Holy bazollies, another live album? It had been only two years previous to this that Dylan released Before the Flood
. I guess considering that was the man's first live album, he figured he had a lot of making up to do. This is also a kind of de facto soundtrack of a live concert that aired on NBC.
But is this album any good? Reportedly, the recording was made towards the end of the tour named 'The Rolling Thunder Revue', and they were worn out. A bootleg released in 2002 called Live 1975
was recorded earlier in the tour and apparently shows them in a more robust condition ... I'll get around to reviewing that.
At any rate, Dylan's treatment of his own material is assuredly more normal than it was on Before the Flood
; however, he still isn't afraid to slop things up left and right. The main difference between this live album and the previous one is The Band wasn't there to encourage the sloppiness.
Sloppiness isn't necessarily a bad thing though. The brash energy emitted in these performances is kind of infectious. The album begins with “Maggie's Farm”, which unleashes a scream-singing vocal performance, danceable drum beat, raw female back-up singers, and tiny bursts of electric guitar flurries. It's not at all what the original sounded like, but can I really say 'no' to it? No I can't!
"Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" is another massive classic that was clearly a good choice for the slop treatment - it charges through its 6-minute length like a steam-engine, as Dylan bellows the catchy melody at the top of his lungs.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews