Bob Dylan‘s The Bootleg Series will turn toward the beginning of the late era of the artist’s career with the Jan. 27 Columbia/Legacy release of Fragments — Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17. The project chronicles the making of Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind, which eventually won three Grammys, including album of the year.
Fragments is available in a number of formats, including deluxe five-CD and 10-LP boxed sets and two-CD/four-LP standard editions. All include a fully remixed version of the original album overseen by Michael H. Brauer, which will also be available in immersive audio — a first for a Dylan recording. The lead track from Fragments is “Love Sick (Version 2),” a different take on what would eventually be chosen as the album opener of the Daniel Lanois-produced album.
Time Out of Mind was Dylan’s first album of original music since 1990’s critically panned Under the Red Sky (he released covers albums Good As I Been to You and World Gone Wrong in 1992 and 1993, respectively), and began a late-career artistic resurgence that continues to this day. The sessions featured contributions from Dylan’s touring band members and revered session musicians, including pedal steel player Bucky Baxter, keyboardist Jim Dickinson, drummers Jim Keltner and Brian Blade, and guitarist Duke Robillard.
The new set includes two discs of outtakes and different versions of songs written for Time Out of Mind, including four that didn’t make the cut for the final album (“Dreamin’ of You,” “Red River Shore,” “Mississippi”,” “Marchin’ to the City”). A previously unreleased cover of the traditional Scottish folk song “The Water Is Wide” also appears.
Another disc rounds up live performances of Time Out of Mind material from 1998-2001, a period when Dylan was backed by guitarists Baxter, Larry Campbell, and Charlie Sexton, bassist Tony Garnier, and drummer David Kemper. For more information and to pre-order, click here.
Dylan’s new book, The Philosophy of Modern Song, was released on Nov. 8 by Simon & Schuster. Some of his comments therein have rubbed people the wrong way, including Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz, who recalled an ’80s-era encounter during which Dylan allegedly told a friend of Frantz’s to “suck a dick.”