Minnesota University Tape

September 1960

Red Rosey Bush
Johnny I Hardly Knew You
Jesus Christ
Streets Of Glory
K.C. Moan
Blues Yodel No 8 (Muleskinner Blues)
I'm A Gambler
Talking Columbia
Talking Merchant Marine
Talking Hugh Brown
Talking Lobbyist

This short tape (approximately 25 minutes) was most likely recorded in Dylan's apartment in Minneapolis. It's the first "true" Dylan tape we have, by that I mean that the voice is recognizably Dylan and the style and selection of songs closer to what we normally think of when we talk about the early years. There's still a little bit of the sweetness in Dylan's voice when he sings Red Rosey Bush, and the guitar playing is gentler than usual, but by the time he's finished the four talking blues songs at the end of the tape, there's no doubt that it's the young Bobby Dylan singing in the style of his idol Woody Guthrie. This tape is a far cry from the St. Paul Tape of a few months prior to this recording. It would only be a short time before his true individual style would emerge, but we would have to wait until the Minnesota Hotel Tape for that to happen.

The material on this tape leaves a lot to be desired, and Dylan hasn't yet figured out how to break out of his shell. At one point he gets so rattled at a woman singing along with one of the talking blues songs, that he breaks out in mock anger and swears at her. It's hard to tell if he's serious or not.

The sound quality is what you might expect for a tape of this time period: poor. Nevertheless, it's listenable - far more listenable than the St. Paul Tape - and well worth adding to your collection if you're interested in a peek at the early Bob Dylan struggling to emerge.


  • I Was So Much Younger Then [Dandelion]


  • Number One

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