Saturday, April 21, 2018

Bob Dylan – Watching the River Flow – Non-Album Tracks (1971)

One reason I started this blog/website is seeing some other websites with the reconstructed or lost album theme, and being inspired to try my hand at it. There’s a new one called Albums I Wish Existed, that has some very similar ideas as I do, and even has a similar website title. (My title had been brewing in my head for a while). Here’s the link:

That site (AIWE) just posted a reconstruction of Bob Dylan’s 1971 album Greatest Hits II. Dylan’s original album was a weird mix of new songs, rerecorded older songs, and old versions of some hits. AIWE kept it as a double album with one album of old hits. What I tried to do instead was make it a single album, using only songs recorded (or re-recorded) by Dylan at the time, and keep it at a length typical of albums from that time. Songs from other albums around that time, such as " New Morning" or "Self Portrait," were excluded.

In my opinion, this makes for an album that would have been hailed as another great one, like most of his albums released up until that point. True, five of the songs are re-recordings, but none of those had been publicly released by Dylan yet, so they would have been seen as new by the typical fan.

It might seem excessive to include two versions of George Jackson, but Dylan released them as the A and B-sides of a single that year, and putting both here pretty much puts all of Dylan’s finished 1971 tracks in one place.
Two of the songs here were actually recorded in 1970. But one of those, "Spanish Is the Loving Tongue," was released as a B-side in 1971, so I figure it belongs here. The other, "Working on a Guru," is such a strong original that I figure it belongs with these other originals rather than on 1970 albums I made that consist mainly of cover versions.
This album is 40 minutes long.

Here’s the song list:

01 George Jackson [Band Version] (Bob Dylan)
02 Watching the River Flow (Bob Dylan)
03 When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan)
04 Crash on the Levee [Down in the Flood] [1971 Version] (Bob Dylan)
05 I Shall Be Released [1971 Version] (Bob Dylan)
06 Wallflower (Bob Dylan)
07 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere [1971 Version] (Bob Dylan)
08 Spanish Is the Loving Tongue (Bob Dylan)
09 Working on a Guru (Bob Dylan)
10 Only a Hobo [1971 Version] (Bob Dylan)
11 East Virginia Blues (Bob Dylan)
12 George Jackson [Acoustic Version] (Bob Dylan)

Also, regarding the album cover, I used the art for Dylan's "Watching the River Flow" single, but I erased the name of the B-side from it. I also colorized parts of it red and blue.


  1. Replies
    1. I just checked, and it looks like the link is still working. Is it not?

  2. This looks fantastic but Zippyshare is problematic. Any chance of an alternative link?

  3. The "band band" version of George Jackson to be very elusive, google lists it as being on "Side Tracks" but it ain't.

    1. I have it here though, right?

    2. I had to buy a 3CD Australian hits package to get the big band version. Discogs info: Bob Dylan - Masterpieces, 3xCD, Comp, RE Columbia 462448 9 Australia. The acoustic version is on Side-tracks. This is an old post so you've probably figured that out by now. I just found this site, so apologies for my delayed response

  4. Again, many thanks for all the Dylan material.

  5. Thank you for all of your work and in particular this stellar reconstruction, which brilliantly fills the gap between New Morning and Pat Garrett/Planet Waves.