Marcus Mumford and Elvis Costello are among the musicians who have recorded a set of previously unheard Bob Dylan lyrics from 1967 for a new set of albums entitled Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes Vol 1.
Lyrics for 24 songs were written during Dylan’s summer at Big Pink, the house in upstate New York where he recorded The original sessions that became The Basement Tapes in 1975.
Dylan sent the surplus lyrics to fellow musician and friend T Bone Burnett and suggested that he might be able to do something with them.
“One of them has a line that goes: ‘A thousand doors couldn’t hold me back from you,” Costello said recently. “If you wrote a line like that, you wouldn’t keep it in a drawer for 47 years - unless you were Bob Dylan.”
Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes are also among the artists who were invited to the iconic Capitol Records studio in LA to make recordings of Dylan's unheard words.
The aim of the sessions was to make at least one album from the salvaged material. Costello sings Married to My Hack and Mumford sings a song called Kansas City.
Each musician was at liberty to chose whichever lyrics they liked, resulting in three or four different settings of the same words.
The recordings were made in a basement studio, using real tape. “Everybody brought their A game,” says Burnett. “But you don’t record all 44 versions of these songs in 12 days by being precious about it.”