Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 17:47:17 EDT Please excuse the long absence, dear readers. Since the last "edition" in late April, we here at the Deep have been beset with various ailments, primarily caused by listening to Mr. Bob's Spring shows from the West and Big Sky country. To wit, specifically, chronic neck pain as a result of hearing, say, the mesmerizing"Things Have Changed" from Anaheim or the high lonesome plaintive wailing of "White Dove" from Cedar Rapids, causing long episodes of head shaking and muttering ,"Can you frickin' believe this?," resulting in the aforementioned upper body malady. Just as things were improving a bit, along comes the Portland club show and the volcanic and truly devastating "oh my" run of "Standing in the Doorway"/"Flood"/the slow "Things Have Changed" and the insanely frenzied "Drifter's Escape," and the neck is doing 360's like Linda Blair and the mouth is agape with drool emerging and the wife thinks I'm stroking up.....thank God she flicked the switch and I was brought back to Earth but not before the damage was done and don't EVEN get me started on the recent "leg" of shows with the amazing "Cold Irons Bound," whew, but finally here we are surveying the landscape beneath the waves and, what have we here? Hmmmmmm.....where the heck did they get that picture? How much would you pay for an original print of THAT? What picture, you say? Of course, the one gracing the box cover on "GENUINE LIVE 1966," for sure. I know, I know...it's been out for several months now and, well, it's pretty imposing task to assess that one, being the Holy Grail and all.......but anyway, you gotta do what you gotta do so (finally) here's the DEEPs take on what's happening inside that box with the amazing picture (where did they get that photo?).
"GENUINE LIVE 1966" 8CD BOX set (Scorpio) 1966 line recordings detailed below - Deluxe, heavy duty color laminated box w/unpublished color cover - 5 1/2" square by 1 1/4" deep....stunning, with "Genuine Live 1966" gold spine, back cover of box list the tour stops in gold leaf print w/gigs included in the box highlighted, plus gold cover sticker listing contents. - 12" x 18" color "promotional" poster w/ a smashing unpublished photo - Three postcards w/vintage Bob pics - UK Tourbook - 28 pages - w/vintage photos, original ads, color pictures (reproduces the UK tourbook but uses color versions of photos that were b&w in the tourbook, plus a Clinton Heylin article, tour chronology, London Press Conference, more observations, rare & unpublished photos). - Australian Tour booklet - 24 pages - with the essay on the origins of the Sydney tape and many rare live/offstage unpublished photos, plus a terrific color cover pic. - Eight 24K gold-plated disks w/snazzy design "audiophile" labels w/all tracks listed, logo, etc....... - 5 color glossy jackets to hold the eight disks (3 gatefolds, 2 mini-LP covers), each of the (5) individually titled and with stunning graphics/photos. - Picture sleeves for each of the eight disks w/many unpublished and rare photos, each pic sleeve unique and designed like a classic Dylan 45 picture sleeve from the 60's. - 8 polylined audiophile sleeves for the disks that go INSIDE the disk pic sleeves.
