The official Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album was culled from several sessions in 1962 and early 1963, resulting in quite a few unused tracks. Some showed up on The Bootleg Series and Biograph, but others have stayed in the vault. This is a superb 25-song compilation of the best unreleased material from the 1962 studio sessions, including interesting originals like "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," "The Death of Emmett Till," and "Let Me Die in My Footsteps"; a bunch of solid folk and blues covers like "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Milk Cow Blues"; and alternates of a few tracks that were released, notably "Corrina, Corrina" and "Mixed Up Confusion." Most fascinating of all are several tracks featuring electric band accompaniment, including the aforementioned "Corrina, Corrina" and "Mixed Up Confusion," but also "That's All Right," the Arthur Crudup blues covered on Elvis Presley's first single. The sound is excellent, and while the official Freewheelin' had much stronger and more innovative original material, the performances on this collection (featuring multiple versions of some songs) are extremely strong and assured. This is absolutely essential for Dylan fans, and one of the relatively few bootlegs that can be unequivocally recommended to general music consumers, not just specialist collectors. There's even an outtake from the Freewheelin' photo session on the cover.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger