User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 61
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 61
  3. Negative: 5 out of 61

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  1. PenineH.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Fantastic, many revealing surprises, and at least 2 of my now favorite Dylan songs.
  2. MatthewB.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    My only quibble, and it's a small one, is that I'd rather have more studio boots (more Bromberg sessions, please!), and less of the live stuff. The Bootleg Series has worked terrific when the live stuff has been specific shows (Live '66) or compilations of specific tours (Rolling Thunder). Taken out of those contexts and thrown in haphazardly...they just seem jarring and My only quibble, and it's a small one, is that I'd rather have more studio boots (more Bromberg sessions, please!), and less of the live stuff. The Bootleg Series has worked terrific when the live stuff has been specific shows (Live '66) or compilations of specific tours (Rolling Thunder). Taken out of those contexts and thrown in haphazardly...they just seem jarring and unexpected. I felt this way about Biograph, too. Still...there's not a track on there that won't become immediately essential to those who care about Mr. Dylan's work. The genius glows like burning coal (to steal from...let's see...who was that...?). Collapse
  3. JohnH.
    Nov 10, 2008
    10
    A dark and gloriously complex take on modern times, this album will be playing in my house every day for a long time. Rich, thick, beautiful.
  4. GeneD.
    Oct 23, 2008
    10
    One of the best of the "official" bootleg series so far.
  5. RossL.
    Oct 18, 2008
    10
    Unquestionably still the greatest song writer of the 20th and so far 21st century. His rejects are better than most of the pablum out there today. Only the "Boss" or maybe Neil Young come close.
  6. BaldB.
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    OMG, what an album. There is a musicality to these songs that were missing from his last few albums. This is hypnotic stuff and extremely well recorded.
  7. DeanD.
    Oct 10, 2008
    9
    Dylan, weathered to perfection.
  8. ThomasL.
    Oct 10, 2008
    10
    Hard to believe this may overtake Burial here on the top 10 list. All I can say is, "Thank God!" The level of brilliance here and the other seven "bootlegs" and the sheer volume of fine songs will take years to digest. Long after Burial is buried we will be listening to this great music.
  9. JaredT.
    Oct 10, 2008
    10
    Absolutely essential! Well worth it for just two cuts alone -- 'Series of Dreams', and the live version of 'Ring Them Bells'. Countless other standout tracks. A couple questionable alternate takes, but one of the strongest albums in the bootleg series. My assessment is based on the 2-disc set though -- the 3-disc set is 1 extra disc for $120 more? Yah right.

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Tell Tale Signs feels like a new Bob Dylan record, not only for the astonishing freshness of the material, but also for the incredible sound quality and organic feeling of everything here.
  2. The material from '97 on offers many surprises, particularly a dreamy alternate take on "Someday Baby" from "Modern Times" and the strident "Dreaming of You," which wouldn't have fit at all on "Time Out of Mind. Less essential are the live cuts, which only reinforce how Dylan's unpredictable phrasing and enunciation can render a song transcendent one moment ("Lonesome Day Blues," which sounds sourced from a bootleg), then unrecognizable ("Things Have Changed") or ordinary the next ("Cocaine Blues").
  3. With a musician as important as Bob Dylan, our appetite for fresh material and new insights is as deep as the artist's song trove, and Tell Tale Signs, the eighth installment of the songwriter's Bootleg Series, is a feast for casual fans and Dylanologists alike.