feral growl right up front in your living room.

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