From: xyx
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 23:26:35 EST

   The backlog of titles requiring attention was beginning to wear on me, 
so here is a "rushed" critique of what has transpired the past couple of 
months on the collecting scene......

YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE 2CD  (Exclusive Series ES 008 1/2)
   San Jose, CA 14Nov97 (15)  + filler Columbia, SC 2Nov97 +
    various venues Summer/Fall 97  (4)
Tracks: 24   Times: 71/72   Source: Audience   Quality: Exc/VG

The complete Applied Materials arena gig presented in crisp, clear
and upfront quality. A fine recording, with distinct instrumentation
and separation, excellent balance and Bob's vocals riding nicely in
front of it all.  Very energetic and inspired performance, with strong
and charismatic vocals by Bob, proving anyone wrong who may have
thought he was there to grab the money and run. The band senses the
energy and provides strong, muscular backing, to boot. They all sound
like they are having a ball, which makes for some great listening.

Set: Maggies/StayingHereWithU/ColdIrons/Ain'tGoin'Nowhere/Silvio/
ForYoung/LoveSick/RDW.    The bonus trax were thoughtfully selected
from the eclectic Columbia, SC 2Nov show: CantWait/StoneWalls/
TomorrowLongTime/FriendOfDevil  plus others: Masterpiece (Jackson
25Oct), RGambler (Asheville 1Nov), NeverGonnaBeTheSame (B'ton 9Nov)
and TMama (Mansfiels 16Aug).  The bonus trax are a notch below the
SanJose quality-wise but still very good, IMO. Highly recommended.

CAN'T WAIT1  2CD (Exclusive Series ES 009 1/2)   Scranton, PA 
   12Aug97 (14) + filler (8) various venues Aug 97
Tracks: 22   Times: 74/74   Source: Audience  Quality: Very Very Good

Yet another ES release and a well-chosen one at that. The Scranton
gig holds a special place in my heart for the live unveiling of OneOf
UsMustKnow, and the entire gig is notable for the eclectic setlist
that included 6, count 'em, 6, rarely played tunes.  

Included are 
and the above Blonde on Blonde gem.  Recording quality is strong once
again, nice and loud w/Bob's raspy growl coming in nice and crunchy
and the instruments all there. Recording has a nice warmth to it.
A pity they bailed out on SoonerOrLater after the next night's Hershey 
performance, surely our loss..........this is a good one.

Bonus tracks abound, with BlindWilie (Montreal 8/5), an incredible
quality Knockin' (Hershey 8/13), sweet Shelter (Philly 8/20),
Released (W'Ford 8/18) and 3 excellent trax from Toronto 8/7:
LARS, FYoung & RDW.  The first 11 trax from this Toronto gig will
reportedly be the subject of CAN'T WAIT 2.  

MILLION MILES  2CD  (Exclusive Series 005/006)   St. Johns, New
   Brunswick, CAN  8Apr97 + filler St. John's, Newfoundland 1Apr97
Tracks: 19   Times: 69/71   Source: Audience   Quality: Very Good

Still another ES release, this one from the fantastic Spring '97
tour that, mysteriously, still remains under-represented on CD. In
fact, this makes only the 2nd release of an entire show, the other
being Hartford, CT available on "Wicked Messenger."  Once again,
a fine quality show that benefits from a bit of a boost to the highs
on your system, and one that after repeated listenings has become
a favorite of sorts. Sublime performances of some rarely played
tunes - IDontBelieveU/SimpleTwist/GirlOfTheNCountry and BornIn
Time - set this apart from the "ordinary." Dylan rips into each vocal
nicely, running the gamut from tough to tender (as only he can) as the 
"situation" calls for. The acoustic set is particularly intriguing, with
a sweetly melodic OBabeItAin'tNoLie and melancholic GirlFromThe
NorthCountry. An interesting setlist and performance. 

The set: Flood/IfNot4U/Watchtower/STOF/IDontBelieveU/Silvio/OBabe/
Bonus tracks: Senor/tremendously powerful TomThumb's/heavenly
ForeverYoung and another delightful OBabeItAin'tNoLie.  A good one.

   San Jose, CA 14Nov97 + filler WolfTrap 24Aug97 + Beverly Hills,
   CA 21May97
Tracks: 23   Times: 71/64   Source: Audience   Quality: Outstanding/VG

Another release from the San Jose gig that gets the nod in the
quality department over the ES release, albeit slightly. The sound
here is quite outstanding, actually, oh so crisp and clean, with
everything shining through with the utmost clarity. Perhaps we need
to come up with a system to rank levels of excellence. Although not
up to the standards of SOUL (what is?), this one rates very high. I've
described the show on the ES release above - to reiterate, it is fiery
and cocksure, to say the least. The bonus trax from WolfTrap 24Aug
are, curiously, from an audience source and not from the readily
available hearing-impaired transmission - SweetMarie/TMama/
RGambler/RiverFlow/BlindWillie. Very good sound but the broadcast
source is preferable.  

The Simon Wiesenthal Benefit at the Beverly Hills winds up the 
proceedings with Bob's 3-song acoustic set - StoneWalls/Masters & 
ForeverYoung. Nice quality considering the security and notable 
in that it was the final gig before the illness that incapacitated 
our man. Knock wood he came back better than ever :-)
Note: this one is tough to find, apparently. However, the bonus trax
on the ES release make that particular set more desirable.

KNIGHT OF THE HURRICANE  2CD  (Razor's Edge GWW 001/002)
   New York City, NY 8Dec1975  Benefit for Hurricane  Carter
Tracks: 22   Times: 51/52    Source: Audience   Quality: Outstanding

Let's make this one short and sweet. This is by far the best audience
recording of a RT show, far eclipsing the Toronto tracks available
on "Flagging Down the EEs" and easily setting the standard for a
75/76 audience tape of Rolling Thunder, IMO. The sound knocks me
out -  every nuance of voice and music is intact, Bob's vocals ring loud
and clear (yes, even at very high volumes) and the recording retains
a warmth that is unusual for a mid 70's tape. This one was worth the
wait. Need I mention the performance? To me, these '75 gigs are
arguably the most memorable of a career filled with memorables (sic).
You gotta hear the guitar (Ronson?) on Hattie Carroll to believe it.
Dylan's vocals rip at the heart of injustice and the guitar IS Hattie
Carroll's screaming anguish. Incredible stuff. The duets with Baez
are superb. MamaYouBin is a shit-kicking foot stomper.The band weaves 
a unique stew of rock-folk-country-Arabian-blues and seemingly
creates a new type of music along the way - just call it Dylan. The
solo acoustic tunes are incredibly sung,  filled with sorrow and pain
and regret and longing - Love-0, SimpleTwist, OhSister.  Scarlett
Rivera's violin is nothing short of remarkable - it's amazing how
the "Desire" sound is recreated on stage by all the musicians. It
just meshes, this traveling troupe of musicians and the king of the
troubadors, blowing into NYCity and playing their asses off for Rubin
Carter. OneMoreCup/Sara/JLAW - divine, all.  This one sits nicely
with the boards from this leg - Waterbury, Plymouth & Boston - and
is a real stunner.  Not to be missed.

    New York City, NY - Jan1998     Disk One: Jan 16,18, 20 (11)
    Disk Two: Jan 17 (12)
Tracks: 23   Times: 73/70   Source: Audience   Quality: Outstanding

Here we have the first entry from the 1998 tour sweepstakes, with
tracks culled from 4 nights of the 5 night residency at the Theater at 
Madison Square Garden.  Recording quality is consistently good
throughout the four shows, providing for a nice flow on disk one where
we find tracks from 3 different shows. In my estimation, the recording 
seems to improve with each listen - the vocals, most importantly,
are upfront and full of the rasp, roar and tender touches that need
to be heard to fully appreciate Bob's singing.  The instrumentation
is well balanced and clearly defined -  the subtle picking of Bucky's 
steel and mandolin is all there,  Larry's sharp guitar, Tony's robust bass
 and Kemper's perfectly restrained drumming are all distinct and at
a nice level. A real treat to listen to -  warm, smooth and cozy with 
not a hint of harshness. Particularly pleasing are the the acoustic 
tracks and the mid-tempo numbers, of which there are many.

The tracks on disk one are well selected and (without checking) seem to
consist of one-off NYC residency performances, with the exception of
the opener, SweetMarie.  The 11 tracks each deliver, to my ears, and
are high quality performances, one and all.  To hear these tracks 
individually and outside the context of an entire show provides a
new listening perspective.  This can be attributed to the uniqueness of
each performance.
Disk 2, as noted above, contains 12 tracks from the Jan 17th gig. If
anything, the quality takes a step up here. Several more one-off
performances from this night add up to a helluva collection. My only
gripe is that the producers failed to include ColdIronsBound and
TilIFellInLoveWithYou on either disk. That's small potatoes when you
consider the otherwise sweet collection of tunes residing here.

Mention must be made of the first class packaging -  the front cover
pic of the whole band on stage is brilliant and graphics are top notch.
Other pics of Times Square w/Bob on the big screen and the NYCity
skyline with the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground add a touch more
class to an already top-notch release.

Tracks: SweetMarie/IWantU/BigGirlNow/DesRow/BabyBlue w/divine
minute-long intro/Knockin'/JustLikeAWoman/StayingHereW/You/
LARS/ForeverYoung/LoveSick/RDW 12&35

1995 1996 1997 1998 T-list CDs