Bob Dylan

As Good as It Gets: The Ultimate Emmett Grogan Acetates

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Sometime in late 1965 or early 1966, Bob Dylan gave a cache of acetates from the recording sessions that yielded his classic LP Another Side of Bob Dylan to Emmett Grogan, a co-founder of the radical Haight-Ashbury community group the Diggers as well as the author of the cult-classic memoir Ringolevio. Although Grogan died in 1978, the tapes in question did not resurface until early 1995, at which point they were the subject of furious pirating among Dylan bootleggers; the two-disc As Good as It Gets remains the definitive compilation of this material in terms of both sound and packaging, adding demos from the legendary Highway 61 Revisited sessions to paint an authoritative portrait of Dylan's evolution from folk to rock & roll. The revelation of the set is a version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" that is far slower and more melancholy than the official release, complete with harmonies from Ramblin' Jack Elliott. "All I Wanna Do" is similarly fascinating thanks to the inclusion of an extra verse excised from subsequent renditions.

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