Date:    Wed, 16 Aug 1995 11:26:41 +0500
From:    xyx  

    Who says Christmas (or Hanukah) does'nt come in August? Gifts aplenty
to tide you over until the real holidays if you don't feel like waiting.
We'll start with an instant Hall of Famer and go from there, though all
the reviews this volume would make the all-star team. Enjoy!

"COMPLETELY UNPLUGGED"  2CD   Moontunes  (MTV Unplugged  11/17 & 18, 1994)
   The title says it all, you get the shows as they happend - complete,
unedited, rough mix soundboard recordings. Oh my my, the quality is superb,
on speed (unlike some of the tapes) and perfectly balanced, plus continuous
so you get all the between-song riffing, talk, etc. Unissued tracks reaching
heights of perfection include (2) takes of "I Want You," "Hazel" (see
separate post for more on "Hazel" from "The Last Waltz"), "Sweet Marie" and
an oh-so-
fine "My Back Pages", plus the missed take of "LARS"  and a superb "Tonight I'll
Be Staying.." IMO, "Don't Think Twice" and "Everything is Broken" don't reach
such heights, but come awfully close. Needless to say, Dylan and Band, IMO,
deliver an impassioned, emotional, and oft times raucous 2 sets which highlight
the feeling in Dylan's vocals and the instrumental strengths of the band.
    To hear the shows as they happend is a real treat and essential to
appreciate the "feel" of these shows. Kudos all around to Moontunes and
Razor's Edge (joint venture, though set is on Moontunes) for this package,
a superb job. Hilarious caricature on the inside also.The only negative
thing I can say about this set is that 2 millimeters of the 4 in 1994 is cut
off on the inside insert. GET IT NOW!

"THE REAL SOUND"  1CD (Red Sky)  Vienna, VA  (Wolf Trap) 
8 Sept 1993     77 minute soundboard recording which omits "God Knows" (it can be found on
"Hard Times in Alabama" as filler) and, sadly, "You're Gonna Quit Me." The
quality here is in-your-face, vocals in all their full-throated, raspy glory
with nuances intact, and music well balanced and vivid also. A milestone show
of sorts as we get the live debut of "Series of Dreams," and the always
enjoyable "Born in Time," "Pos 4th Sreet" and "Hattie Carroll." Band is in
rock-out mode and Maggie's Farm and Silvio are blistering. Dylan's vocals
are, to reiterate, crystal clear and well defined. Other trax: Memphis Blues/
Watchtower/BJack Davey/Boots/It Ain't Me Babe. This is a stretch, but the only
negative I can come up with is that some may find the recording is a bit too
up front. Otherwise, an essential set, with some nice insert info on how
BDs albums have charted over the years, gold/platinum status, etc.
(Let's hope if Red Sky has "You're Gonna Quit Me" it shows up as filler on
   another set of theirs).    Great job!

"BOB'S FULL HOUSE" & "F*** THE PLAYLIST"  2CD SETS (Sterling Sounds)
  Complete Brixton, UK  March 30 & 31 shows, plus 11 trax from 3/29 as filler.
   I've already reviewed these shows in a previous volume under "Romantic
Facts..." and "Skipping Reels..." Without going overboard with too many
plaudits, these disks are sensational. Recording quality far exceeds "RF"
and "SR", although the "Brixton Blues" (Kiss the Stone 3/31) compares
more favorably to "Bob's Full House," but still falls short in the end. Don't
be so quick to relieve yourselves of "SR" or "RF" as these Sterling Sound sets
are not easy to find.
   More from Mr. Townsend on "BFH" and "FTP": "... real front row stuff. Good
dynamics, crystal clear vocals and solid overall sound. Everything is pushed to
a greater degree of clarity. Overall the slightly ragged production on the
filler trax is overshadowed by the recording quality." Highlights from 3/30:
If You See Her/Every Grain/Pos 4th St/Love -0/Jokerman/encores w/Elvis C.
From 3/31: Senor/I Don't believe You/Shelter/Hattie/Baby Blue incredible/Back
Pages/Released.  3/29: Want You/She Belongs/Lot to Laugh.
   Nice package and inserts, though photos are not from the show. As we'd
all agree, sound matters most. Sterling sounds, indeed.

        See 'ya next time.                                Peace - xyx
                            "Truth is an arrow
                             And the gate is narrow
                             That it passes through"
                                          -BD '79
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