Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 07:43:01 EDT A rather busy time these last several months. To wit........... A KNIFE A FORK A BOTTLE & A CORK (Junk 002) Toledo, OH 15Feb98 + filler 16-20Jan98 NYC, 31Jan98 (2), 01Feb98 (2), 13Jan98 (1) Tracks: 24 Times: 69/74 Source: Audience Quality: Excellent An excellent sounding, well balanced field recording with a nice, warm vibe to it. Clear separation & distinct instrumentation blend together for a perfect mix. Dylan's performances are full of depth and his unique phrasing and vocal inflections are in full bloom. I Want You is a stunner. Masters is chilling in its grim and determined delivery. The band is really into it, each track moving seamlessly into the next and Dylan's performance giving us ONE whole show and not JUST 15 songs. The filler tracks keep the level high - Born In Time & Tom Thumb's stand out - overall this is a set deserving of high praise. SweetMarie/IWantU/Can'tWait/BigGirlNow/Silvio/ CocaineBlues/Masters/Tangled/MillionMiles/ThisWheel's/H61/TilI I Fell/ ItAintMebabe/LoveSick/RDW + NotDarkYet/ColdIrons/StayingHereWithYou/ JLAW/Hattie/BornInTime/TomThumb/BackPages/HardRain BLOOD & THUNDER 1CD (Junk 003) StateFair, Okla City, OK 18May76 (11), San Antonio, TX 11May76 (2), Fort Collins, CO 23May76 (1) Tracks: 14 Time: 74 Source: Soundboard Quality: Very Good A complete and much improved recording of the Okla City soundboard tape. It's always nice to get a RThunder upgrade and, although not up to the standards we've come to expect from boards these days, this one will have few complaints. The sound, in fact, fits the event, giving it a mangy kind of dust-bowl & tumbleweed type vibe. Unlike the more "choreographed" '75 leg of RollngThunder, the '76 leg seemed like a more shoot from the hip, spontaneous kind of deal. The unique Desire sound is captured on stage, running the gamut from the raunchy rock blues of Maggie's to the soul- searching, almost plaintive Going Going Gone, from the mystical sound of Isis to the countrified and jaunty You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. The Shelter defines a new genre - Dylan blues, and the incredible Oh, Sister is, well, a masterpiece IMO, Scarlett's haunting violin and the jangle of guitars defying categorization. Just listen.................oh, and the filler. Just check the last 3 tracks below- what's not to like???? Maggie's/Isis/Mozambique/OneTooMany/Immigrant/Shelter/OhSister/ You're GonnaMakeMeLonesome/Laylady/IWantYou/GoingGone + BigGirlNow/ IDIOT WIND/Hard Rain. ROCK SOLID 1CD (Junkyard Angel - JUNK 004) Toronto, CAN 19Apr80 + (1) Montreal, CAN 20Apr80 Tracks: 8 Time: 48 Source: Line/Board Quality: "Almost" Official Front cover Back cover Not much need be said about this terrific sounding set, allegedly the "unreleased" live album considered for official release way back when. The sound is as close to official release quality as you are likely to hear. The performances of the "gospel" material is breathtaking, w/ Dylan's singing never better and his conviction awe-inspiring. The melodies and rhythms of these songs are simply beautiful. Essential stuff. Gotta Serve Somebody/Covenant Woman/ When You Gonna Wake Up/ PreciousAngel/SlowTrain/SolidRock/InTheGarden/Coverdown-Breakthrough THE TALL GRASS & THE ONES I LOVE 1CD (no label) State Fair, Okla City, 18 May 76 Tracks: 9 Time: 48 Source: Soundboard Quality: Very Good An abbreviated version of the set above, avoid at all costs if the above is available. Decent quality but falls short of the Okla City tracks on Blood & Thunder. For completists only. Way cool cover graphic art on his one. CHILD'S BALLOON 2CD (No Label) New Orleans, LA 10 Nov 1981 Tracks: 20 Time: 52/52 Source: Soundboard Quality: Excellent No need to hold onto "Stadiums of the Damned" now, as this set raises the "sound" bar