Bob Dylan and The Band —The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete (November 4, Columbia)
Finally the book will be closed on one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most complicated and lore-filled projects, The Basement Tapes. As the story goes, Bob Dylan decamped near his home in Woodstock following a 1966 motorcycle accident. He spent the following year recording songs with a new backing band, The Hawks, who would later become The Band, eventually amassing more than 100 songs and covers that mined spirituality and roots rock. Many of these songs circulated among bootleg enthusiasts, until 1975 saw the official release of a mere handful of tracks. More extensive versions of The Basement Tapes have been subsequently released, but this is the first time the whole collection has seen the light of day by any official means. There’s also an unconventional Basement Tapes tribute album of sorts, Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, which features T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Marcus Mumford, and more using recently discovered Dylan lyrics from 1967 in brand-new compositions. That’s out November 10, and it’s a solid listen if you’re interested in tracing Dylan’s influence through folk-rock circa 2014.