"Starlight In The East"
Directory of Bob Dylan’s Unreleased Songs

"Starlight in the East and you're finally released."
Bob Dylan, "No Time To Think",
©1978 by Special Rider Music

Compiled by Alan Fraser


Thanks to David Reid for the loan of this book


Derek Barker reviewed "Keys To The Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopaedia" (compiled by Oliver Trager, Billboard Books, USA, 2004) in "Isis" issue 118, and surprisingly found in the Foreword what appears to me to be a startling admission for a book that claims to be "definitive": "Entries for songs Dylan performed before he came to New York City are not included. Neither are songs from informal recording sessions, songs written but never recorded, unreleased out-takes, nor any of the unreleased material from 'The Basement Tapes' and their ilk..." The objective here is to attempt to fill that gap and list all unreleased songs written, or thought to have been written, by Bob, whenever and however recorded.

Some of these songs are deservedly unreleased, some have no known Dylan version, some were abandoned unfinished and therefore not of releasable quality, but others are real gems and deserve official release, hopefully in a future edition of The Bootleg Series, since "bonus" tracks on remastered albums have been ruled out by Bob. Please note I cannot help you to obtain copies of any of these songs which are in unofficial circulation - if you go to Bill Pagel's excellent "Bob Links" site , you may find links there that will help.

If you have any additions or corrections to the material given here, please let me know. All contributors to the accuracy and completeness of this list will be gratefully credited. Cover scans of singles or albums that contain covers of unreleased Dylan songs are also very welcome.

"...there's a density and a gravity to a Dylan song that you can't find anywhere else." Nick Hornby ("31 Songs")

The Directory is in alphabetical order by song title, please click on the appropriate page below (or start with "A" and work your way through...).

[Home] A ] B ] C ] D ] E ] F ] G ] H ] I ] J ] K ] L ] M ] N ] O ] P ] Q ] R ] S ] T ] U ] V ] W ] X ] Y ] Z ] "Covered & Unreleased" ] "Live & Unreleased" ] ["Searching For A Gem" (Home page)]

(Indefinite and definite articles at the beginning of song titles are ignored, so A WOMAN LIKE YOU is on the "W" page, and THE KING IS ON THE THRONE is on the "K" page.)

I very much welcome information about unlisted songs or more details about the ones listed here.

Revised: 17 October, 2014

Recent Site Updates

17 Oct 2014: Thanks to Harold Lepidus for news that South Dakota Democratic Senatorial candidate Rick Weiland has recorded a version of the revised "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid" out-take WAGON WHEEL with rewritten lyrics called BIG WHEEL for a 2014 election campaign ad! This information has been added to the "B" page but see the "W" page for full details.
16 Oct 2014: Thanks to Alex Filosa for information that WAITING TO GET BEAT, an out-take from "Empire Burlesque", recorded by Bob at Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, CA, 14 Feb 1985, has now been recorded by US band Tea Leaf Green for the various artists album "Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One" (ATO Records, USA, 2014). This information has been added to the "W" page.
8 Oct 2014: Thanks to Paul S. Levine for information that Simon & Schuster will publish Bob Dylan's "THE LYRICS: Since 1962" on 28 Oct 2014. They call it "the first comprehensive, rigorously annotated, and definitive collection of Bob Dylan's lyrics to be published" and say it is the product of a collaboration "over many years between Dylan and a team of editors led by Sir Christopher Ricks, Warren Professor of the Humanities and co-director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University". The full-colour volume of 1,034 pages will be limited to a single printing of 3,000 copies, retailing for $200 each. Separately, Dylan will sell 50 boxed, numbered and signed editions - for $5,000 each - through www.dylansignedbook.com. This expensive book will contain all the lyrics of Bob's unreleased songs.
27 Aug 2014: Thanks to Éamonn Ó Catháin for news that The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 - Bob Dylan And The Band: The Basement Tapes Raw/Complete will be released on 4 Nov 2014. The Standard Edition ("Raw") will be a 2CD 38-track set, the Deluxe Edition ("Complete") will be a 6CD 138-track set. Several of the songs listed here are now officially released, so will be removed from the A - Z pages and added to the "Released" list below.
20 Aug 2014: Thanks to Freddy Ordóñez Araque for more news about Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, produced by T-Bone Burnett and to be released in the autumn by Capitol Records (part of Universal). For more details, see . The album and songs will be listed here when released.
8 Aug 2014: BALL & STRIPES RAG, recording session sheet title of LITTLE SADIE, recorded at Columbia Studios, New York, 3 Mar 1970, and released on "Self Portrait" in two versions, added to the B page.  Shown is a Columbia US acetate of Side 2 of the album with the BALL & STRIPES RAG title, from a batch of 149 Dylan acetates from the Nashville Skyline/Self Portrait/New Morning era that were found in a New York building in West Houston Street, Greenwich Village, that was once rented by Bob as a studio. Thanks to Jeff Gold for information.
6 Aug 2014: Thanks to Freddy Ordóñez Araque for news that Johnny Depp played guitar on the recording of an unreleased Bob song called Kansas City from The Basement Tapes for an album called Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, produced by T-Bone Burnett and to be released in the autumn. For full details, see .

