Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

Performers Various Artists

Columbia | March 4, 2014 | Compact Disc

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To commemorate 30 years since the release of Dylan's first Columbia album, a marathon tribute concert was held at New York's Madison Square Garden, with a galaxy of stars and voices from the past taking part. The cumulative effect of this tribute was staggering, revealing just how much truly great Dylan material there is to choose from all of his periods. A firm nucleus of the three surviving members of Booker T. & the MG's, plus G.E. Smith on guitar and Jim Keltner and Anton Fig on drums, anchors the bands, and most of the stars offer fresh slants on songs familiar and obscure. Among the more memorable interpretations are Richie Havens' moving "Just Like a Woman," completely within his style; the Clancy Brothers' fervent conversion of "When the Ship Comes In" to an Irish folk idiom; the swinging, countrified "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" from Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Rosanne Cash; and a sullen "Masters of War" by Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready on acoustic guitars. Lou Reed went through the bootlegs to come up with the pounding "Foot of Pride," which is perfectly suited to Reed's declamatory style. Eric Clapton shrugs off his diffident manner to deliver one of the most electrifying performances of his life in "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" -- each guitar lick and vocal cuts angrily to the bone -- and George Harrison makes his first U.S. concert appearance in 18 years with "Absolutely Sweet Marie." Dylan himself appears at the end, wildly improvisational and harshly authentic in voice on "It's Alright, Ma" and "Girl of the North Country." By no means does this box contain the entire concert, though, and while the reason was probably to make the thing fit on two well-packed CDs, some of the deletions are inexplicable. To cite just a few examples, Harrison's "If Not for You" is missing; so are Clapton's "Love Minus Zero, No Limit" and some numbers by Booker T. & the MG's ("Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Lay Lady Lay" are in Stax's Time Is Tight box). Even Dylan's own performance of "Song to Woody" is not here; the booklet pleads "technical problems" but it sounded fine on the live telecast. Nevertheless, enough of the concert is here to suggest its triumph -- and all were reminded that the fountainhead of all of this music was still alive, creative, and unwilling to be consigned to the history books. [A Deluxe Edition of The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration added two rehearsal bonus tracks.] ~ Richard S. Ginell

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: March 4, 2014

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Label Name: Columbia

UPC: 888430341029

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– More About This Product –

Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

Performers Various Artists

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: March 4, 2014

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Label Name: Columbia

UPC: 888430341029


Title Track Time
1.Like a Rolling Stone --
2.Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat --
3.Introduction --
4.Blowin' in the Wind --
5.Foot of Pride --
6.Masters of War --
7.Times They Are A-Changin' --
8.Introduction --
9.It Ain't Me Babe --
10.What Was It You Wanted --
11.I'll Be Your Baby Tonight --
12.Highway 61 Revisited --
13.Seven Days --
14.Just Like a Woman --
15.When the Ship Comes In --
16.Introduction --
17.You Ain't Goin' Nowhere --
18.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right [Rehearsal October 15, 1992] --
1.Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues --
2.All Along the Watchtower --
3.I Shall Be Released --
4.Don't Think Twice, It's Alright --
5.Emotionally Yours --
6.When I Paint My Masterpiece --
7.Absolutely Sweet Marie --
8.License to Kill --
9.Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 --
10.Mr. Tambourine Man --
11.It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) --
12.My Back Pages --
13.Knockin' on Heaven's Door --
14.Girl of the North Country --
15.I Believe in You [Afternoon Rehearsal October 16, 1992] --

Editorial Notes

To commemorate 30 years since the release of Dylan's first Columbia album, a marathon tribute concert was held at New York's Madison Square Garden, with a galaxy of stars and voices from the past taking part. The cumulative effect of this tribute was staggering, revealing just how much truly great Dylan material there is to choose from all of his periods. A firm nucleus of the three surviving members of Booker T. & the MG's, plus G.E. Smith on guitar and Jim Keltner and Anton Fig on drums, anchors the bands, and most of the stars offer fresh slants on songs familiar and obscure. Among the more memorable interpretations are Richie Havens' moving "Just Like a Woman," completely within his style; the Clancy Brothers' fervent conversion of "When the Ship Comes In" to an Irish folk idiom; the swinging, countrified "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" from Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Rosanne Cash; and a sullen "Masters of War" by Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready on acoustic guitars. Lou Reed went through the bootlegs to come up with the pounding "Foot of Pride," which is perfectly suited to Reed's declamatory style. Eric Clapton shrugs off his diffident manner to deliver one of the most electrifying performances of his life in "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" -- each guitar lick and vocal cuts angrily to the bone -- and George Harrison makes his first U.S. concert appearance in 18 years with "Absolutely Sweet Marie." Dylan himself appears at the end, wildly improvisational and harshly authentic in voice on "It's Alright, Ma" and "Girl of the North Country." By no means does this box contain the entire concert, though, and while the reason was probably to make the thing fit on two well-packed CDs, some of the deletions are inexplicable. To cite just a few examples, Harrison's "If Not for You" is missing; so are Clapton's "Love Minus Zero, No Limit" and some numbers by Booker T. & the MG's ("Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Lay Lady Lay" are in Stax's Time Is Tight box). Even Dylan's own performance of "Song to Woody" is not here; the booklet pleads "technical problems" but it sounded fine on the live telecast. Nevertheless, enough of the concert is here to suggest its triumph -- and all were reminded that the fountainhead of all of this music was still alive, creative, and unwilling to be consigned to the history books. [A Deluxe Edition of The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration added two rehearsal bonus tracks.] ~ Richard S. Ginell
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