Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Bob Dylan - Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Recordings (Sampler)


Released June 2019

This review is based on the ten song "sampler" currently available to listen to, so I apologise to those who may be wanting to hear about the whole fourteen disc box set.

The question I am asking myself, having purchased the extended Cutting Edge and More Blood, More Tracks" box sets is whether this one justifies a similar £50 plus shell-out. Although I have immensely enjoyed the ten tracks on repeated listens so far, I suspect that five almost identical live shows from The Rolling Thunder tour that are included here are not offering me enough variety, particularly as I already have the original Rolling Thunder compilation, Bootleg Series Vol. 5 which has an excellent selection of live recordings from the tour.

The live tracks included on here are played pretty much identically to those I already own - the reggae-ish version of It Ain't Me Babe, the shuffling, staccato The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, the rock version of A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Isis, Hurricane and Romance In Durango. The one new gem is a good version of I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine. It may be just me, but the sound seems better on the Bootleg Series recordings - fuller and warmer.

Performance-wise, though, Dylan and his sizeable band are on fire - crackling with it. However, I had always had the impression that The Rolling Thunder tour was a big, loose behemoth of a tour with rambling, changeable set lists so it was a bit of a surprise to find that the set lists were all pretty static. I should have known that, I guess, but I didn't, I was influenced by that famous picture of Dylan and his band walking through a field by a river like a troupe of wandering ad hoc minstrels.

The sampler gives you an interesting rehearsal version of If You See Her Say Hello with different lyrics, a rudimentary demo of Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You and the folky Easy And Slow, a sort of "new old Dylan song".

Although my answer is that I do not need all these very similar live recordings I know exactly what will happen - I will "cherry pick" the live tracks I do not have from the tour, of which I have identified eight, plus another ten or fifteen rehearsals and demos and purchase them as downloads. Then it will say I need to spend another £25 to complete my purchase, so eventually I will. That is what happened with More Blood, More Tracks.


1. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (S.I.R. Studio Rehearsals)
2. If You See Her, Say Hello (S.I.R. Studio Rehearsals)
3. Easy And Slow (Seacrest Motel Rehearsals)
4. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Live in Montreal)
5. It Ain't Me Babe (Live in Boston)
6. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (Live in Montreal)
7. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (Live in Montreal)
8. Isis (Live in Montreal)
9. Romance In Durango (Live in Boston)
10. Hurricane (live in Boston)