Masterpieces (Bob Dylan album)

Last updated
Bob Dylan - Masterpieces.jpg
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedMarch 12, 1978 (1978-03-12)
Label CBS
Bob Dylan chronology
Hard Rain
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]

Masterpieces is a compilation album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on March 12, 1978 by CBS. The triple LP set was released in Japan, Australia and New Zealand in anticipation of his 1978 tour. Primarily a greatest hits collection spanning Dylan's career up to that point, the album features one previously unreleased track, a unique (1962) outtake version of "Mixed-Up Confusion". It also includes a live performance of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" from Dylan's 1966 World Tour, which was first released as the B-side of his "I Want You" single in 1966. Masterpieces was reissued on CD in 1991 by Columbia (Cat. No. 4624489), but is no longer in print.


Track listing

All songs written by Bob Dylan, except where noted.

Side one
1."Knockin' on Heaven's Door"  Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid 2:30
2."Mr. Tambourine Man"  Bringing It All Back Home 5:29
3."Just Like a Woman"  Blonde on Blonde 4:56
4."I Shall Be Released"  Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II 3:05
5."Tears of Rage"Dylan, Richard Manuel The Basement Tapes 4:14
6."All Along the Watchtower"  John Wesley Harding 2:32
7."One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)"  Desire 3:47
Side two
1."Like a Rolling Stone" (Live at Isle of Wight Festival, 1969) Self Portrait 5:17
2."Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)" (Live at Isle of Wight Festival, 1969)Self Portrait2:49
3."Tomorrow Is a Long Time" (Live at Town Hall 1963)Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II3:02
4."Lay, Lady, Lay" (Live 1976) Hard Rain 5:00
5."Idiot Wind" (Live 1976)Hard Rain10:06
Side three
1."Mixed-Up Confusion"  The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan session outtake2:30
2."Positively 4th Street" single 19653:56
3."Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" single 19653:35
4."Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" (live version recorded at Odeon Theatre, Liverpool, England, May 14, 1966) B-side of 1966 "I Want You" single5:40
5."Spanish Is the Loving Tongue"TraditionalB-side of 1971 "Watching the River Flow" single3:38
6."George Jackson" "Big Band" version, single, 19715:38
7."Rita May"Dylan, Jacques Levy single, 19763:13
Side four
1."Blowin' in the Wind" The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan2:47
2."A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan6:54
3."The Times They Are a-Changin'"  The Times They Are a-Changin' 3:16
4."Masters of War" The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan4:33
5."Hurricane"Dylan, LevyDesire8:36
Side five
1."Maggie's Farm" (Live 1976) Hard Rain5:30
2."Subterranean Homesick Blues" Bringing It All Back Home2:20
3."Ballad of a Thin Man"  Highway 61 Revisited 5:57
4."Mozambique"Dylan, LevyDesire3:01
5."This Wheel's on Fire" Rick Danko, DylanThe Basement Tapes3:52
6."I Want You" Blonde on Blonde3:09
7."Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" Blonde on Blonde4:38
Side six
1."Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan3:40
2."Song to Woody" Bob Dylan 2:41
3."It Ain't Me Babe" Another Side of Bob Dylan 3:35
4."Love Minus Zero/No Limit"Bringing It All Back Home2:50
5."I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"John Wesley Harding2:39
6."If Not for You" New Morning 2:44
7."If You See Her, Say Hello" Blood on the Tracks 4:48

Certifications and sales

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [2] 3× Platinum210,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) [3] Platinum15,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Related Research Articles

The Band Rock band from Toronto

The Band was a Canadian-American rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 1967. It consisted of four Canadians and one American: Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, and Levon Helm. The Band combined elements of Americana, folk, rock, jazz, country, and R&B, influencing subsequent musicians such as the Eagles, Elton John, the Grateful Dead, the Flaming Lips, and Wilco.

