The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964by Bob Dylan
This oft-bootlegged set, recorded on Halloween, 1964, captures Bob Dylan at a pivotal -- and still fascinating -- period in his career. Established as the Young Turk of the folk scene, he'd proven himself a master of both protest tunes and tender love songs -- but that was already growing old, and just a few months later, he'd generate long-lasting sparks by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival. At this gig, however, Dylan played stripped-down, but hardly close to the vest, tearing through powerful renditions of then-unreleased mind-benders such as "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," both of which delved deeply into the surreal wordplay he'd soon be known for. He rips through his topical material with a ferocity rarely matched in the era's acoustic music, hitting dangerous territory on the controversial "Talking John Birch Society Blues" and waxing poignant on "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." The four-song cameo by then-paramour Joan Baez provides a nice counterpoint to the solo material; Baez's ethereal vocals add an elegiac quality to "With God on Our Side," and the unmistakable sensual tension between the two smolders throughout "It Ain't Me Babe." And while the album is probably -- in some unofficial form or another -- in the library of just about every Dylan aficionado, this above-board release handily proves its mettle. In addition to pristine sound, the package offers a surfeit of rare photos, discographic information, and liner notes sure to give pause to even the most devoted Bob-phile.
- Release Date:
- The Times They Are A-Changin'
- Spanish Harlem Incident
- Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
- To Ramona
- Who Killed Davey Moore?
- Gates of Eden
- If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got to Stay All Night)
- It's Alright Ma, (I'm Only Bleeding)
- I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
- Mr. Tambourine Man
- A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
- Talkin' World War III Blues
- Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
- The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
- Mama, You Been on My Mind
- Silver Dagger
- With God on Our Side
- It Ain't Me, Babe
- All I Really Want to Do
Performance CreditsBob Dylan Primary Artist
Technical CreditsJoan Baez Arranger
Bob Dylan Arranger,Composer,Liner Notes
Steven Berkowitz Producer
Didier C. Deutsch Tape Research
Jeff Rosen Producer
Robert Shelton Liner Notes
Geoff Gans Art Direction
Debbie Sweeney Producer
Diane Lapson Producer
Robert Bower Producer
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1964-Dylan had thoroughly mastered the folksinger thing by this point and he is so confident here he even turns a couple of mistakes into entertainment. Listen to the audience response to the "It's Alright, Ma" - this song was unreleased at the time and a challenging departure from Bobby D's earlier work yet they obviously "get it". Dylan's vocals are excellent and so is the sound quality. This is Dylan at the top of his game and the beginning of his world wide influence.
The sound quality of this recording is just unbelieveable. It sounds like it was recorded last week, not over 40 years ago. Here is Bob, still fresh from the University of Minnesota and the coffee houses of Dinkytown (the university district of Minneapolis). He's in a good mood, laughing and joking with the audience, and in superb form. I have seen Bob Dylan in concert eight times--and have tickets to see him again in September. He will probably never top this show, though!
Dylan's early acoustic years, live, terrific sound. You get your money's worth.
Gives us a chilling sense of just how magnetic Dylan was in his early years, and how he could hold a large audience in the palm of his hand. No easy feat, considering how cavernous Philharmonic Hall (now known as Avery Fisher Hall) is. In many ways his performances surpass the studio versions. A must.
This one really was a bootleg before this 2004 release. The main reason for its popularity among collectors was the rare good humor of Dylan on this Halloween night in 1964. His interaction with the audience is as fascinating as it is rare. And through it all Dylan performs a playlist that includes songs from Freewheelin, Times, and several tunes from the Village days. This is certainly the best live album of Dylan's pre-electric years.