Though Bob Dylan has disowned the phrase, his Never-Ending Tour is as strong as ever. Dylan and his band are currently canvassing Europe, with eight of those gigs taking place in Germany. The German stand began on October 23 and concludes next week, on November 7. A total of over 100,000 German spectators will have attended Dylan's concerts, performed with special guest (and past Dylan collaborator) Mark Knopfler. In conjunction with the German leg of the tour, Sony Music Germany has released a new compilation that's sure to raise the eyebrows of Dylan collectors around the world.
Pure: An Intimate Look at Bob Dylan offers a 17-track, 78-minute selection of career highlights, but these aren't of the "greatest hits" variety. You won't find "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changin'," "Tangled Up in Blue" or "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" here. The mission was to collect rarely heard songs not available on the other "best-of" compilations, and to that end, the compilers have succeeded. "Trouble in Mind," with Knopfler on guitar, first appeared as the B-side of 1979's "Gotta Serve Somebody" single, and makes its first authorized appearance on CD. The solo piano version of "Spanish is the Loving Tongue" initially graced the flipside of 1971's "Watching the River Flow" and is also scarcely available on disc.
Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing with discographical annotation!
Pure, housed in a digipak, indeed offers a cross-section of songs largely unknown to all but the faithful. Only two albums have more than one track represented. Though 1974's Blood on the Tracks is an expected choice (with "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" and "If You See Her, Say Hello"), 1989's Oh Mercy is certainly more of a surprise. "Most of the Time" and "Shooting Star" have been culled from that album. The earliest track is a live version of "Moonshiner" taken from Dylan's stand at New York City's Gaslight, recorded in 1962 but commercially unreleased until 2005 on a Starbucks exclusive CD. The most recent cut is "This Dream of You" from Dylan's last non-holiday studio album, 2009's Together Through Life. It's actually the only song on Together composed by Dylan alone, as he co-wrote the remaining tracks with Robert Hunter, best known for his work with The Grateful Dead.
Pure is available now in Germany, and through Amazon U.S. as an import only. Die-hard aficionados might also be interested in a new U.K. compilation entitled Beyond Here Lies Nothin': The Collection. This 33-track set, 2-CD set comes from the budget division of Sony U.K., and offers the familiar hits missing from Pure, but no new-to-CD tracks. It, too, is available now.
Bob Dylan, Pure: An Intimate Look at Bob Dylan (Columbia/Sony Germany, 2011)
- Trouble in Mind
- Girl From The North Country
- Most Of The Time
- She Belongs To Me
- Billy 1
- Shooting Star
- Sugar Baby
- You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
- Tomorrow Night
- Every Grain Of Sand
- Percy's Song
- Born In Time
- Boots Of Spanish Leather
- This Dream Of You
- Spanish Is The Loving Tongue (B-side of "Watching the River Flow", 1971)
- If You See Her, Say Hello
- Moonshiner (Live Version)
Track 1 previously unreleased on CD, from Columbia single 1-11072-B, 1979
Track 2 from Nashville Skyline, Columbia CS 9825, 1969
Tracks 3 & 6 from Oh Mercy, Columbia CK 45281, 1989
Track 4 from Bringing It All Back Home, Columbia CS 9128, 1965
Track 5 from Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Columbia KC 32460, 1973
Track 7 from Love and Theft, Columbia CK 85975, 2001
Tracks 8 & 16 from Blood on the Tracks, Columbia PC 33235, 1974
Track 9 from Good As I Been To You, Columbia CK 53200, 1992
Track 10 from Shot of Love, Columbia PC 37496, 1981
Track 11 recorded 1963, released on Biograph, Columbia C5X 38830, 1985
Track 12 from Under the Red Sky, Columbia CK 46794, 1990
Track 13 from The Times They Are A-Changin', Columbia CS 8905, 1964
Track 14 from Together Through Life, Columbia 88697 43893 1, 2009
Track 15 previously unreleased on CD, from Columbia single 4-45409-B, 1971
Track 17 from Live at the Gaslight, Columbia CD A-96016, 2005