In the span fourteen of months from January 1965 to roughly February 1966, Bob Dylan made a transition from the folk music scene that he was a part of starting in Greenwich Village into the wild spontaneous world of rock music. Already able to fill Carnegie Hall, Dylan looked for something new and did not want to be labeled as a protest songwriter. It is also fitting that his first album where he would experiment with what he would eventually call his “wild mercury sound” was produced by Tom Wilson. Wilson produced the three acoustic Dylan albums that preceded Bringing It All Back Home (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), The Times They Are A Changin’ (1964) and Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964)) and Wilson would assist in bringing Dylan’s electric sound to a new audience.
The Cutting Edge begins with Dylan armed with an acoustic as we hear a quick run through of “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”, one of the many songs that would be found on the 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. This song, like many Dylan songs are open to interpretation. This early track on The Cutting Edge could be seen as an introduction to the limitless possibilities of a world that Dylan was about to explore. Lyrically, Bringing It All Back Home brought together elements of Dylan’s acoustic beginnings with experimentations into electric rock music. The lyrics too took on more prowess and imagination than ever before. Songs during this period often brought together real life experiences with characters from literature and history while at the same time adding a surreal slant. The result was an effective, new mixture of music and lyrics unlike any other. The songs on The Cutting Edge progress from sketches, outtakes, fragments to full out alternate versions of songs that would wind up on Bringing It All Back Home in 1965, Highway 61 Revisited in 1965 and Blonde On Blonde in 1966.
In 2014, The Basement Tapes Complete were released as part of Bob Dylan’s bootleg series. This set took us through Dylan’s next phase of music following his “Dylan goes electric” era. Those songs reached out to Dylan’s roots exploring folk music, roots rock and country, which led to the sounds that would produce both Music From Big Pink by The Band and 1967’s stripped down John Wesley Harding. The Cutting Edge rewinds the tape, going back to the time before any of that occurred. We see Dylan searching for a sound through rock music, which would put him in the public eye. The Cutting Edge shows the listener what it would be like to be a fly on the studio wall as Bob Dylan and a series of musicians create three very different highly influential albums that brought in a rock & roll sound with a new kind of lyric.
Saturday Night Playlist:
1. The Evaporators - Waaa!
2. The Moderns - The Year of Today
3. Soupcans - Psychosomatic Rash
4. Runs With Kittens - Cut Of Your Jib
5. Mexican Knives - Beach Song
6. Mexican Knives - Nightmare
7. The Pyramids - Penetration
8. The Catamounts - Ride The Surf
9. The Famines - Fast Times
10. Ty Segall - The Slider
11. Tall Dwarfs - Mr. Broccoli
12. Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues (Take 1, Alternate Take)
13. Bob Dylan - On The Road Again (Take 1 Remake, Complete)
14. Bob Dylan - Mr. Tambourine Man (Take 3 with Band, Incomplete)
15. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone (Takes 1-3 Rehearsal)
16. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone (Take 11)
17. Cass Mccombs - Catacombs Cow Cow Boogie
18. Ray Condo & The Hardrock Goners - I Don't Matter To Me
19. Father John Misty - The Ideal Husband
20. Ought - Meant For Miles
21. Sports - Saturday All Of Something
22. Teenage Head - Picture My Face (Live 1978)
23. The Red Squares - Transmitter
24. BB Gun - Curious
25. The Outcasts - Justa Nother Teenage Rebel
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 12. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.