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In the latest salvo in the distribution collaboration between its global recording and film divisions, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are releasing Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends, a compilation film of promotional material, footage from other documentaries left on the cutting-room floor and assorted demos and alternate takes from the singer-songwriter’s six-decade career.
The roughly two-hour compilation, being distributed as a digital download or rental beginning June 22, focuses primarily on Dylan’s first two decades with Sony-owned Columbia Records, a label he has called home since 1961, save for a brief detour with Asylum Records in 1973.
Odds and Ends will showcase a mix of material previously released piecemeal, with interviews ranging from the likes of Dylan’s first manager Roy Silver lamenting about the big fish that got away, to John Hammond in an in-house sales video for Blood on the Tracks (1974) boasting about how Dylan painted that masterpiece in a mere five days, and mixed it in two.
Dylan completists have seen much of this material in other forms, but for the less indoctrinated there are nuggets to be mined, such as from Paris in 1966 when Dylan — in his skinny-suit glory — faces a hostile audience that feels he’s betrayed his folk roots by going electric, spending an inordinate amount of time tuning his guitar during the acoustic half of the show. “You see, my electric guitar never goes out of tune,” he says to the booing throng, dripping with sarcasm.
Also being released simultaneously in newly packaged form are four concert films: Bob Dylan: Trouble No More — A Musical Film; The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965, Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, and Bob Dylan: MTV Unplugged, as well as the narrative feature that Dylan co-wrote and starred in, Masked and Anonymous (2003), directed by Larry Charles.
Dating back to the mid ’60s, Dylan has spent a copious amount of time in the studio laying down tracks that never saw the light of day until Columbia’s Bootleg Series (1991), which introduced the public to rare B sides, alternate takes and live recordings only heard previously on actual bootlegs traded among his fans. Promo material behind these lavish packages can be seen in Odds and Ends. More will also come from other Sony artists, according to Tom Mackay, SME president, premium content and A&R.
“Given our incredible catalog of premium content from some of the most iconic artists of all time, we have a handful of major projects around the corner that take advantage of opportunities we can uniquely create across the Sony companies,” Mackay tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Working together with SPE is one exciting way for our artists to reach their fans around the world, and the release of the Bob Dylan Film Essentials is a great way to kick off all that.”
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