Dylan’s lost 1966 album: time to put it back together

by Aaron Galbraith

In the Deluxe edition of the Cutting Edge box set, the book states that Dylan could have put out another album after Blonde On Blonde using the remaining tracks from the 1965-1966 sessions, if he had been so inclined. So, spurred on by the success of Tony’s “Dylan 1980” album, I thought I’d have a go at compiling it!

Now this does not mean that we are going to put out endless invented albums – the main point about these “invented” albums is that they have a logic – “1980” took all the songs of that year because the songs mark a transformation in Dylan’s thinking, while “Sheep In Wolves Clothing” is the album Dylan could have created that year, instead of the one we actually got.

You can hear both albums plus the tracks from the Play Lady Play series on our new YouTube site.    If you want to create your own Dylan album for us to publish, the best bet is to sketch out the idea first and send it to Tony@schools.co.uk, before you start putting all the videos together and writing about each song.

But now, back to the Cutting Edge.  My first port of call was the “Dylan songs of the 1950s and 60s” section of this site, this gave me the links to listen back to all the songs from those years, which helped to reacquaint myself with the tracks when compiling my album.

My criteria for inclusion was twofold.

1) There has to be a version by Dylan available (so no “Love Is A Four Letter Word”, unfortunately)

2) There has to be a complete (or almost complete) take available (so no “Jet Pilot”).

So, here is the track list I came up with for the mythical lost Dylan album from 1966.

Side 1.

  1. Positively 4th Street (3:54)
  2. Farewell, Angelina (5:27)
  3. Sittin’ On A Barbed Wire Fence (3:54)
  4. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (4:04)
  5. She’s Your Lover Now (6:10)

Side 2.

  1. Tell Me Momma (5:10)
  2. If You Gotta Go (Go Now) (2:56)
  3. Long Distance Operator (3:38)
  4. I Wanna Be Your Lover (3:27)
  5. I’ll Keep It With Mine (3:39)

If you squint hard at all of this it could be telling the story of a lost love, the sorrow, the anger and then acceptance of the situation on side 1. Then the moving on with your life and finding someone new on side 2. If you squint real hard!

Now what to call this collection? Dylan is not against using a song title as an album title, although he has only done it 8 times in his career, plus 3 times he has used a partial song title, Nashville Skyline, Slow Train Coming and Hard Rain. Only one time, I think, he has used a line in a song to name the album (Knocked Out Loaded). So that means that less than a third of the time a song has named the album.

As I don’t have access to Dylan’s brain at this time for an original title, I thought I would use a line from a song, just this once. I tried to encapsulate the journey of a love affair using a line or two from the available songs.

Here are my suggestions for a title:

  • A Fistful Of Tacks
  • The Bells Of The Crown
  • Bulldog Bite
  • The Felony Room
  • Long Distance

So now what I would like you to do is design a sleeve for this album using one of the titles I came up or, indeed use one of your own. Send it in to Tony and he will publish it on this here site.

Untold Dylan: who we are what we do

Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan.  It is simply a forum for those interested in the work of the most famous, influential and recognised popular musician and poet of our era, to read about, listen to and express their thoughts on, his lyrics and music.

We welcome articles, contributions and ideas from all our readers.  Sadly no one gets paid, but if you are published here, your work will be read by a fairly large number of people across the world, ranging from fans to academics who teach English literature.  If you have an idea, or a finished piece send it as a Word file to Tony@schools.co.uk with a note saying that it is for publication on Untold Dylan.

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  1. Lawks, that is a strange one.
    Back sometime in the late 60s (or was it the early 70s?) the New Musical Express played a merry jape and reported the (fake) news that Dylan’s next album would be titled “Snow Over Interstate 80”. That is such a great title and my anticipation was high. What a letdown when it turned out to be a joke. Still, you never know . . . maybe it is lurking out there in the vaults.

  2. “Nashville Skyline Rag” was named after the album, not the other way round, surely

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