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Sunday, April 20, 2014

One More Night: Unreleased Live Recordings, 1961 - 2014 (Volume One)


One More Night
Unreleased Live Recordings, 1961 - 2014
Volume One

Maggie's Farm - September 22, 1985
Going, Going, Gone - May 16, 1976
Fourth Time Around - May 27, 1966
A-11 - March 11, 2005
When You Gonna Wake Up? - October 20, 1989
Saving Grace - November 16, 1979
Born In Time - January 17, 1998
Love Minus Zero/No Limit - May 3, 1976
Under The Red Sky - November 7, 2013
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - April 18, 1976
The Times We've Known - November 1, 1998
I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine - July 19, 1986
Subterranean Homesick Blues - August 3, 2002
Poor Lazarus - December 22, 1961
It Takes A Lot To Laugh (It Takes A Train To Cry) - February 3, 1990
Visions Of Johanna - November 27, 2005

Bonus Tracks

Handsome Molly - July 29, 1961
Just Like A Woman - May 27, 1966
She's Love Crazy - October 29, 1978
When Did You Leave Heaven? - July 21, 1989
My Blue-Eyed Jane - February 5, 1999
Like A Rolling Stone - June 24, 2004
Jolene - November 15, 2009

Link


Welcome friends,

This set constitutes the first volume of a “best of the rest” compilation. For those who have obtained the many earlier CDs of the Thousand Highways collection, certain periods may have gone under-represented. Conspicuously, 1996-1998 were absent, as were recordings from 2004 outside of the Spring Tour, 2005 outside of the Brixton Residency, 1989 – 1993 outside of the recordings associated with Dylan’s studio output from that era, and Rolling Thunder-period performances which were composed earlier than 1974. I hope this final 5-CD compilation fills in some of those gaps, and expands on the already-extensive Thousand Highways collection.

With that said, I would like to give some brief details on each track. The first, “Maggie’s Farm,” was played by Bob Dylan at the first Farm Aid set, and was highlighted by author Paul Williams as an especially spirited recording. I can’t say I disagree, and it came across as the highlight of an excellent concert.

The second track, “Going, Going, Gone,” remains to me the definitive rendition of this song. The singer is hardly word-perfect, but the song has been re-written to great effect. The final verse in particular is hair-raising.

“Fourth Time Around” is a beautiful rendition made warmer still by the pleasant vinyl transfer. I am unaware of the origin of this recording, but it came to me by way of the consistently great The Bob Dylan and The Hawks British Judas Concerts 1966 collection.

“A-11” is a personal favorite, as I love the old recording by Buck Owens. This recording is high-quality, and represents an aspect of Dylan’s performance art – his country covers from the early years of the 21st century. The violin is dazzling as well.

The fifth song, “When You Gonna Wake Up,” begins a brief suite of faith-based songs. This song has been radically rewritten for the 1989 tour, though it appeared just this once before never being played again (as of Spring 2014). The arrangement is stunning, and consists of Dylan’s piano leading the band into clearly uncharted territory.

“Saving Grace” is the second song in the suite, and is again a definitive performance. While the studio version is wonderful, this is positively inspirational. The singer wrings every ounce of emotion out of the song.

The seventh track, “Born In Time,” was a highlight of the 1998 tours originating with the 1989 Oh Mercy sessions. You can hear demo versions of the song on The Bootleg Series, Volume 8 and the first volume of the Series of Dreams field recordings collection. The live recording is particularly spirited, with beautiful instrumentation.

“Love Minus Zero/No Limit” is a rare performance of the song from 1976 at the well-regarded New Orleans concert. It features some pleasant harmonica and the smoky, textured vocals of that era.

“Under The Red Sky” was performed at the second of two Rome concerts in 2013, and stands out as representative of the high quality from that Autumn Tour. Dylan’s piano-playing is at the forefront, and that makes this even better than the frequently excellent performances of this song over the years. The song didn’t quite make the cut on an earlier compilation, Ivory, but it fits in very well her.

The tenth song, “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” is another Rolling Thunder gem. Despite the limitations in the Lackland tape from that year (also featuring a notable “If You See Her, Say Hello”), this track came through loud and clear. The vocals are heads above what was present on the 1976 rehearsal tape, and the singer turns many phrases inside out – see the verse concerning the “sergeant at arms.”