Disks 1&2 "A Phoenix In April" Sydney, Australia, 13 April 1966: -She Belongs To Me/4th Time Around/Visions of Johanna/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Desolation Row/Just Like A Woman/Mr. Tambourine Man -Tuning/Tell Me, Momma/I Don't Believe You/Baby Let Me Follow You Down/ Tom Thumb's Blues/Leopard Skin PillBox Hat/One Too Many Mornings/ Ballad Of A Thin Man/POSITIVELY 4TH STREET Source: CDR taken directly from the master reels Acoustic: Well, I must say I was surprised at the minimal amount of discussion that ensued when the Sydney show first hit the streets (although sourced from a 100 minute cassette - while the Sydney on GL66 is sourced from the master reels).This is the earliest line recording extant from the '66 tour and what a recording it is on the acoustic portion. Don't worry, the "glitch" at the beginning of "She Belongs To Me" is inherent on the master source tape, so we lose the 1st verse, just as on Melbourne a week later. What hits you initially is the startling and crystalline quality of the recording of Dylan's voice, not to mention the full tones of the guitar and harp. While not as earth shattering a performance as Sheffield (for example, he does not venture into the DEEP harp maze at the end of Mr T'Man and play his way back out), Dylan acquits himself nicely on the same dizzying array of terrific tunes that will comprise the acoustic set for the remainder of the tour. The singular nature of the acoustic performances is awe-inspiring, the way Dylan sings the songs and performs them on this tour he will never do again.....you are swept along in a dream-like fog and before you know it, it's over, and you wonder if it really was a dream or some sort of mystical experience. The music is uncategorizable - certainly not folk or blues - it's simply Dylan music. Sourced from the master reels, the sound is top notch killer, fuller and more true than the cassette sourced one that made the rounds on CDR and mp3. Inexplicably (and unfortunately), the entire 15 minute intermission, complete with the vendors hawking their wares and folks milling about, was not included on GL66. A pity, since sitting through the acoustic set and also the intermission provides a time-capsule feel of what actually went down. As Dylan exits to applause after the last straining harp notes of MrTMan, he mutters,"......15 minutes" - including this would have only added to the archival nature of the proceedings. In any case, 15 minutes later the Hawks emerge, seemingly one by one, and off they go into the electric set...... Electric: ......a blitzkrieg "Tell Me Momma" intro and a Dylan vocal that is so exaggerated and sung with such intensity as to be almost comedic. The final words of the each verse are grotesquely elongated in a carnal wail that is, as my wife so aptly put it when she happend upon me blasting it, "disgusting." A more apt blessing of greatness has never been bestowed...... thanks, dear. Robbie slices and dices between verses with razor sharp glee and Garth's unique organ runs add even more edge to a tension filled glorious rendition..... it's Dylan vocal that rules, though...so loud and abrasive and screaming yellingtortured noise, he spits out the lyrics (and all the indecipherable bits) with obvious glee. It's a fucking exorcism we've got going here...and it's only just begun. Easily the best recording of Dylan's vocals from any extant '66 recording, including the released Manchester. I suppose fault could be found with the fact that the Hawks are not as up in the mix as one would like (one has to strain at times to hear Richard) but hunker down and listen as intently as they played and there's nothing to be missed..... that Home Improvement boy Mickey Jones certainly could drum his ass off and Danko's fat bass notes are all there, too (fool around a bit with elevating the bass just to enjoy him). The rapture continues with "I Don't Believe You," all screaming exaggerated vocal and Garth's whirly-gig freak show and Dylan's harp blaring and Robbie aces high on the leads........ on and on we go, the vocals are simply incredible....... in its entirety, my favorite of all the electric sets. Individual performances from other gigs may stand out but, on the whole, Sydney electric takes the cake. The "Ballad of a Thin Man" is right outta "Phantom of the Opera," as Garth fills the spaces between the lines to great effect.......Dylan's never sung this with more focus, it's a furious rendition with some unique changes, ".....you know something's happening and you wish you knew what to do about it..." and all sung with wild abandon and exaggeration, as if Dylan is caricaturing himself. A joy to behold.... and we end with the only known '66 show-closing "Positively 4th Street." Again, the ends of each line are pulled and stretched to the max, "you just stood there grIInnnIIIIIIIIIIInnnnnggggg," "...you just want to be on the side that's wiiiIIIIIIIInnnnnnnnNNNNNG," "...why don't you just come right out and screeeeeeemiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIit." The sweet, merry-go-round like, upbeat bounce of the performance serves as a perfect counterpoint to Dylan's venomous, nasty vocal and delivery of same. Lennon once said it's not the sound of the voice but the feeling inside it.....that's never been more true than with Dylan and never more apparent than on this show. For those of us who dig the sound of his voice, it does not get much better than this. A monumental show and a blistering performance for the ages........PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!!
