This double-disc culling of the much larger six-disc The Cutting Edge 1965-1966
does indeed leave some gems behind -- it's inevitable, given how terrific its parent box is -- but it does distill it to its essence, suggesting just how wild and insatiable Bob Dylan
's 14-month run between Bringing It All Back Home
and Blonde on Blonde
really was. Two previously released, but necessary, songs are here -- "I'll Keep It with Mine," "Farewell Angelina" -- but so are most of the jaw-droppers from the big box: a solo acoustic "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream," a heavy but drumless stomp on "Outlaw Blues," a rhumba "On the Road Again," a lithe and funny "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" with backing vocals by Angeline Butler, a careening "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," a sorrowful "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?," a locomotive "Visions of Johanna," a swift and speedy "Just Like a Woman," and another incomplete version of "She's Your Lover Now" that also hints at untapped greatness. On its own, this set is tremendous -- so good it may satiate some listeners, but if it merely whets your appetite, the larger box will not disappoint.