The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991

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The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991
A black-and-white photograph of Dylan playing harmonica
Box set by
ReleasedMarch 26, 1991 (1991-03-26)
RecordedNovember 1961 – March 1989 "Series of Dreams" remixed January 1991
GenreFolk rock, folk blues
ProducerJeff Rosen
Bob Dylan chronology
Under the Red Sky
The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991
Good as I Been to You
Bob Dylan Bootleg Series chronology
Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991
Vol. 4: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert Christgau(2-star Honorable Mention)(2-star Honorable Mention)[2]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[3]
Rolling Stone[4]

The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 is a box set by Bob Dylan issued on Columbia Records. It is the first installment in Dylan's Bootleg Series, comprising material spanning the first three decades of his career, from 1961 to 1989. It has been certified with a gold record by the RIAA as of August 1997, and peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 and No. 32 in the UK.[6]


Dylan has been subject to bootleg recordings throughout his career; the first bootleg of the rock era, Great White Wonder, consisted of pirate recordings drawn from various sources. His 1985 box set Biograph, rather than just being another (very large) compilation, presented 18 never officially released tracks of 53 total, acknowledging this long-standing appetite for pirated Dylan recordings. With the approach of Dylan's 30-year mark in the record industry, Columbia Records initiated the proper release of material that had circulated regularly on Dylan bootlegs, starting with this box set in 1991 to satisfy demand for Dylan's unissued material.


The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 contains rarities and unreleased works from the sessions for 1962's debut Bob Dylan to 1989's Oh Mercy; at the time of its issue a survey of his entire recording career. Of the 58 total tracks, 45 are session outtakes from recording sessions for Dylan studio albums. Of the remaining 13 tracks, one is an outtake from the session for the "George Jackson" single of 1971, two are further releases from the Basement Tape sessions of 1967, five are live recordings, and five are demo records, three of latter being later duplicated on Volume 9 of the series. With the appearance of further volumes, other recordings from this set have also been duplicated, such as those on Volume 11 or Volume 12.

The material is spread across three compact discs, five vinyl records, or three cassette tapes. In the case of the compact disc and cassette versions, each individual disc or cassette is labeled in the set as a distinct volume. Subsequent albums in the Bootleg Series were standardized to a double-disc volume in their primary non-limited edition format, excepting for Volumes 14 and 15, and all continue the compact disc volume numbering. Unlike ensuing installments in the series, none of Volumes 1–3 are available individually in physical form. Also unlike subsequent volumes in the series, only this one constitutes a complete overview of Dylan's career, at least as measured by the date of its release.

A remastered version in smaller packaging was issued on August 19, 1997, on Legacy Recordings, the reissue imprint of Sony Records.


In his 2006 Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, author Michael Gray states that "most artists couldn't muster a single outtake to hold alongside any of this; Dylan can provide 58 recordings almost every one of which is of numinous excellence."[7] The success of this set generated an entire series of official Dylan bootlegs issued under the Legacy Records imprint of Sony Music, with an additional 14 installments as of 2023.

Other artists have also followed suit in presenting archived concerts and studio material, specifically the following: The Beatles with their anthology sets from the mid-1990s; The Grateful Dead with their multiple continued vault release series; Neil Young and his archives series; The Rolling Stones with their official bootlegs; and Miles Davis with his bootleg series also on Legacy Records.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bob Dylan, except where noted; all arrangements by Bob Dylan.