Disk 3 "The Children's Crusade" Melbourne, Australia 20 April 1966 plus Adelaide, Australia Interview 22 April 1966 -She Belongs To Me/4th Time Around/Visions of Johanna/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Desolation Row/Just Like A Woman/Tell Me, Momma/ Baby Let Me Follow You Down/Tom Thumb's Blues/Adelaide Interview 10+ Source: Remastered from the long gone, original Wanted Man release WM-023, acknowledged as the finest quality source recording. Adelaide interview from radio braodcast dub. Not much more needs to be said about the Melbourne that is not already known. This one is mastered from what has always been recognized as the best quality source ever to circulate - the Wanted Man CD release from many years ago (WMM-023, not WMM-007 for you collectors out there). Stunning sound and a focused, deliberate performance combine to make this a highlight of the extant acoustic sets. A smooth recording that captures Dylan in what seems to be a more mellow, "stoned" mood than Sydney.... more chatty and playful..... with a lot more "tuning up" and the ever-present coughing before launching into the songs, as if he needs time to gain focus and sort out his thoughts. "Visions" is renamed "Mother Revisited" and is preceded by chat about how Dylan lost his guitar and the one he's playing is always out of tune... and, horror of horrors, it's a "folk music" guitar. The way he says it implies the idea is abhorrent to him. Well, the music he's playing is not folk usic.... more like acoustic psychedila... or at least mathematical music :-) The harp playing is sublime throughout the set...... and the lovely performance of "Just Like A Woman" - from the delightful sounding intro to the softly sung, dreamy vocal and the fragile harp ending - is out of this world. The trio of electric tracks from this (broadcast?), particularly another "out there" "Tell Me, Momma" and the hilarious moment when Dylan introduces "Tom Thumb's Blues" and one fan goes into the hysterical "Beatlemania"-like screaming and he asks, "You know Tom Thumb?", all makes for some great listening. Richard can be heard to nice effect on these three tunes, as they are full-bodied and well-balanced recordings. An interesting 9 minute interview from Adelaide is followed by a "hidden" bonus track - a more than decent audience recording of "Tell Me, Momma" from Edinburgh. All in all, a sensational disk 3 and dressed up to nice effect with the caricature graphic from the cover of the famous Ralph Gleason article that appeared in the New Yorker in 1966 entitled "The Children's Crusade."
Disk 4 "While the Establishment Burns" Dublin, Ireland, 5 May 1966 plus #Copenhagen, Denmark, KB Hallen Hall, 01 May 1968 and ~Edinburgh, Scotland, ABC Theater 20 May 1966 (#unconfirmed) Visions of Johanna/Fourth Time Around/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/ Desolation Row/Just Like A Woman/Mr. T Man/I Don't Believe You Source: Nagra reel-reel source.... Copenhagen (KB Hallen Hall)(unconfirmed source) : Ballad Of A Thin Man Source: "Eat the Document"....excellent. Edinburgh: One Too Many Mornings/Like A Rolling Stone Source: 1st generation dub from reel-reel of the WNEW-FM, NY City broadcast of these two tracks from the early 70's. Dublin: Another step up from what had been available previously, in this case the ancient Bulldog Records CD release out of Italy in 1989. Sharper, more detailed sound from a source that appears to be a few generations ahead of anything out previously. In contrast to the above Melbourne, Dylan performs at a brisker pace and seems completely focused on each tune immediately upon completing the previous one....... this performance is much more straightforward and does not have the almost "slow motion", dream-like quality of the above, with less harp overall. Highlight to me is the killer "Mr. T'Man," quick paced and with a fantastic harp solo from 3:50 to 5:20.....and also at the end, though he has yet to take off on the "endless" T'Man harp excursions still to come later. For some reason, I find myself coming back to this Dublin again and again...... it stands in stark contrast to several of the other acoustic sets contained herein. The "I Don't Believe You" can be found on "Biograph," but then we have a complete "Thin Man" from "Eat the Document" and two incredible performances culled from a NYC b'cast in the mid-70's that are mind blowers. Recorded at Edinburgh on May 20, "One Too Many Mornings" leaps out and grabs you by the throat, soaring along on Danko's fat bass notes and a fiery guitar solo from Robbie that lasts from 1:42 to 2:15. Listen to Dylan's out-of-nowhere primal scream that precedes it for some major goosebumps. At 2:36 Dylan screams, "YEEEEESSSSSSSS, you are right from your side, and I am right from mine" and this one goes over the top. Not to be outdone, the next tune may just be the highlight of GL66...... talk about a snare drum pistol shot opening, the LARS from Edinburgh is 8 minutes of rock and roll heaven. This version "seems" slightly slower paced..... Dylan's phrasing is sublime...he's singing louder, almost screaming every line.... the harp is magical..... the words are sung with intense force and conviction...... Robbie's "economical" licks sting through the mix and the Hawks push the tidal wave forward to stunning effect...... Dylan's furious vocals are something to behold. This one begs for volume..... turn it up and just "bathe in the stream of pure heat."
Disk 5&6 "A Nightly Ritual" Liverpool, UK, 14 May 1966 & Glasgow, Scotland Hotel Room, 19 May 1966 (Disk 5). Gaumont Theater, Sheffield, UK, 16 May 1966 & Odeon Theater, Birmingham, UK 12 May 1966 Liverpool: Tell Me, Momma/I Don't Believe You/Baby Let Me Follow You Down/ Tom Thumb's Blues/Crowd/Leopard Skin PillBox Hat/One Too Many Mornings/Ballad Of A Thin Man/Like A Rolling Stone/God Save the Queen Source: Nagra recording......previously uncirculating Glasgow: What Kind of Friend Is This?/I Can't Leave Her Behind 1&2/Does She Need Me (On A Rainy Afternoon) Source: Low generation tape in excellent quality Sheffield acoustic: She Belongs To Me/4th Time Around/Visions/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Desolation Row/Just Like A Woman/Mr. T Man Source: 3-track master tape...previously uncirculating. Sheffield electric: Leopard Skin PillBox Hat/One Too Many Mornings Source: 3-track master tape Birmingham: Ballad Of A Thin Man Source: Nagra reel-reel source Liverpool: The '66 shows were frenetic, chaotic, rhythmic, melodic, sharp, cutting, primal rock and roll with heart, the likes of which had never been heard before. It was old and new and ahead of it's time...... it was rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, soul, beat, garage..... it was psychedelic before psychedelic even existed. The '66 electric sets were all that........ this Liverpool has it all in spades. Previously uncirculating in its entirety prior to GL66, the first three cuts blow the roof off the place....... slightly harsh in sound yet still terrific, dominated by Dylan's bold vocals and the razor edge guitar fills of Robbie (check out the leads and fills on "I Don't Believe You" and "..Follow You Down," for example), this is stunning stuff. Better than others? Who cares, it's all subjective anyway, so just enjoy them all as singular performances. A different source kicks in for the legendary "Tom Thumb Blues" and the sound is fleshed out with a bit more natural bottom........ a magnificent version - Bob & Robbie supposedly considered it the best also, as it became a b-side, eh! For the first time, we hear rumblings of dissatisfaction from the crowd, with folks yelling at the stage and Dylan taking a long break between "JLTTB" and a marvelous, rockabilly-like rave-up version of "Pillbox Hat" that finds Robbie at the top of his game and Richard's rollicking piano fills a treat to hear. Robbie lifts off again at 2:43 until the song closes half a minute later...... and into a "One Too Many Mornings" which further evidences how divinely the Hawks played for Dylan, whether loud and raucous or pulling back the reins a bit, as they do here..... once again, Robbie's guitar is front and center and he seems to step out and stretch it more on this show than on any others..... in my opinion, his greatest performance from beginning to end. Similarly, when you focus in on, say, Garth or Danko or any of the Hawks individually, well, they all are over the top. A unique sound, for sure, and never duplicated since. Hats off to Messrs. Hudson, Jones, Manuel & Danko also. Individually stunning, collectively sublime. More bliss ensues with the psych-freakout of "Thin Man," so full of tension and apparent doom thanks to the incredible dual sound of the organ and bass and Dylan's funhouse screaming vocals....... such a dark and forbidding sound and feel to the performance that it leaves you feeling spooked and thinking something terrible is about to happen. It's like watching the classic 30's movie "Freaks," of which "Thin Man" could be the theme song. "LARS" ends it all to thunderous, pulsating applause as Dylan thanks the crowd (not a boo or stray comment to be heard), then "God Save the Queen" closes the curtain on this most wondrous of shows. Tagged at the end are the Glasgow hotel room acoustic tracks w/Robbie in pristine sound..... and which provide perhaps a glimpse of what will come to pass the next summer at Big Pink. Of course, that is another