Monday, November 18, 2013

Determined To Stand: Live in Europe, 1987

Determined To Stand: Field Recordings, Autumn 1987

Tangled Up In Blue - September 12, 1987
Joey - September 12, 1987
Shelter From The Storm - September 15, 1987
Shot of Love - September 13, 1987
I'll Remember You - October 11, 1987
John Brown - October 11, 1987
Wicked Messenger - September 13, 1987
To Ramona - October 16, 1987
House Of The Rising Sun - October 7, 1987
When I Paint My Masterpiece - September 10, 1987
Seeing The Real You At Last - October 3, 1987
Tomorrow Is A Long Time - October 12, 1987
Pledging My Time - September 12, 1987
When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky - September 10, 1987
I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine - October 4, 1987

Lossless Links: 

MP3 Links: 

Happy Monday, Everybody...

Well, most folks don't like Mondays, but I hope you'll be happy once you give this a listen. Right here, hidden amongst these ones and zeroes, is one of the best-kept secrets of Bob Dylan's performing career. The Fall Tour of Europe, 1987, was one for the ages.

Now, be aware - there was a lot that did not work on this tour. While the backing band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, provided reasonably consistent accompaniment, Dylan's vocals were not always up to the task. What was constant, though, was a sense of experimentation. From night to night, arrangements could vary radically. It took until the third night of the tour for a song to appear a second time!

And that experimentation, that push and pull between singer and band, and within the singer himself, is undoubtedly what generated the exquisite recordings found here. Just listen to the airy nature of "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Shelter From The Storm," the majesty of "I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine," the honesty of "To Ramona," the intimacy of "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," the anger of "John Brown," or the mystery in "When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky." Whatever strange quality imbues these performances, you can't find it anywhere else.

Part of the strength of these recordings, as noted above, is the interplay between Dylan and the band, especially keyboardist Benmont Tench. His piano-playing is the centerpiece of many songs, particularly "Shelter From The Storm," "John Brown," and "Tomorrow Is A Long Time." So too is the passion evident in the singing. "Joey" really presents what Dylan has called a Homeric quality in this definitive reading, and "Tomorrow is A Long Time," always a fine song, is truly confessional here. In some ways, it is a shame that these performers would never share a stage again after the Fall of 1987; one wonders if lightning could strike twice.

The title is taken from Bob Dylan's own words to describe the challenges he was facing during this period, and how he overcame them. Many of the concerts from this tour reflect a struggle to connect to the music, but every so often, the results of this struggle created something truly special. The inspiration from this revelation would lead to the Never-Ending Tour, which began the following year.

At times delicate, like "Shelter from the Storm," and at times absolutely outrageous, like Shot of Love, the passion for music comes through in every note. If you haven't listened to any shows from this tour, give this CD a chance. And if you have listened before, and not been impressed, give another listen. You never know when this will be just what you needed to hear.

If you enjoy these recordings, you may enjoy the studio incarnations of these tracks, found on the following releases:

Before stepping into the Never-Ending Tour era, next week's release will feature the best of the circulating rehearsal sessions from 1971 to 1989. Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.


  1. As the Mama's and Papa's said. Monday was good to me. This is playing as I go to work in the morning to chase the wage slave blues away. Thanks for the music and the knowledge and most of all the sharing.

  2. oh, man, I'm halfway through listening to this for the first time, and it's fantastic... thanks so much.

  3. Thanks for the kind words, folks. This is one of my favorites, as you can probably tell by the commentary above. The interesting thing is that so much of that tour is unsuccessful, or at least unpleasant to listen to. I guess that makes the highlights shine all the brighter.

  4. Never one of my favourite Bob Dylan tours but your compilation will send me back to some other recordings I have from this tour... I am new to your excellent site and I find that the overall quality of the recordings and the wonderful blogs to be truly amazing.. Thank you. MichL