Originally released on Amazon as a bonus disc for early purchasers of 2010's The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9 and The Original Mono Recordings, Bob Dylan in Concert: Brandeis University 1963 saw a wide release in the spring of 2011. Unlike the archival concerts that have popped up in The Bootleg Series, Brandeis University 1963 isn't a major statement. At seven songs, it's brief and there's no mythology behind the show; a recording wasn't even known to exist until a tape was found within the collection of music critic Ralph J. Gleason in 2009. It may be minor, but as a live recording of Dylan between the release of his debut and The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, it is certainly noteworthy, a glimpse of Dylan working folk festival bills unencumbered by fame or legend. He chooses topical songs for his two sets, bypassing "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "Blowin' in the Wind" in favor of "Masters of War," "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," "Talkin' World War III Blues," and "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues," material that accentuates the show's roots in May of 1963. Dylan is in good form, open and sometimes skirting on the edge of being lively, never quite revealing that it was slightly risky to entertain a festival audience with a collection of originals previously unheard by the crowd. If the show doesn't quite manage to be memorable, it is certainly engaging, a worthwhile 38 minutes even if it doesn't quite have much more than a historic hook to warrant repeated plays.
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Bob Dylan in Concert: Brandeis University 1963 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This was Bob Dylan when he was still a short-haired folkie, when he still idolized Woody Guthrie and when he just recorded his third album, "The Times They Are A-Changin'". He wasn't quite a household name, yet. That would change in just two years when he infuriated the folk music generation by going electric at The Newport Jazz Festival and later unleashed "Like A Rolling Stone", arguably the most durable, meaningful Sixties rock song ever made. But before all that happened, Columbia Records recorded quite a few Dylan live concerts, which have been released sporadically over the last few years. Nearly all of these early concert LPs demonstrate his ability to hold an audience with his topicality and even his sense of humor. This one was recorded at Brandeis University just shortly before the Kennedy assassination and before The Beatles came to America. It's a seven-song set. Yet, the intimacy of these songs, some of which were never released like the hilarious and very timely "Talking John Birch Paranoia Blues", comes through clearly. He doesn't do "Blowing In The Wind", which was being covered by Peter, Paul & Mary. However, he does do the even more powerful "Masters Of War", which sad to say has not lost its meaning some fifty years later. Dylan would undergo many changes in his life---full-tilt rocker, country music maven, Born-Again Christian, roots rocker, a Traveling Wilbury. Yet, the image of Bob Dylan as the folksinger looms large, probably because his music has as much meaning today as it did then. For those who want to know what all the fuss was about, they may want to check this out.