20 Jun 2014: Thanks to "Isis" #174 for information that Old Crow Medicine Show have recorded an extended version of SWEET AMARILLO from the "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid" sessions for their new album "Remedy" (ATO Records ATO00239, USA, 1 Jul 2014), now added to the S page. This song was originally copyrighted by back-up singer Donna Weiss, who sang it nightly on tour with the 1976 leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue. Thanks to Tim Dunn for news that the new Old Crow Medicine Show version, which is now copyrighted to "Dylan/Secor/Fuqua", was available as a download from Amazon, iTunes, etc., from 29 Apr 2014. The new copyright means this must be a significantly different version of the song from the one copyrighted and sung by Donna Weiss! I have therefore given it a separate entry.

16 Apr 2014: Thanks to Dag Braathen for information that The Secret Sisters have covered a revised version of Bob's unreleased song DIRTY LIE on their new album "Put Your Needle Down" (Republic/Universal, USA, 15 Apr 2014), now added to the D page and Covered & Unreleased.
27 Feb 2014: Thanks to Gene Hennigh for information that Carl Perkins' version of CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS also appears on a budget compilation, "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" (Columbia/Harmony Headliner Series KH 31179, USA/Canada, 1972), now added to the C page.
20 Feb 2014: Thanks to Gene Hennigh for information that Johnny Cash's version of WANTED MAN from his live album "Johnny Cash At San Quentin" also appears on the 1971 film soundtrack album "Little Fauss And Big Halsy" with songs by Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. The Cash/Perkins album is currently available on a "2 on 1" CD with the Johnny Cash album "Walk The Line". The W page has been updated.
5 Feb 2014: WAITING FOR THE MORNING LIGHT (Sanctuary Records SANPRX 245, UK, May 2004) - promo CD single by Gene Simmons with Dylan-Simmons co-composition from the album "A**hole" added to the W page.


This directory has been compiled mainly from the following resources:

For lyrics and chords of unreleased Dylan songs, see Eyolf Østrem's site "My Back Pages - Bob Dylan Chords and Lyrics"

Song Titles

All song titles (or guesses at song titles) listed here are either known, or assumed to be, by Bob Dylan. Bob’s co-authors are credited for songs known to be joint compositions. I’ve omitted unidentified instrumentals, most of which are just jams.

Titles of released songs on regular Dylan albums are in BOLD face, titles of songs that are officially available as covers by other artists are shown in RED (see the new extracted list "Covered & Unreleased"). Titles of songs known to be hoaxes or wrongly associated with Bob are shown in PURPLE. Titles of songs that remain unreleased on albums/singles and have not been covered by other artists are in BLUE. Song titles that were identified in the sources as being by Bob but now known to be covers are included here with their titles in ITALICS - in this case the date given is when it was first performed by Bob, not the composition date. It's very possible that some of the titles still assumed here to be unreleased songs by Bob Dylan are in fact covers that were unrecognised by the source author. Titles that end in "?" are where the song titles are questions J, guessed titles are shown as "(?)".

