Date:    Wed, 12 Jul 1995 11:17:57 +0500
From:    xyx  

   Thanks for the feedback so far on vol 1, all of which has been positive.
Before continuing with the other "new" releases, I thought it would
be a good idea to recap (& rank) the 95 shows released thus far in order to
give you an idea what's available and perhaps help in deciding which to
spend your money on. The following are ranked in terms of sound quality,
we are assuming the performances are all good (right?), just a matter of
how good: very good, ridiculously good or sublime. So, "I'm gonna start my
pickin' right now":


1) "A MILLION FACES AT MY FEET" 2CD 3/23/ Brussels + filler Soundwise, the best released so far from '95 and ranking up there with the best of any tour in terms of audience recordings. Punchy, well balanced, upfront vocals & instruments. Could have been a masterpiece had the filler included trax from the two weeks prior as opposed to '94. Standard set list from the first two weeks with the exception of "Queen Jane." 2) "BRIXTON BLUES" 2CD 3/31 complete Killer sound, a tad less smooth and not as "gentle" as above but well above average nonetheless. Perhaps recorded a smidgen high but that's better than the reverse. Not to complain, though and a killer set list with a lovely acoustic set of MRTMan, Hattie & Baby Blue elevating the show to masterpiece proportions. 3) "ONE HAND WAVING FREE" 2CD Birmingham 4/2 + filler 3/26 & 4/3 Another essential sounding disk, "full and warm with clear vocals and distinct backing" (from Mr. Townsend). Noteworthy renditions of Tears of Rage, Tom Thumbs, D Row included in a revamped set list with killer bonus trax in even better quality from Brighton & Manchester. Let's hope those come out also, as the quality ranks with the best around. 4) "SKIPPING REELS OF RHYME" 2CD London Brixton Academy 3/30 + filler 3/29 Although the quality is not up to the standards of the above 3, I still consider it very, very good, though a bit short of excellent. The incredible performance & show makes up for it as Every Grain, 4th Street, & Jokerman all make an appearance & the acoustic set is particularly pleasing. 5) "SONGS OF DARKNESS, SONGS OF LIGHT" Manchester 4/5 + filler 4/4 (7) After a shaky start, recording quality rounds into shape to become very, very good, and even excellent with a little bit of EQ'ing to lessen the bassy feel of the instruments. Dylan's vocals sound a tad harsh but are right up front, "bright & punchy" (Mr. Townsend) and it does not detract at all. Filler trax are a bit of a disappointment quality-wise, only because they don't match the quality of the tapes or the filler from #3 above from 4/3 Manchester. A great selection, though, to round out the set.


6) "12/- A POUND" 2CD 3/11/ Prague + filler 3/12 Prague A fine performance is hindered by the very obtrusive crowd noise, which is very loud, while the music is relegated somewhat to the background. Not at all bad, just not up to snuff when compared to others. When things are quiet it is an enjoyable disk, particularly an incredibly slow and "worldly" "Shelter From the Storm" 7) "ROMANTIC FACTS OF MUSKETEERS" 2CD 3/31/ Brixton London + filler 3/29 Unless you are a completist and want the 5 trax from 3/29 (which are OK but not great), go with the "Brixton Blues." The sound on this disk in no way compares. 8) "WITH ONE HAND WAVING FREE" 2CD Utrecht 3/20 + filler (9) 3/16-23 Another OK disk soundwise but just does not stack up with the top 5. Sound is not as upfront and music just not as punchy. Good selection of filler trax helps relegate this disk from run 'o the mill to not bad at all, though if you are choosy, go with "A Million Faces" as a document of the first 2 weeks of March. RUMORED TITLES: Vienna '94 soundboard, Completely Unplugged 2CD, 1978 tour rehearsals. Also two more from 3/30 & 3/31 Brixton called "FU*K THE PLAYLIST" and "BOBS FULL HOUSE," although the outfit that made these was apparently raided and these may not be readily available. NO matter, as they are out already. Feel free to flame, praise, criticize or complain. Ciao - xyx
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 T-list CDs