Dylan’s missing gems. The complete index, with links.

by Tony Attwood

OK there are multiple problems with that heading.  The songs are not missing because we have recordings of them, and the index isn’t going to be complete because I am sure I have missed things.

But I am trying to pull together the multiple times I have written about the “lost” and “forgotten” songs.  My definition of what should be here is not clear, save that they are all songs that I think are utterly brilliant, and which have not appeared on a mainstream album, and are not widely known beyond that.  So no Blind Willie, and no Caribbean Wind, because they have never really been missing.

Many of the songs are however available on the bootleg series – but not all.  I have put in links as I have gone along, and I will over time go back and put in further links to recordings where somehow either the original has now been taken down or I simply forgot to put it up at the time.

Tell Ol Bill gets in because I’ve extended my boundaries once again, simply because the song is so brilliant in my estimation, and not that well known, and we do have a complete album of the various versions that they tried during the recording process – a rare document.

Champagne, Illinois (the 2010 song) is there because re-writes of Dylan works with permission are so rare, and this is so good, in my view.  Same is true with the live version of the Old Crow version of Visions of Johanna.  For me (and its a very personal view) they sorted out a little problem that was left inside the song by Dylan, and this has always been one of my all time favourites).

And there are songs I would love to put up but can’t find recordings of – like Desolation Row as a dance song – which I suppose is always why I like “Champagne, Illinois” – it gets halfway to that extraordinary rendition.

You’ll also see I have included “When He returns” – the live version – now released on a bootleg.  The song of course is a mainstream song, but this version took it to another planet and made it a different song.

So yes, the boundaries have broken, and I can’t define why a song should be here any more apart from the fact that I think it is brilliant, and it is not too well known.  That will have to do for now.

I have gone beyond the 25 songs I intended to list originally, and if you want to suggest some more I will happily add them to the list.

Any extra songs suggested I will add and then the whole article will go up on the site as a “page” – meaning it gets listed along the top banner of the site, under the picture of the man walking away down the road (down the rural highway, as it were – that’s why I chose that pic) and should be easier to find from then on.

Here we go…

Dylan’s missing gems, the complete index

1962:  Ballad for a friend

1962: Let me die in my footsteps   

1962:  Train a travellin

1962  Rambling Gamblin Willie: three versions, one masterpiece

1962: Tomorrow is a long time

1963:  You’ve been hiding too long. 

1967:  I’m not there 

1967:  This Wheel’s on Fire

1967: Too Much of Nothing

1967:  Going to Acapulco: changed and changed again

1971: When I paint my masterpiece

1972: Love is just a four letter word

1974: Up to me

1975: Patty’s gone to Loredo

1975:  Abandoned Love 

1978: You don’t love me no more

1979  No Man Righteous

1979: When He returns; (live version)

1981: Borrowed time

1981: Is it worth it

1981: Almost persuaded

1984: Almost done

1984: I once knew a man

1985:  Well well well

1986:  To fall in love with you: one of the most popular songs on this site

2005:  Tell Ol’ Bill

2010: Champagne Illinois (Old 97s Desolation Row)

2017:  Visions of Johanna: The Old Crow version 

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