Bob Dylan and The Band/ The Basement Tapes (Columbia 2 CD): These were private tapes of Bob Dylan and The Band jamming together. These recordings were never intended for release. However, during the decade when Dylan was absent from the music scene, fans were desperate for new Dylan material. Filling that gap were the various bootleg LP pressings of "The Basement Tapes" which consisted of a great many more songs than what would eventually be released by Columbia on two LPs (represented on these two CDs). This is one example where the bootlegs were so popular that the studio decided that they were missing a chance to make some money if they did not come up with an official release. There is the obvious question of `how did the bootleggers get copies of the original tapes in the first place?' The obvious answer is, someone decided to unofficially allow the boots to be made just to keep Dylan's name alive during his self-imposed `exile'. Whether they were made available by someone in the studio, by a member of The Band, or by Dylan himself, we don't know. However, the official release of the Basement Tapes double LPs by Columbia certainly wasn't made to entirely replace the bootleg versions. In fact, the official release seems to have been created to give cleaner versions of some of the songs that were of the poorest quality in the early bootlegs, along with a few of the more popular songs. In short, the official release is more of a supplement to the old bootlegs rather than an alternative to the bootlegs. Now that the neighborhood record store has been obliterated by the modern rip-off computer sources, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the more complete bootleg versions of the tapes. Those old boots are certainly worth searching for, especially since there were some fairly high quality boots produced in the late 1980's and early 90's (before the stores disappeared). However, the incomplete sessions that are Columbia's Basement Tapes, is certainly worth owning, in fact, there are some great cuts preserved in these two CD's...enough to consider them essential for any fan of Dylan's work.