Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 126
HIT LIST REVIEWS
reaking out of the box
and kicking down
barriers seems the first
item on the daily to-do list for
many Nobel laureates, but it's
probably fair to say only Bob
Dylan was booed and jeered
at as a "Judas" for plugging in
an electric guitar.
You can hear that infamous moment here during
the Manchester Free Trade
Hall show from May 17,
1966 in this 36-CD boxed
set chronicling all known
recordings of Dylan's
tumultuous and masterful '66
world tour. And in the annals
of heckling, it was pretty
inspired - as was Dylan and
band's response of turning
the Loud knob northward and
launching into a mighty, magisterial "Like A Rolling Stone."
That concert - often erroneously labeled for decades
now as the Royal Albert Hall
show - has of course made
the rounds before as unofficial
and official bootlegs, including
Dylan's own Live 1966 "The
Royal Albert Hall Concert":
The Bootleg Series Vol. 4.
What this incredible boxed
set reveals are not only Dylan's
ever-evolving songs - which
are still works in progress today
- but also the ongoing tension
between Dylan and his audi-
ences throughout that tour. The
Manchester show was not the
most turbulent, as this collection
proves: that dubious honor may
go to the Glasgow show and
the chorus of cries of "Traitor!" But as the fans reacted,
Dylan reacted as well, resulting
in intense, even venomous,
versions of some of his most
bitter, powerful music ever.
He was backed by the
proto Band (minus drummer
Levon Helm), which was as
yet unnamed as such and was
still usually called the Hawks,
a leftover moniker from their
days with Ronnie Hawkins.
And naturally the "Band" was
phenomenal, following Dylan's
moods and musical cues,
proving they were worthy
of their über-band signature.
Robbie Robertson's guitar work
in particular was the perfect
foil for Dylan's many moods.
The electric guitars and
sheer volume weren't the only
reasons for the crowd's
Dylan had shrugged
off his protestanthem mantle
"Blowin' In The Wind" days; his
new songs, whether acoustic
or electric, were both more
personal and more oblique
in their poetry and meaning.
The fans should have known
the times were a-changin',
but they, like Mr. Jones,
had yet to quite understand
what was happening here.
Of course, this incredible
boxed set captures history in the
making, to trot out that tired and
obvious cliché. And of course, it
may be overkill, but to the deepest Dylan fans, it's pure treasure.
For others, Dylan is releasing a two-LP version of the
May 26 show entitled The Real
Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert.
Taking place just two days after
Dylan's 25th birthday, the show
is splendid, although not as
acrid or acidic as the mistaken,
Manchester show on the part of
either the audience of the artists.
And the sonic quality
is phenomenal: the
concert was originally recorded for a
planned live album
by CBS Records.
- Michael Dregni
The 1966 Live
The Real Royal Albert
Hall 1966 Concert
Stand Up: The
Released in the
summer of 1969,
Stand Up was Tull's
first album with guitarist Martin Barre and showed them honing
their blend of proto-hard rock and heavy
blues, psychedelic, and folk-rock ideas, the
latter heard in "Back To The Family." This
two-CD reissue includes a remix by producer
Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), famed for
his detailed 5.1 mixes and digital transfers.
The second disc captures a January 9, 1969
concert in Sweden, where the band was
opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
The opener, "A New Day Yesterday," exhibits the rising heavy ideas of the Jeff Beck
Group and Led Zeppelin, with Barre's heavy,
thudding Les Paul riffs. "Bouree" is beloved
for Ian Anderson's flute melody, but you can't
miss Glenn Cornick's beautiful baroque bass.
"Living In The Past" gave the band early
radio exposure, and Wilson's remix is sonically remarkable, but as is sometimes the
case with his work, the percussion stands
out too much.
For the live set, "Nothing Is Easy"
gets a nice concert treatment showing
Barre's developing lead work in the vein
of Page, Beck, and Clapton. Barre hadn't
yet mastered wrist vibrato, but it's always
enjoyable to hear a young player learning
on the job. - PP