Lost Or Found (Thinman-145/146)
Sporthalle, St Jakob, Basel, Switzerland – July 23rd, 1981
Disc 1 (65:17): Saved, I Believe In You, Like A Rolling Stone, Till I Get It Right, Man Gave Names To All The Animals, Maggie’s Farm, Girl From The North Country, Ballad Of A Thin Man, In The Summertime, Shot Of Love, Forever Young, Walking Around Heaven All Day, Times They Are A-Changin’, Let’s Begin, Lenny Bruce
Disc 2 (67:32): Slow Train, Mr. Tambourine Man, unidentified instrumental, Solid Rock, Just Like A Woman, Saved By The Grace Of Your Love, What Can I Do For You, Heart Of Mine, When You Gonna Wake Up, In The Garden, Blowin’ In The Wind, It Ain’t Me Babe, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
The penultimate gig on Bob Dylan’s only tour of Europe during the “gospel” period was on June 23rd in Basel, Switzerland. And like the final night in Avignon, Basel has a similar setlist and the same amount of energy and enthusiasm.
Making its silver pressed debut, the tape captures virtually the complete show. The opening gospel numbers had already been dropped by this point, so it starts off with “Saved.” It is a very good stereo audience recording taped very close to the stage. The only detriment is the preponderance of bass in the mix which tends to distort the music at the beginning and during very loud parts of the show like during “Maggie’s Farm” and “Ballad Of A Thinman.”
“Saved”opens the set, segues right into a very fast tempo version of “I Believe In You” which in turn runs into “Like A Rolling Stone.” All are performed as if it were an opening statement. The opener for all the other gospel dates, and the most well known song from the period “Gotta Serve Somebody” wouldn’t be played in these shows. It would return, however, for the US dates in the fall.
Regina Havis sings “‘Till I Get It Right,” and is followed by two stage thumpers in “Man Gave Names To All The Animals” and “Maggie’s Farm.”
A certain subtly returns with “Girl Of The North Country” played with lush acoustic guitars and underscored by a gorgeous piano played by Willie Smith. It is one of the highlights in the show and is followed by another thumping arrangement of “Ballad Of A Thinman.”
There is a cut in the tape at this point, omitting much of Dylan’s introduction. The tail end is captured, saying “…new album called Shot Of Love. This is the first song from….excuse me! Called ‘In The Summertime.'” This, and the title track from the new album “Shot Of Love” sound strangely muted and dull in this performance. It almost sounds as if he’s lost confidence in the new songs in Basel.
Some issues with the equipment after “Mr. Tambourine Man” lead the band into an impromptu three minute instrumental that has no name. It starts off like “In The Garden” and the rest hast he same chord progression of “Simple Twist Of Fate.” When they get it together they play “Solid Rock” in a wild arrangement.
During the first verse of “Just Like A Woman” Dylan tells someone to be quiet for some reason. It’s not clear exactly who he’s talking to. There is a loose feeling throughout this part of the set including a sloppy rendition of “Heart Of Mine.” They seem to slip into the song and the second verse is replaced by a shoddy organ solo played by Dylan himself.
An arena-rock arrangement of “When You Gonna Wake Up?” is followed by “In The Garden” with a very busy organ melody between the verses. Dylan’s long speech in the middle includes him saying “hello tonight to Brigitte Bardot, sitting someplace around over there. I’m not gonna say exactly where, cause I think she’ll be mobbed” and telling the audience: “I hope we played something that you came to hear. If we didn’t this time, if we come back, we sure will next time.”
The encores are the most common set for this era. A gospel arrangement of “Blowin’ In The Wind” is followed by a solo “It Ain’t Me Babe” and finally an all band version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” The play it in a reggae arrangement, but the same one as played in 1978. It’s much quicker with a heavy gospel influence in the chorus.
Lost Or Found is packaged in a slimline double jewel case. The inserts are printed on high quality glossy paper with period photographs. Thinman also changed their logo for this batch of releases, switching from the Tinman to a hobo. Even though the distorted bass is a bit of a concern, this is still a nice document and release worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)