LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Dylan is opening up his vaults for the first time in three years, with his label announcing on Tuesday that it will issue a multi-disc album consisting of late-era outtakes, previously unreleased recordings and live tracks in October.
"Tell Tale Signs," the eighth installment in Dylan's "Bootleg Series," focuses on albums from the last two decades, ranging from 1989's "Oh Mercy" to 2006's "Modern Times."
Columbia Records will release "Tell Tale Signs" in three configurations on October 7: a standard two-disc package with 27 songs, a "limited edition" set with a bonus disc containing 12 songs; and a four-LP vinyl version including all the elements of the two-CD set.
Most of the tracks come from sessions for "Oh Mercy" and his 1997 comeback of sorts "Time Out of Mind." Selections from the former include a piano demo of "Dignity" and two alternate versions of "Most of the Time"; and from the latter, a live version of "Cold Irons Bound" recorded during Dylan's set at the 2004 Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee.
The sessions for his 1993 folk covers album "World Gone Wrong" have yielded "32-20 Blues," a tune billed as Dylan's first release of a Robert Johnson song.
Dylan's "Bootleg Series" launched in 1991 with a three-disc boxed set collecting rare and unreleased tracks spanning 27 years. The most recent release was the 2005 soundtrack to the documentary "No Direction Home."
While there have been some reports that Dylan is working on a follow-up to "Modern Times," a Columbia spokesman said "Tell Tale Signs" is the focus for now.
Dylan, meanwhile, will begin a monthlong North American tour in Philadelphia on August 8.
Reporting by Dean Goodman