January 21, 2009 – 4:21 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Clean Cuts [Sick Cat, 1CD]

Empire Burlesque sessions, New York, NY and Hollywood, CA, July 1984-April 1985. Very good soundboard, speed-corrected version.

After more than 20 years, opinion is still divided when it comes to Bob Dylan’s 23rd studio album, Empire Burlesque (1985). According to the wikipedia, “fans and critics continue to debate the album’s merits, especially when compared to Dylan’s classics of the 1960s, ’70s and 2000s.”

Kurt Loder, reviewing the album in Rolling Stone magazine, called the album “a blast of real rock & roll, funneled through a dense, roiling production – custom-chopped-and-channeled by remix wiz Arthur Baker – that affords Dylan more pure street-beat credibility than he has aspired to since… well, pick your favorite faraway year. Could there be actual hits hunkering here? Is Dylan “back”? Again? One is tempted to trumpet some such tidings.

“Because of the basic nature of its material, however elliptically presented, Empire Burlesque is bound to confound and exasperate many listeners. I continue to miss the emotional specificity of past Dylan masterworks, like “Tangled Up in Blue,” and grow weary of his woozier generalities (”Emotionally Yours” could be about a lover, or it could be about Jesus; it’s so lacking in detail, I can’t imagine how anyone could care). But I am heartened when he cranks up and rocks out, as he does here. Dylan may never resolve the tension between spiritual conviction and rock & roll kicks, but I like to think he’s straying in the right direction.”

In 1992, Sick Cat released Clean Cuts, a collection of Empire Burlesque outtakes. As pointed out: “The biggest problem with this release is in trying to put too many tracks on it! The technology of the day allowed 70 to 72 minutes recording time. This disc is 72:02. However, to achieve that time constraint of the CD, the songs were mastered about 10 per cent too fast.”

A Dylan fan took the trouble to speed-correct the tracks and these are offered here.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released.

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download them at a later date.

Track 01. Go ‘Way Little Boy (A)
Track 02. Driftin’ Too Far From Shore (B)
Track 03. Who Loves You More (B)
Track 04. New Danville Girl (C)
Track 05. Something’s Burning Baby (C)
Track 06. Tight Connection To My Heart (D)
Track 07. Clean Cut Kid (B)
Track 08. I’ll Remember You (C)
Track 09. Seeing The Real You At Last (C)
Track 10. Trust Yourself (C)
Track 11. Emotionally Yours (C)
Track 12. When The Night Comes Falling (D)
Track 13. Waiting To Get Beat (D)
Track 14. Straight A’s In Love (B)
Track 15. The very Thought Of You (B)
Track 16. Never Gonna Be The Same Again (D)

A. Power Station, NYC
Ronnie Wood - guitar, Marvin Ettioni - bass, Benmont Tench - organ, Don Heffington - drums

B. Delta Sound Labs
Bob Dylan - piano/synth, Ronnie Wood - guitar, John Davis - bass, Anton Fig - drums

C. Cherokee Studio
Ira Ingber - guitar, Carl Sealove - bass, Vince Melamed - keyboards, Don Heffington - drums, Madelyn Quebec - backing vocals

D. Shakedown Sound Studios
Bob Dylan - keyboards, Al Kooper - guitar, Mick Taylor - guitar, Ted Pearlman - guitar, Stuart Kimball - guitar, Sly Dunbar - drums, Robbie Shakespear - bass

Click here to order Bob Dylan’s Empire Burlesque.


  2. never nuff dylan..thanks guys…

    By sluggo on Jan 21, 2009

  3. I always liked this album. These outtakes are a nice treat. Thanks.

    By Dave C. on Jan 21, 2009

  4. Thank you very much for “Clean Cut”, bigO.
    Cheers. Lee

    By Lee on Jan 21, 2009

  5. Magnific!

    By Rochacrimson on Jan 21, 2009

  6. Terrific sound. Some of these are the versions on the album but before mixing and without some of the 80s finishing touches that make the sound dated. Great liner notes, too.

    T H A N K Y O U !!!

    By Eric on Jan 22, 2009

  7. Many Thanks, a very nice collection (and I agree with Sluggo)

    By Mal on Jan 22, 2009

  8. Fantastic! Fine work from Big O as always.

    By Michael on Jan 22, 2009

  9. Many thanks for this rarity. Who loves you more is a very nice song. Tight connection too and Emotionally yours is the best love song I have ever heard.

    By ANGELA on Jan 23, 2009

  10. Hugs&kisses, thanxalot!

    By Cosmo on Jan 23, 2009

  11. Thanks a lot. I have owned some of the outtakes on vinyl since the 80’s and it’s been good to hear them again in this quality.
    Good work!

    By Jan on Jan 24, 2009

  12. Nicely Done. Excllnt Prdctn Value. Many thanks!

    By William on Jan 24, 2009

  13. one of my favorite “works of Bob”, i’ve always maintained that beneath the 80’s exterior there lies within a great Dylan record. Maybe these cuts will bolster my debates with the non-believers. Thanks BigOZine.

    By flecton big sky on Jan 27, 2009

  14. Had this boot in the mid-90’s but ha to get rid of it because of the fast mastering. So big thx for this post!!

    By nanker on Feb 22, 2009

  15. “Stuart Kimball - guitar”
    He now plays with Dylan live, funny twist of fate!

    By nanker on Feb 22, 2009

  16. A word of caution to the fans of “Modern Times” this cd has a HORRIBLE FM/80’s sound. Bob sounds like an MTV band…

    By nanker on Feb 22, 2009

  17. Lost this in a hard drive transfer - thanx for the repost. Essential for a Bobhead.

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Dec 6, 2009

  18. Tried to give Empire Burlesque a good listen on the late 90s and it just sounded so dated, horribly 80s and lame. But, listened to it today, in 2014, and it sounded great..not so dated, smooth, clean and catchy. I think the 80s are not so old to us now.

    By rik on Jun 12, 2014

  19. Thank you for the re-post.

    I cannot get tracks 15 & 16 to work after trying repeatedly.

    I will keep trying, but please do check these links.

    By Rob on May 12, 2015

  20. Hi BigO,

    the download of track 4 does not work. Please check. Thank you!

    By Mr. Snips on Oct 5, 2015

  21. Hey, BIGO,
    I couldn’t get 4, 5, or 9 to work.
    Thanks for all you do.

    By YogaforCynics on Oct 6, 2015

  22. Hello BigO
    Couldn’t get track 4, new Danville Girl to work. Failed No File

    By Cliff on Oct 6, 2015

  23. Thank you BigO
    worked good

    By Cliff on Oct 6, 2015

  24. All fixed! Thanks, BIGO!

    By YogaforCynics on Oct 6, 2015

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