Volume one (disc one)
1."Hard Times in New York Town" (December 22, 1961)home tape recorded by Tony Glover2:19
2."He Was a Friend of Mine" (traditional) (November 20, 1961)Bob Dylan outtake4:02
3."Man on the Street" (November 22, 1961)Bob Dylan outtake1:56
4."No More Auction Block" (traditional) (October 1962)live at the Gaslight cafe, Greenwich Village3:03
5."House Carpenter" (traditional) (November 22, 1961)Bob Dylan outtake4:08
6."Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues" (April 25, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake3:45
7."Let Me Die in My Footsteps" (April 25, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake3:33
8."Rambling, Gambling Willie" (April 24, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake4:13
9."Talkin' Hava Negeilah Blues" (April 25, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake0:52
10."Quit Your Low Down Ways" (July 9, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake2:39
11."Worried Blues" (traditional) (July 9, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake2:39
12."Kingsport Town" (traditional) (November 14, 1962)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake3:29
13."Walkin' Down the Line" (1963)demo for the Witmark Music Publishing Company2:52
14."Walls of Red Wing" (April 24, 1963)The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake5:05
15."Paths of Victory" (August 12, 1963)The Times They Are A-Changin' outtake3:17
16."Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues" (October 26, 1963)live at Carnegie Hall4:25
17."Who Killed Davey Moore?" (October 26, 1963)live at Carnegie Hall3:09
18."Only a Hobo" (August 12, 1963)The Times They Are A-Changin' outtake3:29
19."Moonshiner" (traditional) (August 12, 1963)The Times They Are A-Changin' outtake5:06
20."When the Ship Comes In" (1963)demo for the Witmark Music Publishing Company2:55
21."The Times They Are A-Changin' " (1963)demo for the Witmark Music Publishing Company3:00
22."Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie" (April 12, 1963)poem recited live in concert at New York City's Town Hall7:07
Total length:77:03
Volume two (disc two)
1."Seven Curses" (August 6, 1963)The Times They Are A-Changin' outtake3:49
2."Eternal Circle" (October 24, 1963)The Times They Are A-Changin' outtake2:38
3."Suze (The Cough Song)" (October 24, 1963)The Times They Are A-Changin' outtake1:58
4."Mama, You Been on My Mind" (June 9, 1964)Another Side of Bob Dylan outtake2:56
5."Farewell, Angelina" (January 13, 1965)Bringing It All Back Home outtake5:27
6."Subterranean Homesick Blues" (January 13, 1965)Bringing It All Back Home alternate take2:56
7."If You Gotta Go, Go Now" (January 15, 1965)Bringing It All Back Home outtake2:56
8."Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence" (June 15, 1965)Highway 61 Revisited outtake3:54
9."Like a Rolling Stone" (June 15, 1965)Highway 61 Revisited alternate take1:36
10."It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" (June 15, 1965)Highway 61 Revisited alternate take3:22
11."I'll Keep It with Mine" (January 27, 1966)Blonde on Blonde outtake3:39
12."She's Your Lover Now" (January 21, 1966)Blonde on Blonde outtake6:10
13."I Shall Be Released" (Fall 1967)Basement Tape recording3:56
14."Santa-Fe" (Fall 1967)Basement Tape recording2:10
15."If Not for You" (May 1, 1970)New Morning alternate take3:33
16."Wallflower" (November 4, 1971)previously unreleased recording2:49
17."Nobody 'Cept You" (November 2, 1973)Planet Waves outtake2:41
18."Tangled Up in Blue" (September 19, 1974)Blood on the Tracks alternate take6:51
19."Call Letter Blues" (September 16, 1974)Blood on the Tracks outtake4:27
20."Idiot Wind" (September 19, 1974)Blood on the Tracks alternate take8:52
Total length:76:40
Volume three (disc three)
1."If You See Her, Say Hello" (September 16, 1974)Blood on the Tracks alternate take3:45
2."Golden Loom" (July 30, 1975)Desire outtake4:26
3."Catfish" (Bob Dylan / Jacques Levy) (July 28, 1975)Desire outtake2:48
4."Seven Days" (April 21, 1976)live performance, Tampa, Florida4:00
5."Ye Shall Be Changed" (May 2, 1979)Slow Train Coming outtake4:09
6."Every Grain of Sand" (September 23, 1980)publishing demo for Special Rider Music3:38
7."You Changed My Life" (April 23, 1981)Shot of Love outtake5:14
8."Need a Woman" (May 4, 1981)Shot of Love outtake5:43
9."Angelina" (May 4, 1981)Shot of Love outtake6:57
10."Someone's Got a Hold of My Heart" (April 25, 1983)Infidels outtake4:33
11."Tell Me" (April 21, 1983)Infidels outtake4:24
12."Lord Protect My Child" (May 3, 1983)Infidels outtake3:57
13."Foot of Pride" (April 25, 1983)Infidels outtake5:57
14."Blind Willie McTell" (May 5, 1983)Infidels outtake5:52
15."When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky" (February 19, 1985)Empire Burlesque alternate take5:37
16."Series of Dreams" (March 23, 1989)Oh Mercy outtake; remixed January 19915:52
Total length:76:52


Sorted by first appearance, then alphabetically.

Technical personnel


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 169". Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  4. ^ Decurtis, Anthony (April 4, 1991). "Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  5. ^ Lehnert, Richard (July 28, 1991). "The Bob Dylan Bootleg Series |". Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  6. ^ RIAA website retrieved 02-12-10.
  7. ^ Gray, Michael. The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Continuum International Publishing: London, 2006, ISBN 0-8264-6933-7, p. 73.
  8. ^ "More Blood, More Track - The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 Now Available!". The Official Bob Dylan Site. Retrieved August 24, 2023.

External links[edit]