Bob Dylan Live 1975 The Rolling Thunder Revue (Columbia/Sony) Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
For those who've only known Bob Dylan to mumble incoherently along to his hired band's double-time rumble through tunes from his current recording, this fabulous two-CD collection of 24-track soundboard recordings made during his Rolling Thunder Revue performances of 75 will be a stunning revelation. Not only is his Royal Bobness enunciating his lyrics with unusual clarity, there's a genuine passion and playfulness in his delivery that's been rarely, if ever, heard since. By this time, the crowds had turned in his favour and Dylan was on fire, taking advantage of his stacked pickup band (Mick Ronson, Roger McGuinn, David Mansfield, T-Bone Burnett, Bob Neuwirth) to reinvent his repertoire and often improving on the studio versions of songs from Blood On The Tracks and Desire. A bonus DVD includes concert footage of Tangled Up In Blue and Isis excerpted from the film Renaldo And Clara.