“All the way down”: A missing Dylan track rediscovered

by Tony Attwood

This song is mentioned in The Copyright Files by Tim Dunn where it is suggested that it comes from early 1981, and registered for copyright in 1985.  Otherwise there seems to be little or nothing said about the piece.

I don’t have a stand alone version of this song, but it does turn up on “Between Saved and Shot” at 25 minutes.

For the most part it consists of the title line over and over with a few extra lines which are pretty much impossible to hear well enough to transcribe.

Because of the highly repetitive nature of the song there is a huge temptation to move on to something else, but then suddenly out of nowhere the whole piece takes off at 28 minutes and we get 45 seconds of a jolly bouncy 12 bar blues before one final reminder of “All the way down”.


What is interesting is that the song clearly has been rehearsed, or at least run through once or twice because the rhythms and pauses are not what one would always expect.  Yes of course the backing band and singers can have picked it up as they go along but the change noted above at the 28 minute marker does make it clear that the ladies and gentlemen of the band did know something about what was going to happen.

And that is about it for this song.   Mostly one line with 45 seconds of really intruiging music right at the end.   I wish there was more of the latter and less of the former, but that’s Bob in a rehearsal for you.

I’m adding it to the list of Dylan compositions that we keep simply because I want that list to be as comprehensive as possible, but it is really just a sketch.

What else is here?

An index to our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

There is an alphabetic index to the 550+ Dylan compositions reviewed on the site which you will find it here.  There are also 500+ other articles on different issues relating to Dylan.  The other subject areas are also shown at the top under the picture.

We also have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook which mostly relates to Bob Dylan today.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews.


  1. Bob had something here, but not enough to turn it into a finished song. He had a wailing sound, and he had a theme: the singer can see that someone he cares about is going to be made miserable by a third party, he can see that she’s hurting now, and it’s painful to see, but he can’t really do anything about it. That’s how it sounds to me, anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *