3 February 2007, gsparaco @ 12:26 am
Looking For The Saviour (Hollow Horn Performing Artist Series Vol. 7)
Disc 1: Fourth Time Around, Visions Of Johanna, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Desolation Row, Just Like A Woman (Festival Hall, Melbourne, AU – April 20th, 1966). Tell Me Momma, I Don’t Believe You, Baby Let Me Follow You Down, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, One Too Many Mornings, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Positively Fourth Street (Sydney Stadium, Sydney, AU – April 13th, 1966)
Disc 2: She Belongs To Me (Gaudmont Theatre, Sheffield, England – May 16th, 1966), Fourth Time Around, Visions Of Johanna (Royal Albert Hall, London, England – May 26th, 1966), It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Just Like A Woman, Mr. Tambourine Man (Gaudmont Theatre, Sheffield, England – May 16th, 1966), Tell Me Momma, I Don’t Believe You, Baby Let Me Follow You Down, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Odeon, Liverpool, England – May 14th, 1966), One Too Many Mornings (Gaudmont Theatre, Sheffield, England – May 16th, 1966), Ballad Of A Thin Man (Odeon Theatre, Birmingham, England – May 12th, 1966), Like A Rolling Stone (Royal Albert Hall, London, England – May 26th, 1966)
Looking For The Saviour is the seventh and final volume in Hollow Horn’s masterful Performing Artist series that began last year. Given the scope of the entire series is to present the highlights of Bob Dylan’s early performances, this final volume focuses upon the world tour in 1966. Knowing how important and acrimonious these shows were, Hollow Horn picked the songs which highlight not only the most incendiary recordings but also the audience reactions caught on tape which originate from professional soundboard sources. The first disc features material from the two soundboards from the tour of Australia in late April from Melbourne and Sydney. Songs from the Melbourne show appear on the vinyl title Stars of ’66. CD titles include Bob Dylan’s Dream: Historic Live Performances Vol. 1 on Living Legend (LLR CD 005), The Children’s Crusade (Scorpio GBS 66-3) part of Scorpio’s monumental Genuine Live 1966 box set released in 2000, Oh You Tom Thumb, and most recently on the Japanese title Shifts And Changes (Be Twisted! BTCD 011/012). The Sydney soundboard appears on such titles as Live Sydney 66 (Orange 005/006), Happy Dylennium (Rattlesnake RS 009/10), Phoenix In April (GBS 66-1/2), part of Scorpio’s Genuine Live 1966 and with the Melbourne soundboard on Shifts And Changes on Be Twisted! The sound quality of Hollow Horn, when compared to the most recent release, is an improvement and sounds much weightier with more emphasis upon the lower frequencies lending a very heavy live sound.
The second disc is an amalgam of performances in England in the final month of the tour with a selection from five unique tapes (an no material from the May 17th, Manchester show thankfully). In chronological order, the May 12th show in Birmingham contributes “ Ballad Of A Thin Man”. This track surfaced in 1993 and is the only track from this show to surface thus far. It is found Play Fuckin’ Loud (93-BD-024) on Supersound, Week In The Life (RAZO14) on Gold Standard, and A Nightly Ritual (GBS 66-5/6) on Scorpio, part of the Genuine Live 1966 box set. Four songs, “Tell Me Momma”, “I Don’t Believe You”, “Baby Let Me Follow You Down”, and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” come from the May 14th Liverpool show which is also found on A Nightly Ritual on Scorpio and A Week In The Life on Gold Standard. “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” also was released officially as a single with “I Want You” on Columbia (4-43683), June 1966 and on the two LP Masterpieces (CBS/Sony 57 AP 875-7) in March, 1978 in Japan and later in Australia and New Zealand and subsequently on cd. “She Belongs To Me”, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, “Just Like A Woman”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and “One Too Many Mornings” come from the May 16th Sheffield tape and again can be found also on A Nightly Ritual. The two tapes from the final two shows of the tour at the Royal Albert Hall contribute “Fourth Time Around”, “Visions Of Johanna”, and “Like A Rolling Stone”. Before The Crash Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (Music With Love 001/002) is a previous release of these tapes and “Visions Of Johanna” appears on the Biograph release on Columbia.
The sound quality on the second disc is just as good as on the first. The London shows exist only on vinyl and there is evidence of that but it is kept to a minimum. On both discs Hollow Horn approximately replicates the set lists. With the Australian shows the acoustic set of the Melbourne and the electric set of the Sydney are used which include “Positively Fourth Street”, the only time played on this tour replacing “Like A Rolling Stone”. Dylan has tuning problems before “Visions of Johanna” explaining that his guitar broke in Australia. These shows are very good, but the second disc documenting the performances in England is a prime example of how tumultuous the shows could be. Dylan’s introduction to “Visions Of Johanna”, where he says, “I’m not gonna play any more concerts here in England. I just wanted to say that ah…it’s a…it’s all wrong to a…this is a typical example of probably one song that your English music newspapers here would call a drug song…I don’t write drug songs. I never have, I wouldn’t know how to go about it. But, ah, this is not a drug song. I’m not trying to give a defensive reason or anything like that. It’s just not a drug song and it’s vulgar to think so” comes from the May 27th show but the track itself is from May 26th. Before “One Too Many Mornings” from Sheffield Dylan gives an intro in gibberish.
Before “Ballad Of A Thin Man” from the Birmingham show someone, who is inaudible, shouts that Woody Guthrie would be spinning in his grave to which Dylan respond cryptically “there’s a fellow there looking for the saviour” which gives the title to this collection. Another highlight of this collection is the nine minute “Like A Rolling Stone” which Dylan stretches and spits out every lyric in contempt. There is an extended jam by the end but Robertson can’t seem to improvise, repeating main theme over and over again and tries to bring the song to an end. Looking For The Saviour also comes with a fifteen-page booklet titled Performing Artist (1958-1966). It contains notes corresponding to each of the seven volumes in the collection and is the same size as the packaging for the compact discs. The book contains seldom seen photos from the early days to the final tour and is an informative piece of literature. Overall this brings the Performing Artist series to a close and, along with the studio outtake series from two years ago are two extremely well produced and beautiful titles for the collection. Now that this one is completed, one wonders exactly what is next for Hollow Horn. Perhaps a performing artist series of the 70′s? (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)