A double-disc distillation of the six-disc box The Basement Tapes Complete, The Basement Tapes: Raw can't quite be seen as an expansion of the 1975 double-LP The Basement Tapes but rather a necessary revision. Shepherded by the Band's Robbie Robertson, that 1975 double-vinyl inserted Band recordings where they didn't belong, suggesting the group were equal partners when it was really Dylan's show.
The Essential Bob Dylan is a compilation by Bob Dylan, released as a double-CD set in 2000, part of Columbia Records' "The Essential" series. The Essential Bob Dylan spans from 1963's "Blowin' In The Wind" (taken from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) to 1999's "Things Have Changed" (Dylan's Oscar-winning song from the motion picture, Wonder Boys). The Essential Bob Dylan has proven to be a solid seller in Dylan's catalog, reaching #67 in the US, and peaking at #9 in the UK.
The Best of the Original Mono Recordings is a single-disc distillation of 2010’s nine-disc box The Original Mono Recordings, picking 14 tracks from the eight albums on the box and adding the non-LP single “Positively 4th Street.” The inclusion of this 1965 Top Ten hit makes this disc enticing to collectors, although it does suggest that the box would benefit from a brief bonus disc of singles containing that song, “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window,” “If You Gotta Go, Go Now,” and “Mixed-Up Confusion.” But this disc is intended to be nothing more than a sampler hinting at the treasures within the big box…
"I'll do this one more time and if I can't do it, we'll do another song. I'll do any song as good as I can do it the first time." Bob Dylan says these words once his first solo take of "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" breaks down after a minute. Dylan's definition of "good" is fluid, of course. Sometimes, a first take satisfied him – "Maggie's Farm" and "Gates of Eden" are two prime examples – but often he'd find he could do a song better or at least do it differently, swapping out words, speeding up the tempo, and changing the feel, occasionally radically transforming his song.