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Hell on Wheels Season Finale Features Alternate Take of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”

Anticipation is rising for the Season 4 finale of Hell on Wheels this Saturday night. Here’s one more thing to look forward to: The finale will feature the song “I Shall Be Released (Take 2),” taken from the brand new album The Basement Tapes Complete, performed by Bob Dylan and The Band and written by Bob Dylan.

The origins of the song are legendary in the annals of rock ’n roll. In the summer of 1967, Bob Dylan ensconced himself in the basement of a small house in West Saugerties, New York along with Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm. Over the course of several months, the collective, which came to be known as Bob Dylan and The Band, recorded more than a hundred songs, including the future classic, “I Shall Be Released.”

Several of the songs soon surfaced as unofficially-released bootlegs, but the recordings remained commercially unavailable until 1975, when 16 of them appeared on an album named The Basement Tapes. Over the years, the remaining songs from The Basement Tapes sessions haunted and perplexed fans, with the original recordings themselves representing a holy grail for Dylan enthusiasts. On November 4, The Basement Tapes Complete was finally released, bringing together every salvageable recording from the tapes for the first time ever, including “I Shall Be Released (Take 2).”

Keep an ear out for “I Shall Be Released (Take 2)” during the Season 4 finale. Missed it, or want to hear it again? The Basement Tapes Complete is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.

The Season 4 finale of Hell on Wheels, “Further West,” airs this Saturday, November 22 at 9/8c on AMC.

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