B. Series Vol. 5: Live 1975
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B. S.9: Witmark Demos: 1962-64
B. Series Vol. 6: 10/31/64
B. Series Vol. 4: 5/17/1966
B. S.11: Basement Tapes
B. Series Vol. 5: Live 1975
B. S. 7: No Direction Home
B. S.8: Tell Tale Signs
Bringing It All Back Home
Highway 61 Revisited
Blonde On Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Nashville Skyline
B. S.10: Another Self Portrait
Self Portait
New Morning
Planet Waves
Before the Flood
Blood On The Tracks
Desire
Infidels
Love and Theft
Modern Times
Bootleg Series Vol. 1 - 3

 

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The Bootleg Series Volume 5: Live 1975

Bootleg Series Vol. 5

  Bob Dylan - London 1965
Bob Dylan - London 1965
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Live 1975 2002 

(1975)

 

 

 

 

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Review -The Bootleg Series Volume 5: Live 1975

Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 Live 1975 review

In the wonderful 56-page booklet accompanying Live 1975, guitarist T-Bone Burnett can be seen wearing welding glasses in a few pictures.  Upon hearing the performances within this new 2-disc set, one might assume that he was shielding his eyes from the unbelievably incendiary music which Dylan and his Rolling Thunder Review band unleashed on this tour.  Indeed, the music here is loose and energetic, passionate and inspired; sometimes raunchy and sometimes tender.  In other words, this is Dylan at one of his peaks.

Culled from a series of Northeast venues, Live 1975 represents the first leg of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review.  Named in memory of an American Indian Shaman and featuring many of Dylan’s musical friends, Rolling Thunder was a veritable Gypsy caravan and multi-faceted artistic endeavor.  A rag-tag western movie was filmed during the tour and many guests came and went.  Gordon Lightfoot, Allen Ginsberg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, and others joined the review for varying lengths of time, but the undeniable star of the show was Dylan himself.

Riding high on the artistic and commercial success of Blood on the Tracks, Dylan took many new songs on the road, including some which would appear on his Desire album.  These songs, especially “Romance in Durango,” “Isis,” and “Hurricane,” burn with a creative intensity not heard in their studio treatment.  Dylan also reworked and disguised many of his old standards with amazing success.  “It Ain’t Me Babe” takes on a calypso/scat feel while the once-solemn “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” rages with a full-blown rock 'n roll reworking.  The opening track “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” also benefits from an intense rock reading from Dylan and his band.

As great as his full-band performances are on these discs, Dylan truly shines on his solo acoustic numbers.  Every single one is a gem, in particular “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Tangled Up In Blue,” and “Simple Twist of Fate.”  However, the genuinely haunting tracks of this set are “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “Love Minus Zero/No Limit.”  Each lyric seems to glow with its original inspiration and Dylan delivers them with undeniably real passion.  This is music that demands to be heard through the ages. 

 Of course, with music so unrestrained and free, there are always a few missteps.  “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” suffers from too many folks being on the stage and sharing the vocals while “I Shall Be Released” and “Blowin’ In The Wind” find Dylan and Joan Baez trying to sing over one another.  However, it should be noted that they sound great together on “Mama, You Been On My Mind” and the stirring “The Water is Wide.”

In the end, what makes Live 1975 a classic recording is the ease with which the energy of these performances hit the listener 28 years after-the-fact.  We hear Dylan sing with swagger and confidence, emotion and mystery, and with a determination rarely heard in today’s sterile and uninspired musical landscape.  His band fuels the fire with playing almost too raucous and in-the-moment to be believed; but it’s all there for us to hear.  The Rolling Thunder Revue is coming to town, and the feather-capped leader of the band wants to sing a few songs.  Be there or be square.  By Kevin Hartman©  
Grade 
A- 

   

Musicians - The Bootleg Series Volume 5: Live 1975
Track List

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Disc 1

1. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (Bob Dylan) - 3:55
2. It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob Dylan) - 5:25
3. A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan) - 5:16
4. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Bob Dylan) - 5:25
5. Romance in Durango (Bob Dylan / Levy) - 5:22
6. Isis (Bob Dylan / Levy) - 5:11
7. Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan) - 5:39
8. Simple Twist of Fate (Bob Dylan) - 4:17
9. Blowin' in the Wind performed by Bob Dylan / Joan Baez - 2:43
10. Mama, You Been on My Mind (Baez / Bob Dylan) - 3:11
11. I Shall Be Released performed by Bob Dylan / Joan Baez - 4:33

Disc 2

1. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan) - 4:34
2. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Bob Dylan) - 3:13
3. Tangled up in Blue (Bob Dylan) - 4:41
4. The Water is Wide (Traditional) - 5:16
5. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train... (Bob Dylan) - 3:12
6. Oh, Sister (Bob Dylan / Levy) - 4:04
7. Hurricane (Bob Dylan / Levy) - 8:15
8. One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) (Bob Dylan / Levy) - 4:14
9. Sara (Bob Dylan) - 4:29
10. Just Like a Woman (Bob Dylan) - 4:31
11. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan ) - 4:46

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Musicians - The Bootleg Series Volume 5: Live 1975
Cast of Characters

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Bob Dylan (Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica)
Bobby Neuwirth (Guitar and Vocals)
Scarlet Rivera (Violin)
T-Bone Burnett (Guitar)
Steven Soles (Guitar and Vocals)
Joan Baez (Guitar and Vocals)
Roger McGuinn (Guitar and Vocals)
Mick Ronson (Guitar)
David Mansfield (Steel-Guitar, Mandolin, Violin, and Dobro)
Rob Stoner (Bass)
Howie Wyeth (Piano and Drums)
Luther Rix (Drums, Percussion, and Congas)
Ronee Blakely (Vocals)

Bob Dylan - Love and Theft - Notes
Notes

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There is a limited edition version of Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series Volume 5: Live 1975, that comes with a wonderful (if too short) DVD with performances of “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Isis.

The Bootleg Series Volume 5: Live 1975 - Order

 

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