And More...

There were, of course, a number of things that killed off that era of experimentation. For a start, as the record companies figured out what was actually commercial, they weren't as keen to experiment. There was still the odd maverick big seller, of course, because people didn't always buy what they were supposed to, and had their interest piqued by things that the major labels had overlooked.Once you'd done something once, of course, it was no longer either new or novel. 

You could take a minor Dylan composition, render it into schoolboy French, record it with a Cajun accordion and have a minor hit with it, but it wasn't something that you could parlay into a long term carer. 

That one was Fairport Convention's Si Tu Dois Partir, a good time rendition of Dylan's If You Gotta Go.

You could turn a well-known classical piece into a frantic guitar instrumental that required the right amount of sweat on the fingers, but when you followed it with something similar there was the risk of attracting derisive comments, some of them coming from people who'd heartily endorsed the first one.

That was guitarist Dave Edmunds' band Love Sculpture with Sabre Dance and Farandole.

And you could come up with any number of other examples of things that had been new and innovative and ended up as oh yeah, been there, done that and old hat.

But if there's one thing that changed much of the course of music as the sixties turned into the seventies it was the woodshedding sessions in upstate New York that became known as The Basement Tapes.

For the uninitiated, after Dylan crashed his motor bike under mysterious circumstances near Woodstock he disappeared from sight with his controversial electric backing band and the musicians convened in the basement if a house known as Big Pink.


B© Ian Hughes 2012