story altogether. These two "cuts" are lovely little acoustic tunes, unlike anything that was happening at the time. Sadly, no evidence exists that either was revisited fter this session...... the "Can't Leave Her Behind/Does She Need Me" is particularly striking in its tuneful simplicity, with Dylan's candy sweet vocal and the nice little melody in stark contrast to the live performances of the day. Sheffield....... the voice from on high. Absolutely gorgeous recording, so full and richly toned it will leave you stunned. Easily the smoothest, unflawed gem from a boxful of 'em. And, in a stroke of good fortune for us listeners, Dylan's performance goes from ridiculously phenomenal to sublime. Each and every tune holds you rapt..... as if a mystical figure is delivering the gospel through a shroud of fog but the sound is so clear when it hits you..... ethereal & mysterious describes it well, heavenly perhaps a little less so. Dylan nails every tune and his harp playing is brilliant. I can't help thinking that Dylan's wild, wooly and wonderful harp excursions are just as exciting as some of the impovisational gems of Miles and Coltrane. The most telling example is "Mr. Tambourine Man," a wonderfully rich version that ends with almost two minutes of Dylan playing himself into a harp maze from which there appears to be no escape..... you can hear him searching and ultimately extricating himself at 9:57 with one sustained note. Then, as if to say "....hah, you thought I'd never get out of that, eh?"...he wraps it all up less than 15 seconds later. The crowd sure appreciated it, judging by the applause and cheering. To sum up, a brilliant performance in astounding sound quality. As if that was not enough, filling out the disk are improved versions of Sheffield electric "Pillbox Hat" and "One Too Many Mornings," and the Birmingham "Thin Man." A fantastic listen.......
Disk 7&8 "The Genuine Royal Albert Hall Concerts" - Manchester, UK, 17 May 1966 She Belongs To Me/4th Time Around/Visions of Johanna/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Desolation Row Source: Supposed original 3-track tape. Different "feel" than either "Guitars" or "RAH" but certainly not enough to warrant inclusion here. Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, 26 May 1966 She Belongs To Me/4th Time Around/Visions of Johanna/Leopard Skin PillBox Hat/One Too Many Mornings/Ballad Of A Thin Man/Like A Rolling Stone Source: 1st generation Gelston Acetate dub/remastered: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, 27 May 1966 She Belongs To Me/4th Time Around/Visions of Johanna/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Desolation Row/Just Like A Woman/Mr. Tambourine Man Again, cleaner, smoother and quieter than "Before the Crash." Source: from 1st generation Gelston acetate dub/remastered: WBAI Radio, January 19, 1966 Bob Fass radio Show from radio: A Midwinter's Night's Scene - Dylan interview and taking calls. The Royal Albert's...... The first five tracks are from Manchester (yes, that one) and sourced from a 3-track tape. Sounds more like an acetate source to me.... in any case, better to stick to the official release and/or "Guitars Kissing" for the Manchester performance. Strange that these tracks were even included. The 26 May Royal Albert performance is presented in excellent sound sourced from a first generation dub off the original acetates....sound is terrific, to say the least, with Dylan's deep vocals way up front and the rich tones of the guitar and harp caught perfectly. A couple of "glitches" that are inherent in the source recording, apparently : "She Belongs To Me" is somewhat "filtered" from 00:28 to 00:55, as are the first 00:14 of "4th Time Around." I checked the previous "best" release of this show, "Before the Crash Vol 1," and was surprised to see that these "flaws" were not present. Needed to mention that........ on the other hand, what we have here are crisp, clean grabs from the original acetates and a