Clearly, the British headquarters of American Columbia Records did not plan for a second volume to follow its 1997 collection The Best of Bob Dylan, which was designed as a career-spanning single-CD package of Dylan's best-known songs and recordings, beginning with 1963's "Blowin' in the Wind" and concluding with an alternate take of "Shelter From the Storm" that had been featured on the soundtrack of the film Jerry Maguire. The Best of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2 also takes advantage of a movie soundtrack, beginning with Dylan's Oscar-winning "Things Have Changed" from Wonder Boys. And it is keyed to Dylan's German tour of May 2000, with the tour's dates listed on a sticker on the album cover. But after "Things Have Changed," the rest of the 17-track disc is taken up by what might be called "the best of the rest of Bob Dylan," including major songs like "It Ain't Me Babe" and Top 40 hits like "Rainy Day Women #12 and #35" not included on the first volume. As on that predecessor, the tracks proceed chronologically and span Dylan's career from 1963 to 1997, ending with "Not Dark Yet" from Time Out of Mind. Much of the material is stellar, of course, even if the compilation format and the afterthought character of the selections are less satisfactory. This limited-edition version of the album contains a second disc that features two previously unreleased live tracks, a version of the lengthy and rambling "Highlands" and a loose performance of "Blowin' in the Wind."
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2