Some songs have no known "official" title and are listed several times under the various titles that have appeared for them (which people guess at or make up because they don't know the title Bob has given the song). A good example is the unreleased and uncopyrighted song with lyrics about Van Gogh worked on by Bob in a Denver hotel room in March 1966. This has been given several titles, namely DEFINITELY VAN GOGH, THE PAINTING BY VAN GOGH, POSITIVELY VAN GOGH, MOST DEFINITELY NOT VAN GOGH and SPURIOUSLY SEVENTEEN WINDOWS (THE PAINTING BY VAN GOGH)! Bob's choice of title is still not known. SPURIOUSLY SEVENTEEN WIDOWS, of which the last title may be a mis-hearing, is a joke title made up by Paul Cable for the unreleased TELL ME, MOMMA. (He obviously didn't know then that Bob had just called it TELL ME, MOMMA after all!)

If the authorship of a title is not identified in any of the sources it is indicated as "Bob Dylan?".

Some titles identified in the sources as unreleased Dylan songs are in fact session sheet or working titles of released songs or unreleased songs known better by other names. LOVE COPY is a good example - this was named by Larry Sloman in his Rolling Thunder Logbook as being an unreleased song from the "Desire" sessions (which it then was). Michael Krogsgaard's examination of the 1976 Columbia studio records revealed LOVE COPY not to be a new song, but a working title for ABANDONED LOVE, released in 1985 on "Biograph". Such titles are listed in the directory for completeness. A partial list of such titles appears in the various books by Clinton Heylin cited, others appear in Michael Krogsgaard's series of articles on Bob's recording sessions in the "Telegraph" and now "The Bridge".

Circulation Codes

C Soundcheck D Demo H Home recording L Live M Media recording - radio, TV or film
N? No recording circulating? O Officially released R Rehearsal S Studio recording Y For uncirculating songs - lyrics known

No circulation code means the song hasn't actually been written or performed by Bob, and the entry is a correction of a report that appears elsewhere.


Thanks to Sigurjon Thor Fridthjofsson (Sion) for providing the list that started this work off.
Thanks to "Frisco Drifter" for the first feedback.
Special thanks go to:

Dr Hanns Peter Bushoff of BMG Germany for his sterling work in re-releasing obscure and rarely-heard cover versions of Dylan songs, especially the unreleased songs, and for providing complimentary copies of his CDs and other material
Tim Dunn
for his helpful contributions and for providing me with copies of his "Copyright Files" books
Peter Gilmer for his vigilant monitoring of the Internet for news of unreleased Dylan songs and covers
The sadly departed David Plentus whose "Dylan Cover Albums" site provided me with much information about cover versions of Bob's unreleased songs and who provided me with many cover scans, and to
Gil Walker who kindly checked this directory against Paul Cable's book shown above and
also against the article surveying unreleased Dylan by Greil Marcus in "Rolling Stone", 26 Nov 1969

Thanks also go to Phil Aldridge, Derek Barker, Harvey Bojarsky, Dag Braathen, Scott Brodie, Bob Burton, Mark Charles, Ron "Crazy" Chester, Arie Euwijk, Roger Ford, Nick Garrett, Andra Greenberg, John Halley, Avery Holland John Howells, Craig Jamieson, Artur Jarosinski, Rob Lake, Gil Lamont, A.J. LaRue, John Lettiere, Tobias Levander, Jim Linwood, Daniel Luth, Hans Marijnissen, Joy Munsey, Éamonn Ó Catháin, Jim O'Neil, Tom Ostoyich, Raymond Padgett, Dieter Petzold, David Plentus, Michael Poole, Moise Potie, David Reid, Dennis Renfors, John Singer, Michael Smith, Bob Stacy, Raoul Verolleman, Don Wedge and T.J. Young.

