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Bob Dylan – Phantoms Of My Youth (Thinman-28/29/30)

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Phantoms Of My Youth (Thinman-28/29/30) 

Disc 1:  Hero Blues (Chicago, Jan. 3), Most Likely You’ll Go Your Own Way (And I’ll Go Mine)(New York, Jan. 31st evening), Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Boston, Jan 14 evening), Lay Lady Lay (New York, Jan. 31 evening), It Takes A Lot To Laugh (Toronto, Jan. 9th), Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Boston, Jan. 14 afternoon), Tough Mama (Philadelphia, Jan. 6 afternoon), It Ain’t Me Babe (New York, Jan. 31 evening), As I Went Out One Morning (Toronto, Jan. 10), I Don’t Believe You (Boston, Jan. 14 afternoon), One Too Many Mornings (Largo, Jan. 16), Ballad Of A Thin Man (New York, Jan. 31 evening), Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Atlanta, Jan. 21), All Along The Watchtower (Boston, Jan. 14 afternoon), Mr. Tambourine Man (Los Angeles, Feb. 14 evening), Ballad Of Hollis Brown (New York, Jan. 31 afternoon), Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Boston, Jan. 14 afternoon)

Disc 2:  The Times They Are A Changin’ (New York, Jan. 31 afternoon), Blowin’ In The Wind (Montreal, Jan. 12), Song To Woody (Philadelphia, Jan. 6), Fourth Time Around (Memphis, Jan. 23), Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright (Boston, Feb. 14 afternoon), Visions Of Johanna (Denver, Feb. 6 afternoon), Wedding Song (Seattle, Feb. 9 evening), Girl Of The North Country (Philadelphia, Jan. 7), She Belongs To Me (Los Angeles, Feb. 14 afternoon), Gates Of Eden (New York, Jan. 31 afternoon), A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (St. Louis, Feb. 4 afternoon), To Ramona (Philadelphia, Feb. 6 afternoon), It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (Los Angeles, Feb. 14 afternoon), The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (Seattle, Feb. 9 afternoon), Mama You Been On My Mind (Philadelphia, Jan. 6 afternoon)

Disc 3:  Just Like A Woman (Boston, Jan. 14 afternoon), Desolation Row (St. Louis, Feb 4 afternoon), Nobody ‘Cept You (Philadelphia, Jan. 7), Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Toronto, Jan. 10), Mr. Tambourine Man (Philadelphia, Jan. 6 evening), It’s Alright Ma I’m Only Bleeding (New York, Jan. 31 evening), Forever Young (Oakland, Feb. 11 afternoon), Something There Is About You (Uniondale, Jan. 28th), Highway 61 Revisited (Seattle, Feb. 9 evening), Like A Rolling Stone (Oakland, Feb. 11 afternoon), Most Likely You’ll Go Your Own Way (And I’ll Go Mine) (Uniondale, Jan. 28), Maggie’s Farm (Oakland, Feb. 11 afternoon), Blowin’ In The Wind (Los Angeles, Feb. 14 evening)

Bob Dylan’s comeback tour with The Band in 1974 is one of the biggest from the seventies.  It’s been written that:  “The 40-date, 21 city tour began on January 3rd, 1974 and ended on February 14th, 1974. His first full-fledged tour since 1966, it received an enormous amount of coverage from the music press, and it would prove to be very profitable. Top-dollar tickets were $9.50, an extravagant sum in 1974, and the tour received 5.5 million pieces of mail, applying for up to four tickets each.  It’s estimated that $92 million worth of checks and money orders were sent in by close to 4 % of the American population.”  As befits the enormity of the event, each of the forty concerts was taped from the audience.  In addition partial soundboards have surfaced for the January 31st New York afternoon, January 14th Boston afternoon, the two Oakland shows on February 11th and the final three shows in Los Angeles.

Phantoms Of My Youth is a well thought out collection of at least one version of the forty-seven different songs performed by Dylan.   As can be expected the sound quality varies from song to song, but all are listenable.  The best audience source is perhaps the January 10th Toronto tape and the worst the January 16th Maryland tape.  The first disc contains songs played early in the set with The Band beginning with the three set openers “Hero Blues”, “Most Likely You’ll Go Your Own Way (And I’ll Go Mine)” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″.  The entire second disc and first six songs on disc three are acoustic numbers taken from Dylan’s solo slot in the show.  The final seven songs are taken from the Dylan plus The Band finale.  Three songs appear twice.  “Most Likely You’ll Go Your Own Way” is duplicated as it was in most of the concerts, with Thinman using the “punk” version from the Nassau Coliseum for the reprise.

“Blowin’ In The Wind” and “Mr. Tambourine Man” were given both acoustic and electric workouts on the tour and Thinman includes them both.  The acoustic version of the latter track is particularly interesting since Dylan omits the opening chorus and begins with the first verse, and plays the guitar so lightly it sounds almost a capella.  The electric version from the final night in Los Angeles is an effective all-band version with Garth Hudson of The Band playing accordion and is speculated to have been played for Dylan’s wife, Sara, who was present.  Other rarities include the obscure “Hero Blues” which opened the first two shows in Chicago.   “Mama You Been On My Mind”, played in Philadelphia on January 6th, and “Love Minus Zero/ No Limit” in Toronto on January 10th were both only played once. 

“As I Went Out One Morning” from the second Toronto show likewise is the only version from the tour and the only live appearance of the John Wesley Harding track ever.  There is a great version of “Nobody ‘Cept You”, recorded for Planet Waves but released almost twenty years later on The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3, from the January 7th Philadelphia show.  “Highway 61 Revisited” on the third disc is attributed to the Seattle evening show on February 9th, but it is a soundboard recording and no soundboard has surfaced for that concert.  The quality of the tape suggests one of the Oakland shows on February 11th.  Otherwise the set list is accurate and Thinman used the best available source for each song on the set.  On the face of it this looks like a direct copy Phantoms Of My Youth (Capricorn  2039/40/41), but Thinman have updated the set with newer and better sounding source material.  There haven’t been many releases in the past couple of years from this huge tour (The Great Resurrection on Mainstream and As I Went Out One Evening on Be Twisted!) so this is a very nice collection of highlights and worth investigating.  (GS)

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Bob Dylan - Phantoms Of My Youth (Thinman-28/29/30), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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