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Who would ever imagine recordings by Billie Holiday, the Clash, the Sons of the Pioneers, Aretha Franklin, Charles Mingus and the White Stripes all on the same album?

If the mixture of jazz, punk, country-western, soul and rock sounds radical in an era of rigid musical segregation on commercial radio, it's only fitting that we have a genuine musical revolutionary to thank for the new package: Bob Dylan.

In his role as DJ on satellite radio broadcaster XM for nearly two years, Dylan has been playing a mixture of these sounds. The problem is you can't hear the show unless you subscribe to XM.

Ace Records, the imaginative reissue label in England, has come up with the next best thing. “Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan,” a two-disc set available as an import in the U.S., contains 50 of the most colorful records played on the show.

In his introduction to the set, Gavin Martin quotes Dylan about the marvelous range of musical styles brought together on the show: “I never understood no border patrol when it comes to music.” The Ace package illustrates the wisdom of his thinking. It's easily one of the most entertaining and, even, illuminating historical music packages in ages.

“Theme Time” is a weekly radio show with the records chosen to fit a particular theme — “mother,” “baseball” and “tears” are some of them — with Dylan playing and commenting on the various tunes.

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Albums

Album Rough And Rowdy Ways by Bob Dylan

Rough And Rowdy Ways

Columbia Records
2020

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Album The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings by Bob Dylan

The Rolling Thunder...

Legacy Recordings
2019

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Album Triplicate by Bob Dylan

Triplicate

Columbia Records
2017

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Album Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 by Bob Dylan

Trouble No More - The...

Legacy Recordings
2017

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Album The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 by Bob Dylan

The Basement Tapes...

Legacy Recordings
2015

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