Allen Ginsberg’s First Blues to be reissued as a box set

Seminal album featured sessions with Bob Dylan, Arthur Russell, and more


    In 1971, legendary Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan hit the studio to record songs that touched on politics, the war in Vietnam, and human rights. Sessions featured additional contributions from fellow poet Anne Waldman, Jack Kerouac’s musical partner David Amram, and a promising young Arthur Russell. The music which materialized was eventually released in 1983 as part of a collection called First Blues, which also included additional sessions produced by Columbia Records executive John Hammond in 1976.

    Now, more than 30 years later, that seminal album is being reissued on May 20th through Omnivore Recordings. As a press release notes, the three-CD package contains the original double LP, 11 previously unissued tracks dating back to Ginsberg sessions from 1971 and 1981, and demos and live audio featuring Dylan and Russell. It serves as the very the first box set of Ginsberg as a singer-songwriter.

    Additionally, the re-release comes with a 28-page booklet of rarely seen photos, writings, and illustrations dug up from Ginsberg’s archives. Grammy-winning engineer Michael Graves sat in for mastering and restoration duties.


    Below, check out a trailer for the reissue. For more information, including pre-order options, head here.

    unnamed 11 Allen Ginsbergs First Blues to be reissued as a box set

    The Last Word on First Blues Tracklist:

    Disc One:
    01.Going To San Diego
    02.Vomit Express
    03.Jimmy Berman (Gay Lib Rag)
    04.Ny Youth Call Annunciation
    05.Cia Dope Calypso
    06.Put Down Yr Cigarette Rag
    07.Sickness Blues
    08.Broken Bone Blues
    09.Stay Away From The White House
    10.Hardon Blues
    11. Guru Blues

    Disc Two:
    01. Everybody Sing
    02. Gospel Nobel Truths
    03. Bus Ride To Suva
    04. Prayer Blues
    05. Love Forgiven
    06. Father Death Blues
    07. Dope Fiend Blues
    08. Tyger
    09. You Are My Dildo
    10. Old Pond
    11. No Reason
    12. My Pretty Rose Tree
    13. Capitol Air


    Bonus Disc:
    More Rags, Ballads, And Blues 1971-1984
    All Recordings Previously Unissued
    01. Nurses Song
    02. Spring (Merrily Welcome)
    03. September On Jessore Road
    04. Lay Down Yr Mountain
    05. Slack Key Guitar
    06. Reef Mantra
    07. NY Blues
    08. Come Along Vietnam (Rehearsal)
    09. Airplane Blues (Live At Folk City)
    10. Feeding Them Raspberries To Grow (Live At Folk City)
    11. Do The Meditation Rock

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