<i>Blonde on Blonde</i> 1966 studio album by Bob Dylan

Blonde on Blonde is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released as a double album on June 20, 1966 by Columbia Records. Recording sessions began in New York in October 1965 with numerous backing musicians, including members of Dylan's live backing band, the Hawks. Though sessions continued until January 1966, they yielded only one track that made it onto the final album—"One of Us Must Know ". At producer Bob Johnston's suggestion, Dylan, keyboardist Al Kooper, and guitarist Robbie Robertson moved to the CBS studios in Nashville, Tennessee. These sessions, augmented by some of Nashville's top session musicians, were more fruitful, and in February and March all the remaining songs for the album were recorded.

Robbie Robertson Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist

Jaime Royal "Robbie" Robertson, OC, is a Canadian musician, songwriter, film composer, producer, actor, and author. Robertson is best known for his work as lead guitarist and songwriter for The Band, and for his career as a solo recording artist.

<i>Street-Legal</i> (album) 1978 studio album by Bob Dylan

Street-Legal is the 18th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on June 15, 1978 by Columbia Records. The album was a departure for Dylan, who uses a large pop-rock band including female backing vocalists.

<i>Bob Dylan at Budokan</i> 1979 live album by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan at Budokan is a live album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released April 1979 on Columbia Records. It was recorded during his 1978 world tour and is composed mostly of the artist's "greatest hits". The performances in the album are radically altered from the originals, using the same musicians that backed Street-Legal, but relying on a much larger band and stronger use of brass and backing singers. In some respects the arrangements are more conventional than the original arrangements, for which the album was criticized. For a few critics, such as Janet Maslin of Rolling Stone, the differences between the older and newer arrangements had become less important.

<i>Bob Dylans Greatest Hits</i> 1967 greatest hits album by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits is a 1967 compilation album of songs by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Released on March 27, 1967 by Columbia Records, in the non-productive period after Dylan's motorcycle accident in 1966, it was the first compilation album of material by Dylan. It contains every Top 40 single Dylan had up to 1967, plus additional tracks, including songs not released as singles by Dylan. It peaked at No. 10 on the pop album chart in the United States, and went to No. 3 on the album chart in the United Kingdom. Certified five times platinum by the RIAA, it is his best-selling album in the U.S.

<i>Bob Dylans Greatest Hits Vol. II</i> 1971 greatest hits album by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II, also known as More Bob Dylan Greatest Hits, is the second compilation album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on November 17, 1971 by Columbia Records. With Dylan not expected to release any new material for an extended period of time, CBS Records president Clive Davis proposed issuing a double LP compilation of older material. Dylan agreed, compiling it himself and suggesting that the package include a full side of unreleased tracks from his archives. After submitting a set of excerpts from The Basement Tapes that Davis found unsatisfactory, Dylan returned to the studio in September 1971 to recut several Basement songs, with Happy Traum providing backup.

<i>The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert</i> 1998 live album by Bob Dylan

Live 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert is a two-disc live album by Bob Dylan, released in 1998. It is the second installment in the ongoing Bob Dylan Bootleg Series on Legacy Recordings, and has been certified a gold record by the RIAA. It was recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall during Dylan's world tour in 1966, though early bootlegs attributed the recording to the Royal Albert Hall so it became known as the Royal Albert Hall Concert. Extensively bootlegged for decades, it is an important document in the development of popular music during the 1960s.

Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues

"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan. It was originally recorded on August 2, 1965, and released on the album Highway 61 Revisited. The song was later released on the compilation album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II and as two separate live versions recorded at concerts in 1966: the first of which appeared on the B-side of Dylan's "I Want You" single, with the second being released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert. The song has been covered by many artists, including Gordon Lightfoot, Nina Simone, Barry McGuire, Judy Collins, Frankie Miller, Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Black Crowes, Townes Van Zandt, and Bryan Ferry. Lightfoot's version was recorded only weeks after Dylan's original had been released and reached #3 on the Canadian RPM singles chart.

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, author, artist, and Nobel Laureate

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning nearly 60 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture.

