Bob Dylan :: Tomorrow Is A Long Time (New Morning Outtake)

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The imminent release of Dylan’s Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait has been met with derision in some quarters. Do we really need a collection of alternate takes and unreleased material drawn mainly from Dylan’s most famously loathed LPs? To which I say: Yes, yes, we do. For those of us who have gone down the Dylan rabbit hole, the “lost years” covered by Another Self Portrait make up one of the most fascinating (and strange) periods of the man’s career, during which Dylan attempted to burn down all that he had accomplished in the mid-60s and emerge Phoenix-like as … Gordon Lightfoot? Something like that, anyway. I’ve yet to hear the latest Bootleg Series, but I know it’s got some fantastic stuff on it, like the gorgeous, electric piano-led take of “Went To See The Gypsy,” and the Band-backed version of “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” captured live at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

Oddly, however, the compilers have left off a favorite outtake from the New Morning sessions, a wild re-arrangement of one of Dylan’s best love songs. In 1970, “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” had never been released by Dylan himself, despite it becoming a well-known tune, thanks to cover versions by Ian & Sylvia, Rod Stewart and even Elvis Presley himself. A few years later, Dylan’s Greatest Hits vol. 2 included a beautiful live rendition of the song recorded in 1963. But the New Morning take is something else altogether, trading the hushed tenderness that the lyrics seemingly demand for a raw, country funk vibe that shouldn’t work, but somehow does. With a gritty lead vocal, backup singers hooting along and an infectious slide guitar riff, it’s just another example of Dylan’s utter disregard for the concept of a “definitive” reading of his songs. As he said back in ’66, “It used to go like that, now it goes like this.” words/ t wilcox

Bob Dylan :: Tomorrow Is A Long Time (New Morning Outtake, 1970)

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15 thoughts on “Bob Dylan :: Tomorrow Is A Long Time (New Morning Outtake)

  1. Truly a great cut. I can see how it doesn’t quite fit into the New Morning LP, it’s just a slightly different feel than everything else (even on a record as diverse as NM). I wonder who was playing on this session – I can totally see Charlie Daniels on these bass lines.

  2. Well why not? I was born in ’59, so New Morning for me was the first “new” Dylan I was really aware of, and I loved it then, later and always, but was baffled by all the chaffe lingering in the air about Self Portrait, which sounded pretty good when I went back to it. So I came to Dylan when he’d already been through the folk uprising, the backlash over whatever Self Portrait was or is, other than what it purports to be. So my understanding and appreciation of Dylan has always been of an icon and iconoclast as well, and ultimately an artist with true courage and conviction. I thought of Self Portrait a lot while I read Chronicles, smiling all the while.

  3. “It’s got some fantastic stuff on it, like the gorgeous, electric piano-led take of ‘Went To See The Gypsy’…”

    I thought this would be on “Another Self Portrait” as well, but in the trailer that was cut for the film, they played a different version that had no electric piano. It’s a shame because the electric piano version is fantastic and better than the one used for “New Morning,” one of the true gems of that period.

  4. Elvis Presley recorded the song on May 26, 1966 during a session for his album How Great Thou Art. The song originally appeared as a bonus track on the Spinout movie soundtrack album. Dylan once said that Presley’s cover of the song was “the one recording I treasure the most.”[4]
    According to Ernst Jorgensen’s’ book, Presley got into the song via Charlie McCoy, who had previously participated in the Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde sessions. McCoy played the 1965 Odetta album Odetta Sings Dylan before an Elvis session and Presley “had become taken with ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time.'”

  5. NM – There are two versions of “Gypsy ” on the new Bootleg Series — one of them has to be the electric piano version. Or else there is no God.

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