Border Beneath The Sun: Definitive Version (Thinman-012/013)
Pavilion de Paris, Paris, France – July 6th, 1978
Disc 1: My Back Pages (instrumental), She’s Love Crazy, Baby Stop Crying, Mr. Tambourine Man, Shelter From The Storm, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Tangled Up In Blue, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Maggie’s Farm, I Don’t Believe You, Like A Rolling Stone, I Shall Be Released, Going Going Gone, Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35 (instrumental), True Love Tends To Forget, Gates Of Eden (acoustic)
Disc 2: The Man In Me, One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below), Blowin’ In The Wind, I Want You, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), Masters Of War, Just Like A Woman, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, All Along The Watchtower, All I Really Want To Do, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), Forever Young, Changing Of The Guards, The Times They Are A-Changin’
On Border Beneath The Sun: Definitive Edition Thinman utilizes the complete excellent stereo audience recording. It comes from a DAT clone of the reel-to-reel master that has surfaced before. This tape first surfaced on the vinyl title Tangerine (Impossible Record Works) and on cd as Border Beneath The Sun on Silver Rarities (SIRA CD36/37) and its cdr no label clone Paris Is For Lovers. As good as the cd releases are they were plagued with very low volume making it hard to hear. This is the issue that Thinman addresses on this release. They have increased the volume along with a slight hiss noticeable in quieter passages. It isn’t a serious issue but is there. This is perhaps the greatest document from Dylan’s 1978 tour and an excellent example of the “Las Vegas” cabaret style arrangements of his classic songs.
The show has two parts each beginning with an instrumental, “My Back Pages” before the first and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″ before the second. Dylan is very vocal in this show and even attempts to speak in French. ” Thank you. Thank you very much. Ce chanson, est l’histoire comme ma vie. I hope I said that right,” he says before “Shelter From The Storm”. Before “Maggie’s Farm” he intones ” Thank you, Merci. Une chanson … hmm … Ain’t gonna work on ‘Maggie’s Farm’ no more.” The arrangement is reminiscent of the 1976 Rolling Thunder Revue with its stop-start melody. ” Thank you. Merci. Une nouveau chanson” Dylan announces before a great version of “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power).” The highlight of the show is perhaps one of the all time greatest versions of “All Along The Watchtower”. The song’s melody opens on the flute and gives way to a duet between David Mansfield on violin and Billy Cross on lead guitar, trading off solos between the verses until it ends with a scorching violin solo. Rarely has anything else been heard in rock and even Dylan sounds impressed as he introduces Mansfield at the end of the piece.
Owning the recording for this one song alone is worth the asking price. In contrasting this Paris gig with the earlier ones in Japan, it is apparent that Dylan and the band have really jelled and were much more comfortable with the new arrangements. Of course all these numbers would be dropped for several years when he went through is “born again” phase. Thinman have truly released the definitive version of this show, until perhaps a stereo soundboard recording is found. The label focuses upon releasing classic Dylan shows and this is an excellent release. It comes packaged in a double slimline case with several photos on the inserts including a picture of Dylan during a sound check, singing to an empty auditorium. Border Beneath The Sun: Definitive Edition is definitely worth having. (GS)