The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert

( 7 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The most famous bootleg in rock history, with the possible exception of Dylan's own Basement Tapes, finally makes its official appearance 32 years after the event, and nearly 30 years after it started circulating in the underground. Although often identified as a Royal Albert Hall show, this May 17, 1966, concert, in which Dylan played electric material in front of a British audience, was actually recorded in Manchester hence the unwieldy title with quotes around "Royal Albert Hall". Even those who've owned this recording for many a year might be tempted by this official package, as it has been expanded into a two-CD set that not only includes the eight electric rock...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The most famous bootleg in rock history, with the possible exception of Dylan's own Basement Tapes, finally makes its official appearance 32 years after the event, and nearly 30 years after it started circulating in the underground. Although often identified as a Royal Albert Hall show, this May 17, 1966, concert, in which Dylan played electric material in front of a British audience, was actually recorded in Manchester hence the unwieldy title with quotes around "Royal Albert Hall". Even those who've owned this recording for many a year might be tempted by this official package, as it has been expanded into a two-CD set that not only includes the eight electric rock songs from the original bootleg, but also the seven solo acoustic performances that comprised the first half of the show. It's all in very good fidelity, about as good as any copies you could find through unofficial sources. More importantly, the electric half in particular is an important document of rock history. It captures the point at which Dylan was at his most controversial and hard rocking as he blazes through mid-'60s classics such as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Ballad of a Thin Man," radical electric arrangements of songs that had originally been recorded acoustically "One Too Many Mornings," "I Don't Believe You", and the hard rocker "Tell Me, Momma," which Dylan never recorded in the studio. The acoustic disc is not as epochal, but on par with the electric half in the quality of material and performance. On top of everything else there's a 56-page booklet with a fine essay by Dylan's friend Tony Glover a notable folk musician in his own right. It's not just an interesting adjunct to Dylan's '60s discography; it's as worthy of attention as anything else he recorded during that decade.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/13/1998
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646575925
  • Catalog Number: 65759
  • Sales rank: 12,669

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bob Dylan Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals
Robbie Robertson Guitar
Rick Danko Bass, Background Vocals
Garth Hudson Organ
Richard Manuel Piano
Mickey Jones Drums
Technical Credits
Eric Von Schmidt Composer
Tony Glover Liner Notes
Richard Alderson Live Sound Engineer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Rev. Gary Davis Composer
Jeff Rosen Producer, Reissue Producer
Geoff Gans Art Direction
Vic Anesini Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Bob Dylan-Bootleg Series, Vol. 4-solid purchase

    I had never been a huge Dylan follower but had always respected his work and songwriting abilities. The majority of my exposure had been with his more mainstream hits that would be played over the waves when I was younger. I had the opportunity to see him in concert at a small venue last November. I became very intrigued and had an even greater appreciation for his work and instantly wanted to explore further. It was overwhelming at the number of choices to choose from in making a selection of his work. I wanted something more raw that was reflective of a younger Dylan. Bootleg Vol. 4 provided me with everything I was looking for and more. A great collection of songs recorded at one of the music meccas. Highly recommend to add to your music collection.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The most famous example of Dylan being true to himself

    The very first bootleg album was a thing called The Great White Wonder that consisted of various Bob Dylan songs that had not been put out officially, but the greatest bootleg of all time was the Royal Albert Hall Concert (so named because Americans were familiar with that name and knew nothing of the venue where it was really recorded). Columbia was not eager, understandably, to release a live album where their artist was being called "Judas" by the audience, but the bootleggers, and the fans, knew that this concert was a turning point in Dylan's career and in the history of Rock and Roll. Dylan insisted on being Dylan and was not going to be pigeon-holed as an acoustic Folk hero and a bulwark against the onslaught of electric Rock and Roll, on the contrary, Dylan would not only embrace that format but revolutionize it with his words and works. It must be said that Dylan did not set out to upset his folkie fans as the first half of the concert was indeed acoustic, but the "fans" didn't come to honor Caesar, they came to bury him. As soon as Dylan came out for the second half of the show with The Band, the boos started from those so-called fans. Dylan would have none of their stupidity and let out a scream (verbally and musically) that shook the world. It certainly would not be the last time that Dylan had to be Dylan no matter what the fans and the critics had to say about it, but we can be thankful that decades after the fact Columbia finally gave us the official version of that important concert.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential listening

    My sentiments won't vary much from the previous reviewer, as she/he nailed it. The first disc is pretty awesome, but the best stuff is definitely on disc 2. Disc two is more punk than any thing a punk band has done. It's ferocious, like the sound of being punched in the face. But seriously, it's vicious and mean and it's full of energy and adreneline. I'll be bold and say it's the best live recording I've ever heard. I'm getting excited just thinking about listening to it. I think I'll put it on now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Second Disc Killer

    Bob Dylan’s Live 1966 is a half acoustic, half electric set that laid in the Columbia vaults for over 30 years. The first disc is Dylan solo with his guitar and harmonica. Although it is full of some of the best solo renditions of those songs ever released, I must admit I find my attention wandering after a while. The second disc is the killer. Dylan and four of the five musicians who became the Band confronted an angry audience who felt Bob & Co. were selling out folk music. The hostility spurred the players into some of their greatest performances. The Band never were as fierce again. Robbie Robertson’s guitar playing may be his best ever. The music almost could be called early punk, it is that intense. I think the finale of Like A Rolling Stone is the best performance of that song ever recorded by Dylan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential Dylan

    It's all been done before, it's all been written in the book! Words from the man himself. Most of us knew this release in some shape or form before it hit the shops officially. I bought my vinyl copy from a mail-order company in Glasgow. To have it in more pristine recording quality and with professional packaging is a luxury indeed! The music is an eternal howl of passion! Nothing less! The acoustic side is a beautifully balanced performance. Listen to the phrasing and intonation of inspired lyrics. The electric side is something to change your life and times! No exaggeration whatsoever! The thin wild mercury sound/red music. B52s in a cathedral. These have been attempts to capture the feelings in words. Listen to this music and experience the full potential of artistic expression. If you do not already own this one, buy it! You won't regret it! A recent "Uncut" special limited its review to quoting the famous stage aside "Play ******* loud!" That was all that needed to be said! It is that sort of aural experience. Buy it, hear it, steal it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential Dylan!

    I'm very surprised nobody else has yet reviewed this title here. This live show, for years available only on bootleg, features Dylan at his mid-'60s peak. The performances are brilliant, both on the solo acoustic set and the incendiary electric set with the Hawks (soon to be the Band). More than just a concert document or fan souvenier, it's an artistic highlight that ranks with the great Dylan studio albums of this period like "Highway 61" and "Blonde On Blonde". If you love Dylan, you need to have this in your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews