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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 11:27 GMT 

Joined: Sat March 18th, 2017, 13:26 GMT
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Since I got into Dylan fandom, I always thought Before the Flood to be widely regarded as Dylan's best live album, judging from numerous favorable reviews it's got.

However, a few days ago, when I was surfing the web for some Dylan reviews, I found that idea might not be true- some criticized it for Dylan's dashing but monotonous vocals.

So I listened to it again, and I felt almost the same way. I still think it's a good performance, but I also felt there was something lacking unlike 75'-76' Rolling Thunder Revue performances -His vocals on Before the Flood doesn't really express the delicateness that Dylan's songs have.

Also, on a 'best year/worst year' thread on this board, some named '74 tour as one of the worst.

What do you think about this? Is this a standout among Dylan's live albums, or just a disappointing show?


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 12:06 GMT 
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I've never clicked with it and have never been a fan; it's a whole lot of sound and fury.

The Rolling Thunder Revue is far too good and within such a similar time period that that tour just completely falls by the wayside and out of mind for me.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 15:39 GMT 
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Before the Flood confirms that feeling that Dylan's songs might be good if only you could listen to them, something I could not do before its release. Through the years he continued to rework and perform them culminating in the NET where he reveals a brilliance heretofore hidden.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 16:58 GMT 
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Before the Flood was a great shot in the arm - at the time.

Artists don't do their work with posterity in mind, and record labels (other than their 'legacy' releases') don't either. When the album came out it was on the back of a very successful tour that put Blobbo back in the public eye, which is rather what records are supposed to do. And it worked.

The possibility that it hasn't aged that well performance wise, or as a document, is hindsight. If people compare it to stuff that came later, that just proves the point that hindsight is a rather limited stance. If he hadn't improved on it I suppose one might be worried, and say his greatest work was behind him by the time of the 74 tour, but seeing as BOTT was recorded that year too it would seem such an approach would be wrong.

I remember thinking it was pretty dynamic at the time, and it still captures a certain vital energy, but it isn't ever gonna be in the top 10 Dylan records. Personally I don't think in those terms anyway.

Before the Flood is a hot cheeseburger after a long diet of overcooked veg every other day.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 18:08 GMT 

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Before The Flood is that time in your mid thirties that you went back to the bars you used to go to in your twenties and tried to relive your younger days but you quickly realize that that time has passed. It's Bob and the band trying to redo 1966 but they just can't reconjure the magic. Luckily, by the next year Dylan was embracing his mid thirties. 1974 was one of the few times in his career that Bob tried to loom back and redo something he had already done.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 19:38 GMT 

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I like Before the Flood and the 74 tour generally. I do think the earlier shows were the best in terms of Bobs singing being more expressive, rather than more mannered approach used towards the end of the tour, when the album was recorded.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 19:38 GMT 
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I've always preferred the songs sung by Levon Helm, I don't like Dylan's way of singing on that record.
And I've never been a huge fan of Richard Manuel's voice, except in the few occasions (one or two songs from Rock of Ages).


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 19:56 GMT 
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I enjoy Before The Flood, but it doesn't come close to comparing to Hard Rain for his best live album.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 21:30 GMT 
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I love the album, but I think that as a document of the '74 tour it falls short. There were so many more songs performed an that tour and even though I love The Band, I only want the Dylan songs.

We need a release that gives us the best performance of every Dylan song from the 1974 tour.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 21:35 GMT 
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According to Steven Thomas Erlewine at Allmusic.com, Before The Flood is, "the sound of a great rocker, surprising his band and audience by tearing through his greatest songs in a manner that might not be comforting, but it guarantees it to be one of the best live albums of its time. Ever, maybe."

I don't know if I agree with that. There are a lot of live albums that I consider to be better. But this is a really strong album. Bob's voice is loud and confident in a way that it has never been. And he's backed perhaps the greatest band of all time. I can never get into the album because I know of better live versions of all these songs, but if I didn't, I'm sure I would love this. There could have been a better live album if they had used some more obscure songs played on the tour, but you can't complain too much about the tracklisting. It's a wonderful record.


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PostPosted: Thu November 30th, 2017, 21:49 GMT 
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There’s a pretty decent article about the 74 Tour with Bill Graham.
It’s from Rolling Stone mag.
It’s too long to repeat here, so just a teaser and the link:

Bob Dylan Bids a Restful Farewell to Tour '74
Reporting from the end of the line at the Los Angeles Forum


By Ben Fong-Torres - March 28, 1974

Los Angeles — If you looked hard enough you could trace the grin on Bob Dylan, watching, then politely, clop, clop, applauding a jelly-belly dancer Bill Graham had hired to entertain. He had also clapped for the strolling trio — two violinists and an accordion — that had serenaded during dinner, schmaltzing up to each table with love songs like "Fascination," "What Now, My Love" and "Somewhere My Love" on this Valentine's Day.

