The ‘80s didn’t treat Bob Dylan kindly with the exception of 1989’s Oh Mercy! album. And with the exception of 1991’s maligned Under the Red Sky, he has been on a creative renaissance ever since. That period, between Oh Mercy! and 2006’s Modern Times, is the focus of another superlative edition of the Bootleg Series, featuring rare and unreleased tracks, which are amazing. Fans of his Grammy-winning tour de force Time Out of My Mind will discover several tracks recorded from those sessions such as the slight funk of “Dreaming of You, “Red River Shore,” and two versions of “Mississippi.” “Someday Baby” on Tell Tale Signs is a completely different version from the one that’s on Modern Times but just as good. The highlights here on this set are “Born in Time,” “Most of the Time” and another version of “Series of Dreams,” both from the Oh Mercy period. Complemented by some strong live performances of “Ring Them Bells” and “Cocaine Blues,” these tracks, albeit mainly demos and alternate takes, show that Dylan for almost the last 20 years hasn’t lost any of that creative spark.
Watch a video of “Dreaming of You” on YouTube: