Date:    Tue, 30 Jan 1996 12:46:07 +0500
From:    xyx  

 For CD lovers, now is the time for your smiles. While late fall was a
famine of sorts, winterlong has brought a virtual feast of titles to
choose from. 1996 started off wonderfully w/ the excellent Monterey
soundboard on Tuff Bites and a recent deluge of new releases indicates
that 1996 may be as fruitful as 1995, both in terms of quality and
quantity. Two titles in particular maintain the high standards of the
Tuff Bites double, so w/out further ado......

"THE PEDLAR NOW SPEAKS" 2CD (RazEdge) Philly TLA 6/21/95 + filler 6/22/95
Razor's Edge finally gives birth to the most eagerly awaited title of '95
after a particularly long and grueling pregnancy. First rumored over 3
months ago, it has been well worth the wait and then some. Let me go out
on a limb and say that all things considered (recording and performance),
this release is the best representation of what BD&Band sound like live.
Quality of the recordings is superb and the performances are, well, words
can't describe. It's like trying to describe one of Michael Jordan's
best games - they are all so good but when he takes it to another level
you are left speechless. Many will hear this and find their mouths agape
with awe...others who were lucky enough to be there will know what to
expect. You get the feeling that even BD himself "felt it" on these
nights as he pulled out never and/or not-oft played Visions, GirlFrom
NC, LicenseToKill (radical new epic arrangement), IfNotForYou, NeverGonnaBe
TheSame (very moving), Unbelievable, and a "to-die-for" Knockin'. Not to
mention the (IMO) definitive acoustic Tangled and a momentous MostLikely.
No less impressive are the rest of the trax: Flood,Watchtower,Silvio,
ALL tracks are a wonder to behold and things don't end there, either. The
bonus trax from 6/22 sustain the heights attained the previous night:
Shelter, Masters, an amazing and definitive WhatGoodAmI (I played it 5 times
in a row), an incredibly loud and energetic CatsintheWell, MyBackPages and
LARS. The only negative I can pin on this one is that you might want to
slightly EQ the treble up and the bass down. Do yourself a favor & get it.
Bob described it best that night with "Unbelievable." He himself knew it
was something special.
(Footnote for all you English language freaks : "Pedlar" is spelled
"peddler" on the disks themselves)

"DARKNESS AT THE BREAK OF NOON" 1CD (REdge) 1978 Tour rehearsals
The term rehearsal has a bad connotation and sometimes justifiably so.
In the case of this CD, don't let it sway you. This CD presents the
complete circulating studio "rehearsals" from 1978 in improved
(outstanding) quality but these "play" out more like studio outtakes.
They are not rough run-throughs but fully realized, polished versions
with (in several cases) radically reworked lyrics (IfYouSeeHer and TheMan
InMe in particular). For my money, these performances are exceptional and
superior to the performances on Budokan. The sound is less busy and if I
had to describe it  I'd say it falls somewhere between "Street
Legal" and Budokan. Dylan's vocals are exceptionally sharp and the
arrangements are very enjoyable (major kudos to the piano-laden Tomorrow
is a Long Time and a very fine It's Alright Ma & IDon'tBelieveYou (2x)).
Tracks are as follows: 1/30/78 - BabyTonight,Times,IfYouSeeHer**,ManinMe**,
ForeverYoung.  2/1/78 - RepossessionBlues**(great vocal by BD),OneofUsMust,
GirlFromNC.  April '78: WeBetterTalkThisOver, CominFromtheHeart***,Twist
ofFate,IfYouSeeHer,IDontBelieveYou. A very enjoyable and unique set w/
several rare trax and even rarer arrangements which add up to another
"must-have" from Razor's Edge.

Peace - xyx

Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 12:39:07 +0500 From: xyx Subject: '78 Rundown Alternates/Observations After repeated listenings to the improved '78 Rundown sessions (Razor's Edge "Darkness at the Break of Noon") I can't say enough about how enjoyable this material is. Very interesting arrangements, all with either a real blues or jazz feel to them (the guitar playing is outstanding, especially on "Repossession Blues" and the gritty "I'll be Your Baby Tonite). There is also a wonderful "Girl From the North Country" w/ a gorgeous sax solo (Steve Douglas?) and a raucous "It's Alright Ma." As mentioned earlier in the DEEP, "If You See Her...." and "The Man in Me" are takes w/drastic lyric differences to their released counterparts. In both cases, the reworked lyrics and unique arrangements serve to make them different songs altogether. Changes in "If You See Her, Say Hello" ..although our situation, it hurt me to the bone She's better off with someone else And I'm better off alone... ...if she's wonderin' what I'm doin' right now Just tell her you don't know.... ...if she's passing back this way Most likely I'll be gone But if I'm not just let her go It's best that she stay gone Changes to "The Man in Me" The man in me will do, nearly anything And as for conversation whatever you wanna bring.. Lost on the river - of no return I try to make it to you But I'm afraid my heart will burn... I can't believe it, I can't believe it's true I'm lyin' next to her but I'm thinkin' of you I know you got a husband And that's a fact But, oh baby, either turn me loose Or cover my track.... The female backup vocals on the above tune are outstanding. Back to "Repossession Blues" - the most straightforward blues tune Dylan ever wrote????????? Last thought - this stuff is so good that I don't think anyone would be disappointed if it was released as part of a future Bootleg Series. Peace - xyx
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