Just Like a Woman 1966 song by Bob Dylan

"Just Like a Woman" is a song written by Bob Dylan and first released on his 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde. It was also released as a single in the U.S. during August 1966 and peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dylan's recording of "Just Like a Woman" was not issued as a single in the United Kingdom but the British beat group, Manfred Mann, did release a hit single version of the song in July 1966, which peaked at #10 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Dylan's version of the song at #232 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

<i>Postcards of the Hanging</i> 2002 live album by The Grateful Dead

Postcards of the Hanging is a compilation album by the Grateful Dead. It consists entirely of Bob Dylan covers, performed live in concert, along with a rehearsal performance of "Man of Peace" featuring the Grateful Dead backing Dylan himself. Bob Weir sings lead on five tracks, Jerry Garcia on three, Bob and Jerry alternate on one and Phil Lesh on one. Another Dylan covers collection, Garcia Plays Dylan, includes performances by the Grateful Dead, but mostly by the Jerry Garcia Band and other Garcia side projects. An album of live performances containing Dylan and the Grateful Dead performing together was released in 1989 as "Dylan & the Dead."

Bob Dylan and the Band 1974 Tour

The Bob Dylan and the Band 1974 Tour – sometimes referred to as Tour '74 – was a two-month concert tour staged in arenas during early 1974 that featured Bob Dylan, in his first tour in eight years, performing with his old partners The Band. The tour generated intense fan and media interest and tickets for the shows, available only through mail order, were in great demand. Shows on the concert featured segments with Dylan and The Band together, The Band by themselves, and Dylan by himself. Accounts of the shows emphasized the sometimes drastic rearrangements that Dylan's well-known songs were presented with. A live double album, Before the Flood, was recorded during the tour and released later in the year.

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? Song written by Bob Dylan

"Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" is a folk rock song written by American musician Bob Dylan. In 1965, Columbia Records released it as a single, which reached number 58 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 17 on the UK chart in January 1966.

If Not for You

"If Not for You" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan from his October 1970 album New Morning. It was also issued as the A-side of a single in Europe in early 1971. The song is a love song to Dylan's first wife, Sara Dylan. He recorded it several times in 1970; the session for the released version took place in New York in August. He also recorded the song with George Harrison on May 1, soon after the break-up of the Beatles, a session that attracted much speculation in the music press. The May recording remained unreleased until its inclusion on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 in 1991.

"When I Paint My Masterpiece" is a 1971 song written by Bob Dylan. It was first released by The Band, who recorded the song for their album Cahoots which was released on September 15, 1971.

Watching the River Flow Song by Bob Dylan

"Watching the River Flow" is a blues rock song by American singer Bob Dylan. Produced by Leon Russell, it was written and recorded during a session in March 1971 at the Blue Rock Studio in New York City. The collaboration with Russell formed in part through Dylan's desire for a new sound—after a period of immersion in country rock music—and for a change from his previous producer. The song was praised by critics for its energy and distinctive vocals, guitar, and piano. It has been interpreted as Dylan's account of his writer's block in the early 1970s, and his wish to deliver less politically engaged material and find a new balance between public and private life.

Bob Dylan bootleg recordings are unreleased performances by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, that have been circulated throughout the public without undergoing an official, sanctioned release. It is commonly misconceived that bootlegs are only restricted to audio, but bootleg video performances, such as Dylan's 1966 film Eat the Document, which remains officially unreleased, are considered to be bootlegs. Dylan is generally considered to be the most bootlegged artist in rock history, rivaled only by the Grateful Dead.

Bob Dylan World Tour 1978

The Bob Dylan World Tour 1978 was a concert tour by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. In 1978, Dylan embarked on a year-long world tour, performing 114 shows in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe, to a total audience of two million people.

<i>Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings</i> 2019 live album box set by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings is a box set of 1975 live recordings by Bob Dylan, released on June 7, 2019. For this tour, Dylan assembled a loose collective of a backing band called Guam and played across North America for several dozen shows. The tie-in Netflix documentary film Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese was released the following week. A similar compilation was released in 2002 entitled Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue, as part of Dylan's ongoing Bootleg Series. That compilation was re-released on vinyl as a companion to the later release.


  1. Ruhlmann, William. Masterpieces at AllMusic
  2. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1996 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association . Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  3. "New Zealand album certifications – Bob Dylan – Masterpieces". Recorded Music NZ . Retrieved 7 June 2019.