considerably and renders it obsolete, IMO. It is so much better, in fact, that any attempts at comparison are ludicrous. For another view, look below. The sound here is smooth and clean, upfront and not at all intrusive, stunning actually. Dylan's vocals are bright, the instruments are crisp and well defined. A better comparison would be to the legendary "You Can't Kill An Idea" set from the Houston show the next day. In the hierarchy of '81 soundboards, I'd give this the nod over Houston, with Avignon and Oslo behind. Dylan's performance is so confident and full of zest that you find yourself shaking your head. Each and every song is played with gusto and the guitars and keyboards provide a full throttle thrust to the proceedings. Dylan is playful, animated and cocksure in his delivery. A truly monumental "ITS ALRIGHT MA" has to be heard to be believed. I won't spoil it by trying to describe it. A dynamite '81 show. Trax: ServeSomebody/BelieveInU/LARS/IWantU/ ManGaveNames/Maggie's/GirlOfNC/ThinMan/HeartOfMine/SimpleTwist/ Watchtower/BabyTonight/ForeverYoung/Gamblin'Man/Times/Watered DownLove/ShotOfLove/Masters/JLAW/ThiefOnCross/DeadMan/InGarden/ Blowin'/It'sAlrightMa/ItAin'tMeBabe/Knockin'. High marks on this one. MUDPLEX 3CD (No label) Mud Island, Memphis, TN 26Jul88 complete Starplex, Dallas, TX 28Jul88 complete Tracks: 33 Times: 62/58/52 Source: Audience Quality: VG+/Fair A triple set coupling two complete '88 shows on 3 disks that probably should have been limited to the first show + filler. Quality on the Memphis set is quite good w/clear, upfront vocals and distinct, well balanced instrumentation. Performance is a dandy, full of vocal twists and turns with some drastic rearranging of vintage "classics" - see Big Girl Now. The acoustic set is terrific, with Barbara Allen, Boots & Hard Rain the clear standouts, Dylan's vocals strong and hard hitting. Repeated listenings on this one, the next...................not so often, as the quality is simply fair to middling on the Starplex show, even a bit lame on the electric numbers. The softer, acoustic material suffers less but is still left wanting. A pity, too, as the setlist is a treat and what you can glean from the performances is inspired. Had the Starplex been filler - Back Pages/EveryGrainOfSand/LoveMinusZero/Ramona/Blowin' - this one would be worthwhile. As Neil said in the mid 80's - the saddest words are "It Might Have Been." In summary, a 3 disk set with 2 disks worth of worthwhile material. OH BABE IT AIN'T NO LIE 2CD (Dung Beetle) ElRey, Los Angeles 20 Dec 97 complete + filler 19 Dec 97 Tracks: 23 Times: 70/70 Source: Audience Quality: Excellent Another outstanding ElRey show to pair with the magnificent "Even After All These Years." While falling shy of the supreme magnificence of that disk in terms of ClubTour sound quality, this is next best by far. A warm, crisp sounding set that is characterized by the vigor with which Dylan attacks each and every tune. Clearly, he is laying it all on the line here. His yearning vocals and incomparable phrasing stand out, he twists and turns words and sounds inside out, this way and that, peeling away the seeming endless layers of emotion in his songs. A "darker" feeling embodies this show, a feeling of dread and foreboding - Cold Irons, Can't Wait, Cocaine, John Brown, I&I - the fear lurking beneath the grit of Dylan's delivery. You almost wish he did "Masters" this night- and when was the last time that happend? The beauty of Dylan (to me at least) is his ability to tap into every human emotion. This show does that in spades, thanks in no small part to the incredible accompaniment of messers. Garnier, Baxter, Campbell & Kemper. They seem to always set this most unique of tables, and allow Dylan to serve up his one-of- a-kind menu of love, hate, fear, regret, desire, desperation