Subject: DEEP BENEATH THE WAVES vol 42 (long)
From: xyx  
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 13:31:11 +0500

Paul Williams' new collection of essays "Watching the River Flow" is
required reading for all of us. He is a fan's critic, not a boiler-plate,
by the rote analysis-monger who overintellectualizes and attempts to wax
eloquent every other sentence.  Rarely (if ever) patronizing, his views 
are from the heart and written from a true fan's perspective. How can you
not like a guy who simply states "I love this fucking record" as part of
a review. He reminds me (not that I need reminding) why Dylan 
was/is/always will be special....
and boy, would I love to read a Williams review of the following......

"SOUL"  2CD  (Kiss 021/22)   Berlin, Germany
(Tempodrome)   17 June 1996      Tracks:  15       Times: 64+, 50+
Source: Audience  Quality: Excellent
Oh lawdy me, if they could all be this good.  Bad news first: this is not a
soundboard recording. Good news: it does'nt matter, the quality is
outstanding and illustrates why a great audience recording is oft-times
better than a soundboard.  I'll get right to it -

Dylan's performance was nothing short of magnificent at this show and the Band is with him step for step. I can't recall a show with so many performances that just knocked me out. The quality leaves nothing to be desired - every rasp, growl & purr (many) of THAT voice is captured in all its world weariness, every note and harp blow and guitar chord and steel pluck is upfront and balanced and separated and TRUE - go out and find this right now. There may be shows w/"better" set lists but I'll be damned if this ain't one of the finest performances I've ever heard. The four cornerstones of the show (IMO) are Shake Sugaree, Positively 4th Street, Tangled (tail), Queen Jane & My Back Pages. SSugaree is just a delightful performance w/Bobs voice emoting so beautifully and the band providing superb "country" backing. You ain't lived 'til you hear him sing the "all" in "...I'm gonna sing it right if it takes me AAAALLLLLL night long" - turn it up loud to see if your speakers can handle that much of a roar. (This one received 5 consecutive plays on the way to buy pumpkins yesterday and even the kids - all 8 and under - dug it :-) ). I might add that during the breaks Bob plucks some mighty big and loud rockabilly chords that are really cool - this tune just moves 'ya. Pos 4th Street is absolutely divine and like I never heard it before - A beat slower & Bob sings it with that smooth sheen in his voice and it is totally devoid of scorn, anger and bitterness. Instead, his delivery evokes a sense of regret, even pity for whoever he is directing the words at (ex-friends, critics, etc - take your pick). Kind of like he feels sorry for them for having acted that way. It's an amazing performance - he takes away the harshness in his voice and the words becomes even more effective. The last verse - "I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes........." is a killer - you can see who he is singing to just hanging their heads in shame. Yet there is a sense of regret in his voice also that provides even more depth to the performance. A brilliant 9 minute plus opus that makes my spine tingle. Tangled is given a matter-of-fact reading but the last 2 1/2 minutes of Bob's harp and the guitars are tremendous. Almost 11 minutes on this one. Queen Jane is magical. A bit slower & played beautifully by everyone.When Bob sings the "...won't you come see me, Queen Jane" lines his voice just drips with desire. The band is so in sync with Bob's singing, everything clicks during this track. The same can be said of My Back Pages, beautiful, emotive singing, sharp accompaniment and FOUR (count 'em) 4 minutes of Bob on harp that rises to an exciting wail at the end, with the crowd going nuts. Another incredible performance. There are ten other tracks that are just slightly less magnificent but all supremely performed. Besides a couple of mumbled lines on "Seeing The Real You...," Bob is totally there the whole show and I've never heard his singing better. The band is cookin' whether it be a crisp and tight Watchtower or the blues- rock shuffle of Watching the River Flow. Special mention also goes to the tenderly sung "Love Minus Zero" and "Friend of the Devil." Rounding out the track list are Drifter's/Silvio/ a raucous Alabama/a razor sharp Maggie's Farm/& RDW 12&35. I can't say enough about this show - it knocks me out. Can't wait for the drive home to shake that sugaree a few more times. Oh lawdy me, I just love this fucking CD. xyx

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 T-list CDs