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Review: New Layers Revealed in Expanding Bob Dylan’s 1997 Classic ‘Time Out of Mind’

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“Fragments — Session Time of the Heart (1996-1997): Bootleg Series Vol. 17”, Bob Dylan (Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings)

Bob Dylan’s 1997 release ‘Time Out of Mind’ was known as a late masterpiece featuring songs like ‘Make You Feel My Love’, ‘Love Chic’ and ‘Not Dark Yet’.

A quarter-century later, and with several other influential Dylan records released, “Time Out Of Mind” is still considered a masterpiece and is only halfway through its career.

Volume 17 of Dylan’s Bootleg Series Archive Release Series, Fragment — Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997) reveals even more layers of the record that re-set the trajectory of Dylan’s career. It also proves that Dylan’s discounts are as good or better than most people’s official catalogs.

The 5-disc set is a fusion of previously unreleased studio outtakes, remixed versions of original records, live tracks, and alternate previously released versions.

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings released this cover image of 'Fragments - Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17' by Bob Dylan.

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings released this cover image of “Fragments — Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17” by Bob Dylan.

The remixed original record allows listeners to experience “Time Out of Mind” in a new way, stripping away Daniel Lanois’ muddy production to present the songs closer to how they were played in the studio. Live versions captured between 1998 and his 2001 tour show Dylan’s band in action.

But the heart of the release is the studio outtakes. Through these, we hear Dylan reworking songs, adding discarded bits to another, dropping and adding lyrics seemingly on a whim.

“It feels like the hand of fate has stuck its finger in my eye/I’m in a lost land where dreams die,” Dylan quips in an uncharacteristically lilting outtake version of “Not Dark Yet.” sing.

As a bonus, Dylan delivered a heartfelt rendition of Scottish folk song ‘The Water is Wide’ early in the recording session. Rather than fling, Dylan leans into it and delivers a rendition that lifts the hairs on the back of his neck.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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