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Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan – 1970 (Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings)

Bob Dylan
10 March 2021

Back in the day, Bob Dylan didn’t just make records, he made music – and he did it pretty much all the time, judging from the ongoing stream of archival releases. Offering 74 previously unreleased tracks on three discs, Bob Dylan – 1970 is drawn from the same sessions that produced the charming New Morning and the poorly received covers set Self Portrait, going beyond even the wide reach of those two albums. Along with alternate takes of contemporary Dylan compositions, it features new versions of old originals, including “Song to Woody” and “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and plenty of unlikely tunes associated with others, from Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” to Sam Cooke’s “Cupid,” to Jay and the Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer.” A nearly invisible George Harrison shows up on nine cuts, long before the Traveling Wilburys, along with stellar players like Al Kooper and David Bromberg. Sometimes, Dylan’s just fooling around; other times, he’s reaching for something that he hasn’t quite grasped yet. Either way, Bob Dylan – 1970 is an intriguing, unpolished artifact from one man’s endless quest for self-expression.