Bob Dylan

Cocaine Blues

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On December 22, 1961, just a month following completion of his self-titled Columbia debut LP, Bob Dylan visited the Minneapolis apartment of his friend Bonnie Beecher, where he recorded some 26 songs to reel-to-reel tape. Known by the somewhat confusing catch-all "Minnesota Hotel Tape," this material would later comprise the bulk of the landmark Great White Wonder bootleg and remains one of the seminal sessions of Dylan's career, official or otherwise. While the Minnesota Hotel Tape material is an essential component of any Dylan enthusiast's collection, the bootleg Cocaine Blues is by no means the best way to obtain it. The disc contains only eight of the songs recorded in Beecher's apartment, fleshed out by a hodgepodge of studio outtakes from 1963 and 1964. Clocking in at a mere 30 minutes in all, there is really no rhyme or reason behind the disc's release. By all means acquire this material by hook or by crook (both the three-disc Minnesota Tapes and the single-disc Songs for Bonnie contain the Minnesota Hotel Tape in full), but avoid Cocaine Blues.