With his landmark 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan signaled his irrevocable break from the traditional folk music that first launched him to fame. After first abandoning the protest themes of his classic early anthems to focus on more poetic, personal subjects, Dylan was now forsaking the rigid institutions of roots music to go electric, drawing on the spirit of rock & roll to forge a revolutionary and controversial sound all his own. Outtakes from the Highway 61 sessions comprise the bulk of the second volume in the Acetates on the Tracks bootleg series, and it's fascinating to hear the evolution of songs like the surging "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" and the vicious "Ballad of a Thin Man," each represented in multiple renditions starkly different from the completed LP version. But the remainder of Acetates on the Tracks, Vol. 2 suffers badly from a lack of material and focus, resulting in a slapdash combination of outtakes spanning the 1966 Blonde on Blonde sessions to "Working on a Guru," a 1970 collaboration with George Harrison. And with all of this material available on other bootleg discs, only listeners seeking a small taste of Dylan's unreleased late-'60s material will find themselves satisfied.
Share this page