Bob Dylan: Fragments –Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17 (Columbia/Legacy) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bob Dylan

Fragments – Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series Vol. 17


Mar 22, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Bob Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind is touted throughout the liner notes of this box set reissue as the first classic Dylan album that many of a certain age experienced in real time. As such, it occupies a place in the heart of many fans who were not yet born to experience Dylan’s initial heyday. Forget the accolades (1998 Grammys for Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Folk Album, and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song “Cold Irons Bound”), Time Out of Mind represents for many the time when the genius of Bob Dylan was experienced in real time. Similar this reviewer, who was not long out of high school when Time Out of Mind was first released, the difference being that the album was not instantly revelatory, due to this listener’s youth. Instead, Time Out of Mind reveled itself slowly over time. Which makes Fragments such a vital document.

As with past expansive boxed reissues of Dylan masterpieces, Fragments presents, along with a remix of the album proper, a plethora of additional tracks—over four extra discs—that illuminate the process of Time Out of Mind’s creation from start to finish. The remix allows the listener to experience the album anew again. But it’s the extras that provide the meat of what Fragments means to achieve. Ultimately, the slew of different versions and different takes of album tracks, along with one disc of live cuts, shows the genius of Bob Dylan as he works and reworks these tracks to the final masterpieces they became. Lyrics are altered. Arrangements vary. Each disc and each track is worthy of close study. Which really is the brilliance of a set like this one. It showcases the entire process and in doing so furthers one’s appreciation of a work of art that is so consequential as it already is. Along with a book of essays and ephemera to further instruct and illuminate, Fragments is as essential to the Dylan catalog as Time Out of Mind itself. (

Author rating: 9/10

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