Bob Dylan's Complete Album Collection, Vol. 1 is the New Music Pick of the Week

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I consider myself a Bob Dylan fan, but am by no means a true Dylanphile.  I know some of those people, and my fandom doesn't even come close.  Yet Dylan's music has been a very large part of my life and is exceedingly important to me.  There is a long list of songs and performances of his that create the soundtrack to my life and have connected to me in different ways and moments throughout my 37 years.

That being said I don't actually own the vast majority of his studio albums or his officially released live recordings.  True he has over fifty of them (and that's not counting the various best ofs and compilations he's put out over the years) which would be difficult for anyone but true die-hards to have accumulated, but as a fan I'm kind of ashamed I don't have more.  As usual I blame MP3s and streaming services.  Its just too easy to grab and listen to his music these ways without going broke buying all of his albums on CD.  

I've been going through something of a musical sea change in my life of late.  At the beginning of this year I moved to a rural area that has crap internet and I'm not able to stream any music.  This also limits my ability to download anything.  On top of that I recently got a new car and the stereo in it doesn't have an iPod jack.  Both of these things have made me pay more attention to music I already have, especially on CD, instead of constantly trying to acquire new music.  

Turns out this new method is making me appreciate my music even more.  For so long I've spent so much of my time trying to accumulate new music that I've not really been able to listen to it with any real meaning.  Now that I'm concentrating on the albums I already have I'm able to sit with them longer and truly listen.  There is no way I'll ever be able to buy and listen to everything I would like to have so I have to be more choosy with what I do get and in the process I'm relearning how to enjoy it more.  

If there is any one artist I want to go back and live with for awhile its Bob Dylan.  The Complete Album Collection, Vol. 1 is surely the place to start.  This massive 47 disk set which includes all of his studio albums (including the 1973 album Dylan which has previously only been available as an import) and all of his officially released live albums, excluding the Bootleg Series disks.  Theres also a two disk "Side Tracks" bit that includes  various songs that didn't make it to the regular studio albums.  Most of them did find their way into Biograph, an early Dylan boxed set, and all of them have been officially released in one way or another.  14 of the albums have been digitally remastered.  It also comes with a big hard cover book featuring new liner notes and essays.  If you are over having physical copies of music you can buy the whole set in a limited edition USB harmonica too.

In some ways this is an odd set.  The fans will likely already own most of these disks (myself excluded I guess) and I'm not sure having only some of them remastered is enough to lure the into buying such a big set.  For casual fans this seems like way too big a purchase to lay down a couple of hundred bucks on.  Still if you price it out per disk it comes out less than five bucks a pop which is a steal.  Add in the book and the remasters and it is an excellent deal.  If one has that kind of cash to spend on music.

But since inside the fantasy that is my Pick of the Week I have unlimited funds Bob Dylan The Complete Album Collection, Vol. 1 is my pick.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

The Mashall Mathers LP2 - Eminem: I'm way too old and too set in my ways to enjoy rap, and I can honestly say I've never consciously listened to an Eminem song.  But the kids dig him and presumably this is a pretty big deal.

The Lowdown - The Pixies: The alternative grandfathers get a biographical release.  Its two disks - the first is filled with interviews with the band from throughout their career and the second is a spoken word biography.

Avril Lavigne - Avril Lavigne: Another artist the young ones dig but that I've no use for.  

Miami Pop Festival - Jimi Hendrix Experience: This is the first time this concert from May 1968 has been released in any format.  Includes the first ever stage performance of "Tax Free" and Hear My Train A-Comin."

The Lost Broadcast - Dr. John: Originally a radio broadcast of a performance in Hempstead, NY in 1973 it is now being officially released.  I'm not overly familiar with Dr. John's work but I know he's a legend in the New Orleans scene and the band at this point was supposed to be a funky, smoking' bunch.

A Christmas Album - Bright Eyes:  Originally a 2002 download only release for charity, Connor Oberst and companies take on some classic Christmas tunes is now getting a real release.  I've had a digital copy of this for awhile.  Its fun in a quirky sort of way, but these songs have been done way better by others.

Last Vegas Original Soundtrack - Mark Mothersbaugh:  The movie looks terrible but Mothersbaugh has proven to be an interesting creator of good scores.

Pete Townsend's Jukebox - Various Artists: A 28 song compilation filled with songs that are said to have filled Townsend's musical education.  Its a nice looking set with tracks from Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Everly Brothers, Jimmy Smith and many more.

The Next Day Extra - David Bowie:  A special edition of Bowie's last album with an extra disk of songs that originally appeared in the deluxe edition of the album, plus four bonus songs and a couple of remixes.  There's also a DVD with four videos created for the album - 'Where Are We Now?,' 'The Stars Are Out Tonight,' 'The Next Day' and 'Valentine s Day.'