The scene was the crew dinner, put together by Bill Graham for the 18 employees of his FM Productions. They had been in front of and behind Dylan and the Band — setting up and taking down the stage, sound and lighting through 39 shows in 21 cities since January 3rd in Chicago. Now, at 7:45 PM, the 39th show over only minutes before, they were gathered, along with Bob Dylan and the Band, at the Forum Club, a banquet facility within the Fabulous Forum, home of L.A.'s basketball Lakers and hockey Kings. They were here, in this spread of rooms usually held for big businessmen/season ticket holders, for a quick round of roast beef and congratulations.

Graham kept the back-patting short. One quick speech thanking the crew and "the six great musicians" for doing their jobs so well. And, to each musician, a handshake and a memento: a wooden plaque, in the shape of a guitar, embossed with the signatures of Graham and the FM Productions crew.

The stringed strollers and the belly roller gave dinner a leisurely glow. But, in fact, the room was cleared within another hour. Just before nine, everyone — except for other special guests like the wives of the performers — were off to the backstage area. There was one more to go.




Continued at:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... 4-19740328


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 00:11 GMT 
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toilandblood546 wrote:
1974 was one of the few times in his career that Bob tried to loom back and redo something he had already done.



Never thought about it that way but I buy it. I still don't care for the album though.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 01:13 GMT 
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Meh on it as an aural document. Too much ego on stage or something, maybe too many drugs, the songs sound suffocated.

Last time I played BTF was a couple years ago. It'd been like maybe ten years before that.

Pity it wasn't filmed, because I would definitely take a look at it.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 01:29 GMT 
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I agree with most of what's already been said here.

In Clinton Heylin's new book I remember him describing it as a 'victory lap,' which he didn't mean kindly, and it was one of the few times I've agreed with his many negative assessments.

At the time I'm sure I would have been really into it and even as a teen I liked it, but getting a little older I almost never reach for it.

It's a good intro live album and it delivers on the hits with muscular arena-rock feel but later once you've gotten into Hard Rain, the RTR Bootleg Series, Live 1966, and then the endless unofficial bootleg recordings (less polished in almost all cases but so much more rewarding!), it's not a hard album to leave behind.

Totally good though for its time and purpose.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 02:24 GMT 
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1974 is my least favourite tour by some distance. Have never gone back to BTF after an initial couple of listens.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 04:48 GMT 
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I'm seldom in the mood for it. I consider it his weakest live album.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 06:36 GMT 
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I'm with the crowd here, for sure. Even as a teen I thought there was a lot of bunk, though I latched onto some of the acoustic songs. Over time I jettisoned those, too. A few years ago I heard All Along The Watchtower (from biograph, I think) on WXRT in Chicago and enjoyed it, but wasn't inspired to pull the album out.

I feel the same about Budokan and Real Live, they just aren't representations of what makes him special to me.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 14:51 GMT 

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I love it, and play it regularly, very underrated imo.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 15:21 GMT 

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The albums in no way capture what people heard in the first month of the tour, especially in the first two weeks. The Ballad of a Thin Man in the Philadelphia show(can't remember if it was afternoon or evening) was slow, perfectly delivered. What is on the album is rushed and shouted, as are all of the songs.

I guess it's representative of what people heard by the end, and maybe of Dylan's mood by then, or of the rumored coke and groupie fest things devolved too.

Various Tour 74 compilations are a better documentation than Before the Flood.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 17:48 GMT 

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Always regarded this as his "shouty" album
no too much subtlety at all.
anthomp


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 18:19 GMT 
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I think Before the flood is one of only 2 official Bob records I still don´t own (the 2nd one being Real live).

if I do have it and have heard it, I don´t remember a thing


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 18:29 GMT 
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Vic333 wrote:
I'm seldom in the mood for it. I consider it his weakest live album.

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To me the badge of weakest live album still
belongs to Dylan & The Dead, with Before The Flood
following in second place.


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 22:14 GMT 

Joined: Tue November 7th, 2006, 15:14 GMT
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If there's ever gonna be a bootleg series release focusing on the 1974 tour – it is gonna the first BS that I [i]won't[/i] buy. Do I need to say anything more?


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PostPosted: Fri December 1st, 2017, 22:50 GMT 
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slewan wrote:
If there's ever gonna be a bootleg series release focusing on the 1974 tour – it is gonna the first BS that I won't buy. Do I need to say anything more?


Yep - Im with you on that.

In reality of course, I know I will actually buy it. I just wont actually listen to it.


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PostPosted: Sun December 3rd, 2017, 00:37 GMT 

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Nightingale's Code wrote:
I enjoy Before The Flood, but it doesn't come close to comparing to Hard Rain for his best live album.

Too bad the snare drum on Hard Rain sounds like a cardboard box.

*
BTF is good if you like energy in music.
Rolling Thunder is good if you like nostalgia.

If you don't like R Manuel's voice then I suggest you stick to Joan Baez singing I Shall Be Released in the most pious sounding voice imaginable.

Clinton Heylin is a worthless middleman between us and Dylan.


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