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Bob Dylan

Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006

Subtitled "Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006", Tell Tale Signs, the eighth of Dylan's long running Bootleg series of officially approved outtakes, comes in two formats. The two-disc version consists of 27 tracks, including alternate versions of songs from his last three studio sets: Oh Mercy, Time out of Mind and Modern Times. Even non-obsessives will be seduced by the highlights here. A lovely sparse solo version of "Most of the Time", just Dylan strumming guitar and blowing a wheezy harmonica, outdoes the Daniel Lanois-produced original. The bleak, stately "Can't Escape from You", the sad and beautiful Civil War epic "Cross the Green Mountain", "The Lonesome River" a bluegrass standard with vocals from Ralph Stanley and a great, lo-fi live version of Reverend Gary Davis's influential "Cocaine Blues" are all standouts. Two versions of "Dignity"--a piano demo that reduces it to an oddly naked state and an unexpected rockabilly take--neatly capture the idea behind these volumes--to expose dedicated fans to the overlooked and underestimated parts of Dylan's constantly shifting oeuvre.

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