Forty years ago, on December 30, 1974, Bob Dylan finished recording Blood On The Tracks at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis; on that day he rerecorded three songs for the album.
He had recorded a version of the entire album in New York, but after he played the album for his brother David Zimmerman, decided to recut some of it in Minneapolis with his brother producing.
“I had the acetate,” Dylan said later, after the album was released. “I hadn’t listened to it for a couple of months. The record still hadn’t come out, and I put it on. I just didn’t… I thought the songs could have sounded differently, better. So I went in and re-recorded them.”
The musicians he used in Minneapolis: Greg Inhofer (keyboards), Bill Berg (drums) and Chris Weber (guitar, 12-string guitar), Bill Peterson (bass), Peter Ostroushko (mandolin) and Kevin Odegard (guitar).
That day Dylan tried one more time to nail “Tangled Up In Blue,” “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” and “If You See Her, Say Hello.”
Clearly he was pleased with the outcome, as those were the takes that ended up on the album.
(According to Clinton Heylin, Dylan may have recorded “Meet Me In The Morning” that day too, although Michael Krogsgaard, who was given access to the recording sheets of the sessions, didn’t find that song listed.)
According to Wikipedia, Dylan told Mary Travers in a radio interview in April 1975: “A lot of people tell me they enjoy that album. It’s hard for me to relate to that. I mean… people enjoying that type of pain, you know?”
Dylan once said that “Tangled Up In Blue” took ten years to live and two years to write.
Dyaln also said of “Tangled Up In Blue”: “What’s different about it is that there’s a code in the lyrics, and there’s also no sense of time. I was trying to make it like a painting where you can see the different parts but then you also see the whole of it… the characters change from the first person to the third person, and you’re never quite sure if the third person is talking or the first person is talking. But if you look at the whole thing it doesn’t really matter.”
“Tangled Up In Blue,” official version:
“Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts,” official version:
“If You See Her, Say Hello,” official version:
“Tangled Up In Blue”:
“Tangled Up In Blue”:
“Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts”:
“If You See Her Say Hello”:
Check out my post on “If You See Her, Say Hello” here.
“Meet Me In The Morning,” alternate take, recorded September 19, 1974 according to Harold Lepidus at the Bob Dylan Examiner site. (This version was officially released in 2012 as the B side of the “Duquesne Whistle” single):