fuller, richer and sound than on anything previously circulating, with considerably less noise. For the most part, it's difficult to notice it's even an acetate source. The electric tracks are wonderful recordings and the performances, to my ears, are quite different. Dylan's vocals are more playful and "reined in," particularly on "Pillbox" and "One Too Many." The music, similarly, has a bit more roll than rock..... there's a bouncy, less aggressive feel to it and Richard's rollicking piano is a joy to hear. There's a quieter intro to "Thin Man" (listen to Robbie's classic blues licks from 00:13-00:17, to die for) and a gentler vibe going....but Dylan seems to want to emphasize the lyrics: "You know something's happening, and it's happening without you" or , "You know something's happening...... and you've got to find out what it is." Danko really shines on this one, his boffo bass lines dominating the sound. Then on to the wacky Dylan intro of the Hawks and the Taj Mahal dedicated, marathon "LARS" (first "revealed" on GBS2), complete with the rollicking, nearly 2+ minute coda and then thunderous applause of approval. The next night, Dylan's acoustic set runs over 60 minutes....with fits and starts, tuning and chatting and the famous slurred "I don't write drug songs.... it's just vulgar to think so" rap before "Visions." The harp playing is surreal throughout and the standout song is most definitely the lengthy, drawn out "Desolation Row." Long harp breaks between most verses and Dylan's inimitable "paused" phrasing on many lines make this cut one of the highlights of GL66........ as is what follows, a stunning, slow, graceful version of "JLAW," with a tender, brittle vocal and full of the most beautiful harp runs. Mr. TMan ends the musical portion of the show in grand style, though it is unceremoniously cut at 8:20 (similarly, the "Before The Crash Vol 2" also cuts this off, which would lead one to conclude the souirce acetate was not complete). A fantastic 11 minutes of Dylan being interviewed and fielding calls on the Bob Fass Radio Show in NY in January of '66 wraps it all up nicely. So, there you have it..... a complete chronicle of the known line-sourced recordings from 1966. Together with the stunning graphics and dazzling array of bonus "paraphernalia" included in the box (see above for a detailed acounting of what's actually contained inside GL66 ), this release, to be blunt, stands head and shoulders above anything that has come before. From the 24 carat gold plated audiophile disks, to the snazzy glossy gatefold slipcases and the disk sleeves with vintage, never before seen photos, to the terrific poster and postcards, to the TWO booklets with insightful essays/content and remarkable pics and,most importantly, to the terrific quality and stunning performances contained therein, GL66 is a singular, original artifact, and certainly required listening for any serious rock music lover. Suggestion: The box and it's contents should be treated with the same care given to an audiophile release. Those who choose to obtain the set will see what I mean. I suggest copying the actual disks and using the copies as play copies, simply to avoid marring or damaging any of the contents within. If you forego this advice, do handle the set with kid gloves. Not that it's fragile (it's not by a long shot), but you will want to keep the set in perfect condition, lest it lose some of its lustre. Short of that, the only other solution would be to have a play copy and an "archive" copy. Additionally, you will not want to take the box in the car. Attempting to extract the disks from the box, the slipcase and then the pic sleeves, while operating a motor vehicle, may be hazardous to your health :-) Lastly, if you go for it, don't expect to listen to much else for a while. The set feeds on itself and on you....the more you listen to it, the more you want to hear it, in all its raging glory. Peace.
There are scans of all the covers at theband.hiof.no