and adventure, and always with such an appealing poignancy. You'll hear all this and more with this set. Don't be late...... Maggie's/TonightI'llBe/ColdIrons/RedSky/CantWait/Silvio/Cocaine/ JohnBrown/Tangled/I&I/I'llRememberYou/TilIFell/H61/DontThink2X/ LoveSick/RDW 12/19: LongBlackCoat/JLAW/OhBabe/Love-0/WhenI PaintMyMasterpiece/Joey/Knockin' BETTE DAVIS STYLE 2CD (no label) Birm, UK 24Jun98 complete + filler London, UK 27 Jun 98 Tracks: 24 Times: 74/73 Source: Audience Quality: Outstanding Simply fantastic collection in wonderful quality and full of terrific performances. Not much more to be said about this one - a real keeper with a superb selection of tracks. Check it out: ServeSomebody/Tonight I'llBeStayingHereWithYou/ColdIronsBound/BornInTime/Silvio/GirlOfNC/ JohnBrown/MamaYouBin/DesRow/Tangled/Knockin' w/Van/H61/LoveSick/ RDW/Blowin' + ServeSomebody/LongBlackCoat/ColdIrons/FeelMyLove/ Times/TomorrowIsALongTime/HardRain/ForeverYoung/TillIFellInLove. Hard to get this one out of the player. AT THE GLOBE ARENA 3CD (Crystal Cat CC 464-66) complete Stockholm, SWE 9 June 1998 plus various Scandanavian venues June 6, 7, 10, 11, 26 1998 Tracks: 36 Times: 76/78/78 Source: Audience Quality: BlowAway Not since "(bathed in a stream of) PURE HEAT" have more uniquely sublime Dylan performances been gathered together in one place. In fact, let me go so far as to say that, other than the GenuineBootSeries 1&2 volumes, it does'nt get much better than this, kids. The quality is stunning, to say the least, and it is far and away the best "Cat" Dylan yet. Crystal clear, upfront sound, every quirk and rasp of those glorious pipes ringing true in all their raging glory, every pluck, strum, bash and cymbal hit burning through with astounding clarity.....and even some sorely missed harp thrown in for good measure. Perhaps the ultimate live collection to date...............don't you dare miss it!! Includes the usual, classy full color, multi-page booklets (2) & gorgeous photos. Watchtower (new arrangement)/TonightI'llBe Staying/ColdIrons/Every GrainOfSand/Silvio/DesRow/OneTooMany/Tangled/MakeYouFeel.../ ThisWheel's/H61/ForeverYoung/LoveSick/RDW12&35/Blowin' + Peggy-O/ Pos4thSt/Rovinggambler/SimpleTwist/MrTMan/ToBeAloneWithYou/ Times/BabyBlue/SheBelongsToMe/ShootingStar/Ramona/ Masters/Love-0/ BlindWillie/Don'tThink2x/ServeSomebody/IfNot4U/You Ain'tGoin'Nowhere/ ItAin'tMeBabe/ThinMan/IShallBeReleased xyx
A different view of Child's Balloon: Subject: I take issue with review on DEEP BENEATH THE WAVES!!! From: RBERG51 (email@example.com) Date: 5 Dec 1998 22:54:48 GMT I recently went out and purchased "Child's Balloon" after reading the review below. . . I already had "Stadium Of The Damned" on KTS. >CHILD'S BALLOON 2CD (No Label) New Orleans, LA 10 Nov 1981 > Tracks: 20 Time: 52/52 Source: Soundboard Quality: Excellent > >No need to hold onto "Stadiums of the Damned" now, as this set raises the >"sound" bar considerably and renders it obsolete, IMO. It is somuch better, in >fact, that any attempts at comparison are ludicrous. Well, I did a comparison. . . Granted Child's Balloon is better. BUT ONLY BY A FRACTION. The Deep review is what should be considered ludicrous. The difference between Stadiums and Balloon is one gen at best. So don't waste you hard earned cash.
Subject: Re: I take issue with review on DEEP BENEATH THE WAVES!!! From: Branchtoon (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 6 Dec 1998 21:49:49 GMT To my ears,"The Child's Balloon" version of the 1981 New Orleans show is sonically superior to "Stadiums of the Damned" in every way.The sound is more detailed,has more depth,and has none of the wow and flutter problems of the KTS issue. I'll have to agree with xyx on this one.This is one of my all-time favorite Dylan performances, and IMHO the upgrade is well worth it. John