SDEtv / Bob Dylan: The Cutting Edge


In this video unboxing, SDE Editor Paul Sinclair takes a look at the various editions of Bob Dylan‘s recent The Cutting Edge: Bootleg Series Volume 12 release.

The Cutting Edge: Bootleg Series Volume 12 is out now.

6CD Deluxe Edition

Best Of The Cutting Edge Deluxe 3LP + 2CD

Best Of The Cutting Edge 2CD Edition


The Cutting Edge 18CD Collector’s Edition = 9 x 7″ mono singles

For full track listings visit this post.


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Ben in Colorado

Email from Sony:
Dear Collector,

We hope you are enjoying The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12: Collector’s Edition. Thanks again for your purchase!

The holidays are coming early for you via a special gift from Columbia Records: 208 tracks encompassing more than ten hours of previously unreleased live Bob Dylan performances from his landmark 1965 tours, including 14 complete concerts – both acoustic and electric – and an array of recordings from television shows, hotel rooms, and other live appearances.

These live performances are being offered as a free download (in 320 Kbps MP3 format) exclusively to purchasers of the Collector’s Edition.

Ben in Colorado

Today I Received an email from Sony stating that those folks who purchased the 18 disc set were be given a free Christmas present. 209 live BD tracks from 1965! I downloaded the massive file and couldn’t be more pleased. Incredible to get such a surprise!

Paul D

I got the 18-CD version, and when I opened it up it was missing a disc! Sony has promised to make me whole, but I thought it was a worrying lapse in quality control nonetheless for such an expensive beast. I wonder how many sealed collectors copies will be out there, actually missing a disc?

I’m still working my way through it, although I’m actually listening to the digital downloads not the CDs (much more convenient!). Personally I think the full set is worth it for such a crucial period in the development of rock music. I don’t care so much about the paraphernalia.

P.S. Paul, nice Steven Wilson shirt:-)

Sean Lawler

3LP /2CD set now 55 Euro’s now on Amazon Spain, I received mine from Spain in tip top condition so don’t be scared to order !


Don’t knock the leopard skin spindle. I haven’t seen it mentioned much anywhere, but I’ve discovered that without a spindle, the nine reproduction seven inch 45s are literally unplayable…huge holes where the normal vinyl holes would be ….which in fact makes them (and hence the 18cd) rather desirable… even without the wonder of re-living up close and personal such a seismic 24 months note by note and release by release….I think the 18 disc also worth it for the One of us must know session and stems….

Stuart Russell

As much as I would like the 6 disc set of this important period in his career, I will probably go for the 2 disc version, pretty much for the reason Andrea highlights above.

Even though ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ is a seminal Dylan track and a huge milestone towards modern music; 20 tracks on 1 disc is complete overkill imho. This would be a 1 listen disc for me before being condemned to a life on the shelf, especially the stem tracks which would only be interesting if they were in a format suitable for the likes of GarageBand so you could do your own mixes.

Each to their own though, and it’s brilliant that such content is available for those who want it……but not for me


I bought the 6-CD edition. Upon listening to CD #1 and #2, I thought – this is so great, so varied, so engaging… maybe I should have gone for the 18-disc set…
Then CD # 3 happened.
20 takes of “Like a Rolling Stone”, most fo them – honestly – uninspired, or breakdowns, or false starts, topped by the isolated four multitracks… I mean, TWENTY takes!
I now feel I might have dogded a bullet with the 18-disc set.
Just saying.
(PS: CD #4 to 6 are great, again)


If you purchase the Best Of Vinyl on Amazon US right now, you get a free download of the 6-CD version, which could be a good option for some who can’t decide where to go.

andrew R

Also as a record buyer in the 70’s i must say we would have died and gone to heaven if anything as sophisticated as the bootleg series had been on offer then.I know its fashionable to carp on about the good old days but the amount of music in so many formats in such beautiful packaging is amazing !

andrew R

Superb presentation Paul of all three formats.Well done !

Mark Carroll



But what really makes the price worth in the deluxe 18CD set is…the outstanding leopard skin spindle!!! Just kidding of course…


Having seen both the 18 CD and 6 CD versions, I feel the 18 CD set is overkill and features a few superfluous, price bloating additions. I’ve been reading discussions online regarding the minutiae of that set and you have to be a serious Dylan anorak to get the value from it. I certainly don’t feel like I’m missing out having bought the 6 CD version based on those discussions but I’m pleased that those anoraks (I use the term affectionately) who bought the big box don’t regret it.

I am personally not a believer in paying over the odds for exclusivity through numbered, limited editions either.

The 6 CD set is overpriced (as all the Dylan Deluxe sets have been) and should be realistically around the £50-£60 mark but it is a nice all-round package and caters nicely for those who are not just casual Dylan fans. The jump from £15 to £100 between the Best Of and Deluxe sets is simply not warranted based on content, with the text and photos in the two books taking only an hour or so to go through and the extra music therefore commanding a premium.

It’s a shame that many people will see the Best Of and would prefer the more detailed Deluxe set but the price will prove restrictive.

It’s worth mentioning though that Amazon were issuing all the tracks from the 6 CD edition as digital downloads when purchasing the cheaper Best Of LP/CD version. Don’t know if that is still the case.

Charles K.

Great video Paul, I don’t know if I’ve anticipated a release by any artist this much in quite a while. Got the two disc set and immediately realized that wouldn’t suffice. I’m really impressed with the books.

Though not exactly the same type of release with regards to material type, this seems in league with the Cash Unearthed box set from a number of years back. Neil Young could learn a thing or two on how to give fans what they really want from this set as his Archives set vol 1 was essentially a greatest hits package. This is the real deal warts and all and I’m impressed with Dylan’s opening of the vaults over the last few years all while releasing outstanding, new material along the way. Thank you Robert Zimmerman!


Very nice video of the different versions, also I would like to add that the bootleg series vol.8 (Tell tale signs) was also release in a deluxe 3-disc edition which goes along with the different deluxe version you showed in your video

Ben in Colorado

Oh yeah, and the vinyl singles in the 18 disc set. Forgot to mention. useless to me though.

Ben in Colorado

I also forgot to mention that the 18 disc box allows “free” download of all the tracks in various formats:
MP3, 320 kbps
FLAC, 16/44.1
FLAC, 24/96
WAV, 16/44.1
WAV, 24/96

Ben in Colorado

Paul, excellent video. I really enjoyed seeing all the other configurations.
I have the 18 disc set. And after seeing what comes in the other versions, especially the 6 CD set, I can confirm that the books in the 6 CD set and the 18-CD set are much the same, music aside. The photo book in the 18 set might have more pages, but they are just photographs.
The book with the write-ups on the music is identical in contents.
So… boil it all down, and the 18 disc set gives you the following, beyond the 6 disc:
– More music (but i know nefarious folks will use nefarious means to get the tracks somehow)
– “rice paper’ sheets of old adverts
– A strip of the “Don’t Look Back film (mine is a boring set of shots of guy looking out a window)
– A separate “book” containing all the CDs. No extra material in that book.

I must be honest and say that I expected a heck of a lot more on the 18 disc set. And because it was limited, and once you ordered, you couldn’t cancel, a lot of us didn’t know what was going to be in the box before ordering.
I certainly expected more written documentation. About each track, at least. The 18-disc shares the same song descriptions as the 6-disc, but no more. It would have been great to know exactly how each take came about, etc… much like Lewisohn’s book on the Beatles recording sessions. No such luck.

I am glad to have all the music, as it is truly incredible. But….for the price, they could have done a hell of a lot more. Just saying.