Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Here's a question for the experts: is this the earliest example of an indisputably great Bob Dylan song being left off an album in favour of inferior options? What say you?
I'm not an expert but...
From The Times
, "Hollis Brown" and "The Drawn Out God Song" could have been replaced by the much superior:
Lay Down Your Weary Tune
Taking it back further, I think his odd song omission streak really began on Freewheelin'
. I know most wouldn't agree because everyone seems to believe that album is perfect, but nobody ever lists "Down the Highway", "Bob Dylan's Blues", "Oxford Town", "Honey, Just Allow Me..." or "I Shall Be Free" as favorites from the album. Those songs are clearly the weakest from Freewheelin'
. So much for a perfect album. Any of the following songs are better to my ears:
Rocks and Gravel (the solo acoustic version)
Let Me Die In My Footsteps
Oh, and the solo acoustic version of "Corrina" should have been used.
Nice post. You make a good case, but just to quibble, I don't think any of the songs you list - with the possible exception of 'Let Me Die in My Footsteps' - really qualify as 'indisputably great' Bob Dylan songs. Good songs, no question. But I don't think they're in the same league as 'Mama You Been On My Mind,' which can seriously be regarded as among his finest moments.
You do, however, show that Bob's predilection for trading good songs for weaker songs goes all the way back to the start. The disastrous, career-jeopardizing decisions of SOL
were, perhaps, bound to happen eventually.