Bob Dylan: The Basement Tapes Complete review – the full, fabled bootleg, warts and all

Raw, cryptic, much bootlegged, by turns intense and throwaway, shot through with surreal humour, Dylan’s home studio sessions with the Band in 1967 have a justly fabled place in rock mythology.

This six-CD set presents them (for a princely £110) complete and unmanicured, adding versions of celebrated songs such as Quinn the Eskimo and I Shall Be Released, though its 138 tracks are mostly country and folk staples.

Amid the homespun (often leaden) renditions of Hank Williams, Ian & Sylvia et al is a clutch of nuggets, among them the bluesy Silent Weekend and the country moan Wild Wolf. A still mysterious, wondrous chapter in Dylanology.

Powered by article was written by Neil Spencer, for The Observer on Sunday 2nd November 2014 00.05 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010