Now that the cat’s out of the bag, with Rolling Stone magazine's article on an upcoming Bob Dylan box set that was posted on their website earlier today (“Bob Dylan Plotting #gospel Years Bootleg Series”), I can now share what I’ve heard about the project, which I received from numerous sources who wish to remain masked and anonymous. Keep in mind, none of this information has been revealed or confirmed by Bob Dylan’s management or record label. The “Gospel” set is reportedly not yet ready for release, but it will be readied sometime next year, well after the November release of the 36 CD set, "The 1966 Live Recordings."
Interestingly, some of the audiences on these tours (1979-81) were as hostile as the ones in 1966 when Dylan went "electric." Dylan would also often “sermonize” from the stage during the “Gospel” tours.
Unreleased and unknown
In addition to the news in the Rolling Stone article, I’ve heard:
- Dylan's “Gospel Years” edition of "The Bootleg Series, Volume 13," will feature plenty of unreleased material, including studio versions of the songs from this period which was performed in concert during these tours, but were never released. Also expected are many other songs completely unknown to most fans.
- A new edit of a concert video from Kleinhans #Music Hall, Buffalo, New York, in much better quality than the 1980 Toronto show that's been traded among collectors for a while. Three shows were reportedly professionally taped in full.
- How the set will be presented is still to be determined, including how many discs, how many different versions/formats, books, packaging, etc
What we can expect:
While we do not know what is in the vaults, we can speculate with what we do know.
A live album titled "Solid Rock," circa 1980, was reportedly rejected by Dylan's record label at the time.
Below is a list of songs not released on Dylan's original so-called “Gospel” trilogy: "Slow Train Coming" (1979), "Saved (1980)," and "Shot of Love" (1981):
- Trouble in Mind - initially released as a b-side only, two different edits.
- Ain't No Man Righteous, No Not One
- Blessed Be the Name
- Note: Ye Shall Be Changed was released on The Bootleg Series, Volume 3
- Ain't Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody
- Cover Down, Break Through
- I WIll Love Him
- They Talk About Me
- Her Memory
- Brown Skin Girl
- Let’s Keep It Between Us (Covered by Bonnie Raitt)
- Yonder Comes Sin
- City of Gold
- I Will Sing, I Will Sing
- Abraham, Martin And John
- Mary From The Wild Moor
- We Just Disagree
- A Couple More Years (later sung by Dylan in the movie, "Hearts of Fire")
- Rise Again
- Nobody’s Fault But Mine
1981 (There is some confusion over this material, plus much of it would not be categorized as “gospel.” Some possible titles):
- Straw Hat
- Gonna Love You Anyway
- Is It Worth It?
- Yes Sir, No Sir (Hallelujah)
- Fur Slippers (Covered by B.B. King)
- The King Is On The Throne
Note: A live version of “Groom Still Waiting at the Altar” from San Francisco’s Fox Warfield Theatre, November 15, 1980, was included on 2014’s "Michael Bloomfield: From His Head To His Heart To His Hands." "Let It Be Me," recorded in 1981, was released as a b-side in Europe.
Of course, there are many interesting outtakes of Dylan's songs, often with different lyrics and arrangement, in the vaults.
Also be on the lookout for the release of possible outtakes from the 1967 "John Wesley Harding" sessions at the end of next year. It may be released, in possibly very limited quantities in Europe, to keep the copyright in the control of Sony and Dylan. #BobDylan