The songs listed here are not “missing” in the sense that they are lost (for in all cases we have recordings of them). Rather these are songs that have not appeared on mainstream recordings, and in some cases not even made it onto the bootleg series. Some indeed are not even complete.
The list is purely personal thus far, but if you want to suggest any other songs that should be added please do get in touch with the song detail, where we can find it, and why it should be included.
Apart from the “not on a mainstream album” definition, there’s not much of a defining notion as to what a “forgotten gem” is, and even “forgotten” is hard to define (I exclude Blind Willie McTell, and Caribbean Wind because I don’t think these have ever been forgotten, but include Tell Ol Bill, Champagne, Illinois (the 2010 song) and the Old Crow version of Visions of Johanna because they are just not well known).
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 if you want to include something else in the list, please do write in, but unless it is self-evidently highly obscure, do help us understand the selection by giving a brief reason. It’s always good to know why.
Here we go…
Dylan’s forgotten gems, the incomplete 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: Rock em Dead
- 1986: To fall in love with you: one of the most popular songs on this site
- 2005: Tell Ol’ Bill
- 2007: Going to Acapulco
- 2010: Champagne Illinois (Old 97s Desolation Row)
- 2017: Visions of Johanna: The Old Crow version
- “Gone but not forgotten.” The only place you will find the lyrics to this Dylan song
- Worth The Waiting For by Bob Dylan and Dave Stewart.
- You can blow my mind if you want to (Date and provenance uncertain)
- “Got to give him my all.” By Regina McCrary and Bob Dylan
- “Fur Slippers” – another Bob Dylan song we missed earlier
- Street Rock: a Bob Dylan song? Does Dylan do rap? Does it matter?
- Sweet Amerillo by Bob Dylan, Donna Weiss or Old Crowe (choose two).
- The Love that Faded by Hank Williams and Bob Dylan.
- Jack o Diamonds; the metamorphosis of a song with some Bob Dylan therein
- The Ballad of the Gliding Swan Bob Dylan’s lost song, found.
- King of Kings: Bob Dylan’s instrumental written for Ronnie Wood.
- Steel Bars by Bob Dylan and Michael Bolton
What else is on the site
1: 500+ reviews of Dylan songs. There is an index to these in alphabetical order on the home page, and an index to the songs in the order they were written in the Chronology Pages.
2: The Chronology. We’ve taken the songs we can find recordings of and put them in the order they were written (as far as possible) not in the order they appeared on albums. The chronology is more or less complete and is now linked to all the reviews on the site. We have also produced overviews of Dylan’s work year by year. The index to the chronologies is here.
3: Bob Dylan’s themes. We publish a wide range of articles about Bob Dylan and his compositions. There is an index here.
4: The Discussion Group We now have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link
5: Bob Dylan’s creativity. We’re fascinated in taking the study of Dylan’s creative approach further. The index is in Dylan’s Creativity.
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