More From The Vaults (SC-BD-63-03)
Blowin’ In The Wind (Carnegie Hall, NY – October 26th, 1963), Only A Pawn In Their Game (Carnegie Hall, NY – October 26th, 1963), Mr. Tambourine Man (Royal Festival Hall, London – May 17th, 1964), Eternal Circle (Royal Festival Hall, London – May 17th, 1964), Outlaw Blues (acoustic version – studio outtake 1965), I Shall Be Released (War Memorial Auditorium, Plymouth – October 31th, 1975), Hurricane (Montreal Forum, Montreal – December 4th, 1975), It Ain’t Me Babe (Madison Square Garden, NY – December 6th, 1975), Rita Mae (Warehouse, New Orleans – May 3th, 1976), Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar (Fox Warfield Theater, San Francisco – November 15th, 1980), Sidewalks Fences & Walls (Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood – March 5th, 1987), Love Sick (unknown location, late 1990’s), Highwater (Niagra Falls, Ontario – August 23rd, 2003)
More From The Vaults collects onto one disc professionally recorded rare material that has not been on disc before, some of which is quite surprising. The first two tracks come from the October 26th, 1969 Carnegie Hall show. Five songs, “Who Killed Davy Moore?,” “Lay Down Your Weary Tune,” “Percy’s Song,” “Seven Curses,” and “When The Ship Comes In” exist on acetate for the planned for the eventually scrapped live album Bob Dylan In Concert (Columbia CL-2302). Several But these two tracks come from a pristine sound tape source. It was released as talking Too Much (World Productions WPOCM 0888D003-2) in 1988 from a scratchy acetate and released again almost a decade later on In Concert (Wild Wolf 6401). Both are supplimented with some material from Town Hall, New York April 12th, 1963. “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “Only A Pawn In Their Game” have never circulated before and these are sourced from a pristine, excellent quality tape source instead of an acetate.
The next two songs come from Bob Dylan’s legendary first show in London at Royal Festival Hall on May 17th, 1964. The entire show was recorded by Pye Records, but neither that nor any other tape has ever circulated from this concert. These come from a rather scratchy acetate with slight pops and surface noise, but despite that the recording is excellent. This is the live debut of “Mr. Tambourine Man” almost a year before its official release on on Bringing It All Back Home. The tempo is slightly slower and all the verses are present, but there are slight variations in the words (the variations are in italics): “Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me / I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to,” “Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly through the sun,” “Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind / Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the hidden leaves,” and “Driving memory and fate deep beneath the waves.” The second track from Royal Festival Hall is “Eternal Circle,” the The Times They Are A-Changin’ outtake which appears on The Bootleg Series Vols. 1-3. Dylan introduces the song by saying, “This here’s a song for anybody who plays an instrument. It’s not so easy. (giggles)” Given the legendary status of this show, collectors hope the entire show as recorded will someday surface.
“Outlaw Blues” is an acoustic version recorded in the studio in excellent sound quality. The final version on Bringing It All Back Home features electric guitars, bass and drums but this version is stark and simple by comparison. This dates from the first recording sessions for the album at Columbia Recording Studios in New York on January 13th, 1965. this session focused on Dylan alone and the following day were sessiosn with the whole band. “Subterranian Homesick Blues” and “Farewell Angelina” from this session was released on The Bootleg Series (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991, Vol. 2 (Columbia 468 086 2) released in 1991. “I’ll Keep It With Me” was issued on Biograph (Columbia C5X & C3K 38830) in 1985. During this session “Outlaw Blues” didn’t have a name and is refered to as “Tune X” and Dylan can be seen singing this version of the song in Don’t Look Back: The Outtakes on Tambourine Man Visions released several years ago. The film’s sound quality is poor, but now on disc is a crystal clear recording.
