The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991
1985's Biograph was a perfect tease, offering a smattering of obscurities among Bob Dylan's greatest hits. But 1991's first volumes of The Bootleg Series—a three-CD set at the time—was what hardcore Dylan fans had craved for decades. It acknowledged the vast bootleg market that Dylan had inspired with the first rock "bootleg," The Great White Wonder. Suddenly, in the best fidelity ever unearthed for these rare songs—and with many welcome surprises—were recordings as important to the Dylan legacy as those officially released over the years. The original versions of songs from Blood on the Tracks (especially the slow, brooding acoustic take of "Idiot Wind"), the long-rumored "She's Your Lover Now" (still incomplete but brilliantly executed), the eloquent heartbreaking demo of "Every Grain of Sand," and studio outtakes of "Blind Willie McTell" and "Series of Dreams" comprised an alternate history of one of popular music's most important and influential figures.