This era of Bob Dylan is absolute gold. Every word he said or sang was legendary and every song he recorded was good. Between 1965 and 1966 he recorded and released “Bringing It All Back Home” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde” and this volume of the bootleg series covers those sessions. First of all: If you don’t have those records buy them before this, without a doubt. “The Cutting Edge” does however serve as a perfect companion piece to that legendary trio.
There are great songs here that are recorded in different ways. One of the most notable is the sped up version of “Visions of Johanna” where the song doesn’t melt like the album version, rather it burns like so many other rompers that Dylan recorded do. “Just Like A Woman” gets a similar treatment here. “Desolation Row” gets a shot with piano instead of acoustic guitar making for an interesting change as well. Some bells and whistles are added to “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat” (literally added) to resemble the way Dylan recorded the song “Highway 61 Revisited” a year earlier. This version of “Leopard Skin Pill-box Hat” may be one of the few tracks here that are actually better than the original versions, most of these takes are still great though. There’s a version of “Outlaw Blues” with a rougher stomp that just doesn’t have the magic here as well. Many tracks here just barely missed their mark, with maybe a botched line or switched out word or two, that is the main story of “The Cutting Edge.”
Still this release is great and essential for any Dylan fan.
Key Tracks: “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” “Visions of Johanna””She’s Your Lover Now”