Blood on the Tracks New York Sessions | 16 September 1974

Here was the very place – rebranded, but intact – where Dylan had recorded every official artifact between November 20th, 1961 (Bob Dylan) and January 25th, 1966 (‘One Of Us Must Know’). The sense of historical synergy was not lost on the one reporter diligent enough to reconstruct these sessions in real time. Larry Sloman’s description in his November Rolling Stone piece set the scene perfectly: ‘It looked like old times at Columbia’s A & R Studio September 16th. John Hammond Snr. was there. Phil Ramone was working the board. Eric Weissberg and Barry Kornfeld, two old Gaslight regulars, were unpacking their guitars. And sitting out in the cavernous studio … practically hidden behind a battery of six microphones, Bob Dylan was creating another album. And it was almost as if Dylan were consciously conjuring up the ambience of the early sixties.’

On 16th September 1974, Bob Dylan entered A & R Studios in New York to begin recording ‘Blood on the Tracks’. The studio was of course the magical place where he recorded his first 6 albums. His original producer John Hammond joined him in the studio on this night, an ‘historic moment’ for them both. Bob warmed up solo, recording 6 songs over 10 takes. He was then joined by Eric Weissberg’s band Deliverance, tackling 4 songs in 13 takes. One of these – ‘Meet Me In The Morning’ – made it through to the final cut of ‘Blood on the Tracks’ and another – ‘Call Letter Blues’ – was later released on Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3. But it was the attempts of ‘Idiot Wind’ and ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ with just Bob and Deliverance bass player Tony Brown that would ultimately set the tone for the rest of the album…

Read all about it in No One Else Could Play That Tune: The Making and Unmaking of Bob Dylan’s Masterpiece by Clinton Heylin. Get your copy here.

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