A Dying Voice Within Me (Thinman-072/73)
Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg, Sweden – June 9th, 1984
Disc 1 (72:02): Highway 61 Revisited, Jokerman, All Along The Watchtower, Just Like A Woman, Maggie’s Farm, I And I, License To Kill, Just My Imagination, Mr. Tambourine Man, It Ain’t Me Babe, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Masters Of War
Disc 2 (60:40): Ballad Of A Thin Man, When You Gonna Wake Up?, Every Grain Of Sand, Simple Twist Of Fate, Like A Rolling Stone, Tangled Up In Blue, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Blowin’ In The Wind, Tombstone Blues, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, The Times They Are A-Changin’
Bob Dylan’s first tour in four years was originally going to be of countries in South America, but when those plans fell through he booked an arena tour in Europe. The new band he assembled with Mick Taylor on guitar, Ian MacLagan on keyboards, Greg Sutton on bass, and Colin Allen on drums took a while to come together. The early shows were ragged as the band began to learn how to play music with the master. A Dying Voice Within Me is an excellent sounding stereo audience recording from the ninth show of the tour, June 9th in Gothenburg, Sweden. One of the most popular shows from the era, it first surfaced on vinyl in 1984 on Extra Dylan (Colucia Records KC 846910) with the complete show plus two tracks from Copenhagen the following night. Gothenburg ’84 – Don’t Think Twice (Lust Records TBJ 8406) also contains the full show on five LPs and was transfered to compact disc many years ago on the no label Don’t Think Twice Gothenburg 84.
Many commentators of this tour complain that the band do not posess a creative spark, that Taylor is flashy but out of sync with Dylan, and that the rhythm section of Sutton and Allen are wooden. Despite their limitations Taylor’s work is tasteful and interesting and the others do hold the songs together (more or less) and some of the arrangements are very interesting beginning with the first song “Higway 61 Revisited.” This is one of Dylan’s most common live songs and is normally played close to its heavy blues roots. But in this concert it is played in a Chuck Berry early rock-and-roll arrangement. “Jokerman” is suprisingly played close to the Infidels version. It has the same same matter-of-fact tone in the choruses and McLagan duplicates the spook of the Hammond.
“Maggie’s Farm” Taylor plays a simple solo and then stops and McLagan loses the cue. Dylan comes in to rescue them. Appalacian-gospel beat. Part of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was broadcast on Danish television with audio from this audience recording. The final two songs, “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” and “The Times They Are A-Changin'” are available on a mono soundboard recording.
“Mr. Tambourine Man” begins a three song solo acoustic set and part of this performance was broadcast on Danish television (with audio from this tape). The band come back on for “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Dylan plays the acoustic and Taylor plays archtypal fills giving the song a Sticky Fingers flavor. “When You Gonna Wake Up?” sounds tentative and a big miscalculation. Dylan changes the refrain to “when you gonna wake up? / or maybe you never will.” But it sounds as if Taylor and McLagan don’t know where to take the song and it would be dropped soon after. The final three songs of the set are simply phenomenal in execution. “Every Grain Of Sand” is sung with a tremendous amount of urgency and emotion as it reaches its climax.
The re-written “Tangled Up In Blue” is played as the first encore and is again a highlight of the set, and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is also sung solo. Carlos Santana, who was the opening act for Dylan, joins the band onstage for “Blowin’ In The Wind” and accompanies the band for the rest of the encores. The audience sing along to “Blowin’ In The Wind” so much that Dylan stops and listens. Perhaps most interesting in the encores is the electric rock arrangement of “Love Minus Zero/No Limit.” Taylor’s guitar creates a huge pop-hook for the audience to grab onto. A Dying Voice Within Me is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with thick cardboard inserts and looks simply gorgeous. This is one of their best productions. The only small flaw is they made an error with date, claiming this is June 6th instead of June 9th.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)