Back to Bob's roots, and then some

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Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3

This dazzling set was originally released in 1991, when Dylan’s reputation had sunk about as low as it has ever been. The Bootleg Series was a perfectly judged, and desperately needed, reminder of Dylan’s roots, and of the way he’d used them to create so much transfiguring music of his own. It reached from early-’60s talking blues and gutbucket folk to wildly different unreleased versions of the likes of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Like A Rolling Stone” before galloping on to such recent epics as “Foot Of Pride” and “Blind Willie McTell”. The great mystery was, why the hell hadn’t we heard this stuff before?