Stepped From Sin’s Shadow – (Chrome Horse Records – CHR 09/10)
My Back Pages / She’s Love Crazy (Tampa Red) / Mr. Tambourine Man / Shelter From The Storm / Love Minus Zero – No Limit / Tangled Up In Blue / Ballad Of A Thin Man / Maggie’s Farm / I Don’t Believe You ( She Acts Like We Never Have Met) / Like A Rolling Stone / I Shall be Released / Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power) / The Times They Are A-Changin’ / Rainy Day Women no. 12 & 35 / It Ain’t Me Babe (76:51)
Am I Your Stepchild? / One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below) / Blowin’ In The Wind / Girl From The North Country / We Better Talk This Over / Masters Of War / Just Like A Woman / All Along The Watchtower / To Ramona – Band Intro / It’s Alright, Man (I’m Only Bleeding) / Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others) / Forever Young / Change of The Guards / I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (77:06)
Bob Dylan’s world tour of 1978 has been presented to us extensively over the past few years with many audience tapes now cropping up with the advent of torrenting and internet sharing. The shows from the tout are ecclesiastic, driven affairs and in a way it’s a reason to celebrate each time one of these tapes sees release.
Tonight’s show comes at the very end of Dylan’s second leg of the journey through the states and was recorded at the Hollywood Sportatorium, Florida – Hardly the venue one would assume Bob would have played but obviously suiting the change in his message.
Dylan’s moods might have shifted as much as they usually do but the renewed passion of his conversion and the showy pomp of his shows were well worth seeking out, especially as this would realistically be Dylan’s last great hurrah until the mid-90s. Bob’s un-exacting science on how this embellishment might go down with his audience (He wouldn’t care) works out perfectly when given the renditions here.
Traditional versions of his classic songs were given the hoist and thrown out overblown and grand. For instance the show began with a gloriously blustery “My Back Pages” a near instrumental version that attaches itself to the real show opener, “She’s Love Crazy (Tampa Red)”.
Songs like “Tangled Up In Blue” draw out to fastidious lengths, Dylan drawling the lyrics in a less pained way, more for the effect. The memory of the situation now more of a memory than a threat. “Señor” concludes with the grandest of showbizzy endings, “The Times They Are A Changing” a sweeping statement, “One More Cup Of Coffee” more Spector than spectre.
For the final night of the show it seems only right that Dylan would also expose a premier and the crowd go wild for his first rendition of “Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)” he also plays a longer set tonight, adding an extra song with “I’ll be Your Baby Tonight”, a fitting ending.
It seemed the perfect foil after the shows of his Rolling Thunder Revue when the theatre was ramped up for the zeitgeist of the times. Rock had busied itself from the earnest folk of the early 70’s, itself a reaction to the flowery overdose of the summer of love and progressive rock had pushed things in other directions.
The source for the first release on silver disk of this show is a slightly over baked audience recording – Clear and close enough but with a little fuzz on the bottom end when things get loud. Unfortunately the taper also misjudged the sound after the shows intermission and when the band return, the sound is more muffled.
Dylan had also become a lot more vocal or verbal towards his audience, going back to what he did in the past, storytelling. Now it was obviously a lot more difficult to twist the truth like he had when he was young and unknown but these stories are more like exaggerated fables pertaining to Dylan’s own exploits. Thematic regards his new religion without being overly preachy.
The Chrome Horse label (Any relation to the Tambourine Man label? They seem to use the same sleeve designers) have produced a great looking package for this rare show – though QC could have stepped in and nixed some of the blurrier images.
It’s not the best show in terms of quality for a 1978 show but certainly top ten of these shows and for the very first rendition of “Do Right To Me Baby”, near damn essential.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)