Previously Unreleased now Released - Songs Removed from the "Starlight In The East" List

Live1966ClassicRecordsLPUS.jpg (18365 bytes) TELL ME, MOMMA - only ever performed live in 1966 (no studio version known), released on "The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Live 1996, The 'Royal Albert Hall' Concert", 12 Oct 1998
Globe2.jpg (22295 bytes) MISSISSIPPI - out-take from "Time Out Of Mind", 1997 - new recording released on "Love And Theft", 11 Sep 2001, three takes of the original "Time Out Of Mind" version released on "The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 - Tell Tale Signs: Rare And Unreleased 1989-2006", 7 Oct 2008

Sheryl Crow's 1998 A&M album "The Globe Sessions" containing her version of MISSISSIPPI, then unavailable anywhere else

KEEP IT WITH MINE - instrumental out-take from "Blonde On Blonde" released on the soundtrack of "The Wendell Baker Story", Velocity/Thinkfilms, USA, 2007
TravelingWilburysUS2007DeLuxe.jpg (24424 bytes) LIKE A SHIP and MAXINE - two out-takes from "Traveling Wilburys Volume Three", recorded at Wilbury Mountain Studio, Los Angeles, CA, Apr 1990, finally released on the 2007 Rhino boxed set, "The Traveling Wilburys Collection"
ImNotThereEurFront2.jpg (14359 bytes) I'M NOT THERE (1956) - previously unreleased Basement Tapes song with The Band from 1967 released on the Todd Haynes film soundtrack "I'm Not There", 2007
GIRL FROM THE RED RIVER SHORE - rumoured out-take from 1997's "Time Out Of Mind" now released in 2008 as RED RIVER SHORE on "The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 - Tell Tale Signs" with a second version on CD3 of the 3CD Expanded Edition
CALIFORNIA - early version of OUTLAW BLUES with different lyrics, out-take from "Bringing It All Back Home", released on the CBS US TV series soundtrack album "NCIS: The Official TV Series Soundtrack Vol. 2", 2009
Songs officially released in Oct 2010 on "The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 - The Witmark Demos 1962-1964":



DON'T EVER TAKE YOURSELF AWAY, out-take from "Shot Of Love" sessions, recorded at Clover Recorder, Los Angeles, CA,, 23 Apr 1981, released on the CBS US TV series soundtrack album "Hawaii Five-0: Original Songs From The Television Series", 2011
WORKING ON A GURU, out-take from "New Morning", recorded with George Harrison at Columbia Studios, New York, 01 May 1970, now released on "The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait 1969-1971", Aug 2013
FAREWELL, out-take from "The Times They Are A-Changin'", recorded Columbia Studios, New York, 6 Aug 1963, now officially released on the soundtrack album of the Coen brothers film "Inside Llewyn Davies", Nonesuch Records, USA, Sep 2013
The very limited edition Columbia/Legacy 6LP set "50th Anniversary Collection 1963", Dec 2013, includes:

BOB DYLAN’S NEW ORLEANS RAG, out-take from "The Times They Are A-Changin’", recorded on two occasions at Columbia Studios, New York, firstly on 06, 07 & 12 Aug 1963 (CO78976) and secondly on 24 Oct 1963 (CO79693) - this set includes the 24 Oct 1963 studio version and a live version from Town Hall, New York, 12 Apr 1963

DUSTY OLD FAIRGROUNDS, live from Town Hall, New York, 12 Apr 1963 (the only known performance)

EAST LAREDO BLUES, piano solo recorded during "The Times They Are A-Changin’" sessions, Columbia Studios, New York, 23 Oct 1963 (CO79683)

YOU’VE BEEN HIDING TOO LONG, live from Town Hall, New York, 12 Apr 1963 (the only known performance)

The 6CD Deluxe Edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 - Bob Dylan And The Band: The Basement Tapes Complete will be released on 4 Nov 2014. The songs included that are now officially released will be added here.

There are many more now officially-released Dylan songs that were covered by other artists before being released by Bob, such as those on "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2", "The Basement Tapes" and "The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3" - too many to list here. This "Released" list is therefore restricted to songs released after the setting up of this web-site in 1998.

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