Bob Dylan

At the Beeb

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On June 1, 1965, Bob Dylan entered the BBC's London studio to cut a dozen songs that the network aired in two halves later that month. Although master soundboard tapes are rumored to exist, the myriad bootlegs released prior to MainStream's At the Beeb originated from home recordings made directly from the original BBC broadcast, and for all their historical significance the resulting pirate releases made for frustrating listening, hampered by excessive tape hiss and thin sound. While At the Beeb seems to draw upon the same source material, it nevertheless represents a quantum leap forward in fidelity, employing cutting-edge remastering and noise-reduction tools to create a shockingly clear and nuanced portrait of Dylan at the midpoint of what was arguably the most pivotal year of his career, just weeks prior to his epochal electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival. These 12 BBC performances capture Dylan at the bitter end of his folkie phase, delivering solo renditions of songs including "Mr. Tambourine Man," "It Ain't Me, Babe," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." Rarely if ever would he again give the people what they want, but he renders the songs with the passion and energy they demand.