Song eleven, “The Times We’ve Known,” is a favorite in the fan community. Dylan’s performance of this Charles Aznavour classic is deeply touching. Though it often circulates as a soundboard recording originally offered for free download from bobdylan.com, this audience recording offers a warmer, fuller sound.

“I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine” is one of the greatest performances of this song that I’ve heard, though I may be biased in favor of its inclusion – the song is one of my favorites by this artist. It offers a stark portrayal of one’s humility when faced with the divine, and though I’m not sure this performance conveys those depths, Dylan’s aside (“it’s alright”) cements it as an absolutely committed rendition. Look forward to an recording of this song from the Rolling Thunder Revue on one of the later volumes in this series. As a fun fact, the 1986 performance is noted afterward as being a very special request from a very special person, though she’s apparently not at the show! Funny stuff.

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” is a fun recording from the Newport Folk Festival in 2002. Its rhythm is all over the place in the best possible way, and one wonders if Dylan had been influenced by his own recording of “Cry A While” the previous year.

The fourteenth song, “Poor Lazarus,” is one of the earliest we have a record of him performing, as documented on the Riverside Church tape of early 1961. This performance dates from the end of that year, when the singer’s had the chance to perfect his delivery of a truly tragic, archetypical American tale: the young man gunned down and mourned by his mother while his father laments him as a fool and his sister's poverty keeps her from being at his funeral. The song is deeply powerful, and is reminiscent to me of the old song “Delia.”

“It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry” is a growly blues song from Dylan’s lauded Hammersmith Residency of 1990. This was squeezed out of the compilation “Town Without Pity,” but seemed to accompany the other tracks here quite well. Check out the “whoa!” as the song comes to its conclusion.

The final track, “Visions of Johanna,” is a unique treat. Considered by many to be one of the finest renditions of the song, it was delivered to an adoring audience in Dublin in the autumn of 2005. You can almost hear a different singer in each verse, teasing out every bit of nuance in the lyrics. The band’s light accompaniment is spot-on, particularly Denny Freeman’s sparking guitar.

Concerning the bonus tracks, I'd like to highlight this version of "Like A Rolling Stone" as originating in Glasgow, 2004; it's the version described by author Andrew Muir in his excellent One More Night history of the Never-Ending Tour, and described by Bob Dylan as having "the best singing audience we've ever heard." In addition, this edgy recording of "She's Love Crazy" is from the St. Louis show praised by Paul Williams in Performing Artist Volume Two.

Please enjoy this selection of songs, strung together by nothing besides their excellence. I think that despite their temporal disparity, they offer a cohesive picture of the singer and his worldview.

If you like the tracks, please be sure to download the original studio recordings present on the following records:


It is worth noting that this set has the auspicious distinction of being released on Easter Sunday, the happiest day of the year for a Christian such as myself. In that spirit, I would like to bid everyone a Blessed Easter. I would also like to thank again, though one cannot thank enough, the uploaders at Expecting Rain who have made the acquisition of many of these tracks possible - Lilraven in particular is a hero to the field recording community.

Next week is the second volume in the set. Don't miss it! Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.

Thanks for listening,
CS

Note: If you downloaded this on 4/20/14 before 11:20 PM EST, your set was missing a lossless recording of "When You Gonna Wake Up?" This has been fixed in a newly linked upload.

6 comments:

  1. looks like a fascinating selection - thank you ! Another shout out to Lilraven from me !

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  2. I cannot seem to get this to download - I get the RAR expander to start, but then it keeps giving me the same error message, halfway through:
    The archive 'OneMoreNight_Volume1_Complete(1)' could not be expanded, the file 'Like A Rolling Stone (06-24-04).wav' it contains seems to be broken
    Frustrating - anyone else with that problem or an idea of how to circumvent it ?

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    Replies
    1. Has this situation been resolved? I reviewed the .rar file and could not replicate the problem. Perhaps it was a corruption that occurred while downloading?

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  3. hi - Im going to try from different computer tonight - I was trying from a hotel connection earlier in the week - could not wait until I got home !

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  4. all safely downloaded now .. I must learn not to be impatient ! Loving this compilation. Have you considered doing a 1 disc, cleaned up, "Best Of" volume from Toad's Place ? The versions that Ive heard have been intriguing, but average quality ...

    ReplyDelete