About an hour of a professional recording surfaced for the Rolling Thunder Revue’s Halloween concert in Plymouth, Massachusetts and issued on Like Rolling Thunder (Thinman-36/37). “I Shall Be Released” wasn’t on that tape, but on More From The Vaults exists in an excellent sounding, well-balanced soundboard recording. This is followed by two more 1975 Rolling Thunder tracks. “Hurricane” dates from the December 4th, 1975 Montreal show. Although much of this concert was filmed and used in Renaldo And Clara, and recorded and used on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5 (Columbia 510140 3/Col. 510140/3000), this particular track wasn’t used. A fair to good audience tape exists, but this is the first time the song can be heard from a professional source. Some argue this is the greatest Dylan concert of all time and this version of the song is perhaps the tightest and most aggressive on tape. “It Ain’t Me Babe” comes from the first Night Of The Hurricane two days after the Montreal show at Madison Square Garden in New York, the first of two benefit concerts for Rubin Carter. And excellent stereo audience recording of Dylan’s sets exists and a DIR archives tape for the non-Dylan portions, including Muhammad Ali’s speech, also circulate and were released earlier this year. This is the first time a professional soundboard for any of Dylan’s set has surfaced.
“Rita Mae” comes from the May 3rd, 1976 evening show at the Warehouse in New Orleans. Despite the claim made on the cover, this song can be found on several releases from the same soundboard recording including Creatures Void Of Form (Razor’s Edge RAZ 001), Live At The Warehouse (Yellow Cat YC 038/039), and Rolling Thunder Revue (Flashback 01.94.0225). But this is sourced from the recently surfaced master tape and it is hissless, flawless and a significant upgrade over every other release. This song captures all of the swagger and attitude characteristic of the 1976 leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue. “The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar” likewise has been out before on Farewell Bloomfield (Cuttlefish 004/005). The quality of this soundboard is duller than the others in this collection, but this track is much more clear and powerful than what has been out before. This song, dating from the November 15th, 1980 Fox Warfield Theater in San Francisco in the middle of Dylan’s gospel period, is significant for being the final live appearance of guitarist Michael Bloomfield a year to the day before his untimely death.
“Sidewalks, Fences & Walls” dates from the March 5th, 1987 Sunset Sound studio session in Los Angeles, California. This is a cover of the 1979 Solomon Burke tune which was considered for inclusion on the 1988 release Down In The Groove. Four takes surfaced in February 2007 and as the New Musical Express reports: “A rare recording of a previously unheard Bob Dylan song called ‘Sidewalks, Fences, And Walls’ is being offered for sale at $12,500 (£6,350). The song was produced by David Briggs, best known for his production work with Neil Young. It is being offered on Ebay by a Dylan fan and friend of Briggs, who claims to have been given the tape by the producer before his death in 1995. Dylan experts believe the recording to be authentic… A studio log from the time lists a song identified merely as ‘Side Walks’ and suggests Dylan was accompanied by Jesse Ed Davis (guitar), Gary Ray (clarinet), Robert Tsukamoto (bass) and Mark A Schatzkammer (drums).” The first of the four tracks is presented on this release and it is in excellent quality.
The final two tracks, “Love Sick” from an unidentified late nineties location and “High Water (For Charley Patton)” from the Oaks Garden Theater, Niagra Falls, Ontario are sourced from excellent sounding soundboard tapes. Neither of these have circulated before and make their debut. “Love Sick” sounds like it is from a very small venue and the arrangement suggests it is right about the Time Out Of Mind was released and listening to it really makes me miss Larry Campbell. The Niagra Falls show is the final from the summer tour that year and is the first time Dylan played in that city. This recording was made before Donnie Herron joined Dylan’s touring band and this arrangement lacks the banjo accompaniment, sounding much heavier as a result. More From The Vaults is on an unidentified label, but the same ones behind the Supper Club soundboard releases. This serves as a good, chronological look at Dylan’s career with extremely rare material. But the greatest hope for Dylan collectors is that this is a foretaste of the feast of new tapes to come and that all these shows will surface in complete editions in the same excellent quality presented here. For now this is a must have release. It is packaged in a normal jewel case and the inserts are printed on glossy paper with photos dating throughout his career. (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)