Bob Dylan
Expecting Rain
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Fri, Dec 19, 2008:
I'm surprised that in all the coverage on the Internet about the newly discovered Nasville Skyline session tapes that nobody (that I've found yet) has made the connection between them and Clark Enslin's "Lost Warehouse Tapes" episode of the early 1990s. I suspect we're starting to see those tapes appear. I wrote an article for the CD magazine DA BOOT in about 1995, called "The 25 Best Dylan Ablums that Don't Exist" regarding that and other lost Dylan materials. Here's the section on what I suspect is the source for these new Dylan quadraphonic tapes on eBay: 11. The Lost Warehouse Tapes (1970-71) The story of this non-album is stranger than most. It begins in Nashville in the late '70s when thousands of reels of discarded recording tape, the property of a former Columbia recording engineer, was auctioned off. For a bid of only $50.00, a local couple received three-to-four thousand reels of what they believed to be cheap blank tape, which soon proved to be anything but blank. They purportedly contain unreleased studio outtakes by Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette, Elvis, and, surprise, Bob Dylan. Eventually, a man named Clark Enslin, a music-industry professional, purchased the tapes with the intention of selling them to major labels for official release. Before long, however, he found himself embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Sony, who claimed that the tapes had been stolen from the CBS archives, an accusation that Enslin, armed with receipts and canceled checks from the previous owners, was able to disprove. Amid continuing legal controversy and handsome offers from major labels, Enslin decided to start his own recording company—Ray-Mar Records—to issue this rare archival material, which is valued at between $50 million to $200 million. The Dylan-related reels are said to contain twenty to thirty rare studio cuts, dating from 1962 to 1970, although the specific titles mentioned - "Blue Moon," "Ring of Fire," "Wild Thing" (yes, the same), "Take a Message to Mary," and several takes of "Lay, Lady, Lay" - suggest outtakes from the era of Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait. At one point Enslin thought that the initial offerings—the Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley discs—might be available as early as 1993 or 1994, but, apparently, more legal complications and slow negotiations with the artists' representatives has delayed the process. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine Dylan allowing the release of such rejected material, and anyway, it may be more interesting to imagine what it would be like to hear Dylan sing "Wild Thing" than to actually hear it. The Lost Warehouse Tapes may be nobody's loss at all. Bob Hudson in Grand Rapids Michigan

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