Bob Dylan, ‘London Train Coming 1981’ (Hot Lips HLCD-5008)
Disk 1 – Come On In This House / It’s Gonna Rain Again / Show Me The Way / Saved By The Grace of Your Love / Gotta Serve Somebody / I Believe In You / Like A Rolling Stone / Till I Get It Right / Man Gave Names To All The Animals / Maggie’s Farm / Here Comes The Sun / Girl From The North Country / Dead Man, Dead Man / Simple Twist of Fate / Ballad Of A Thin Man / Slow Train / Walk Around Heaven All Day / Let’s Begin (74:05)
Disk 2 – Shot Of Love / Lenny Bruce / Mr. Tambourine Man / Solid Rock / Just Like A Woman / We Just Disagree / Masters Of War / Forever Young / Heart Of Mine / Watered-Down Love / When You Gonna Wake Up / In The Garden / Band Introductions / Blowin’ In The Wind / It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding / Knockin’ On Heavens Door. (76:50)
Recorded live at Earls Court, London, England, July 1st, 1981.
Released at the same time as ‘Osaka Premier’, ‘London Train Coming’ comes from the other side of Bob Dylan’s ‘Born Again’ period. Previous releases of these Earls Court shows from June 1981 such as ‘Birds Nest In Your Hair’ (Rattlesnake) which was described on this site as “an extremely enthusiastic performance by Dylan and the band”, ‘Think I’ll Call It A Man’ (Thinman) – “(A) very dramatic performance” and ‘Live In ’81 Earls Court’ (Raz Records). Those that love this period of Dylan’s live output will no doubt love this recording / release too – The full show captured in stunning quality with the right balance between the action on the stage and what was happening at ground level below.
The label suggest that they’ve cleaned up the sound a little by use of their ‘ambient stereo recording’ process and whatever they have done – or however little, it has worked brilliantly – from the opening collection of songs from the Dennis-King-McCray-Quebec quartet to Dylan’s extended set, the sound is good a powerful – If you have to take an exception from it all, the tape wrinkles right at the very beginning over around 3 seconds but that seems to be the only flaw to this remarkable recording. It has also been mentioned that Dylan’s tour team recorded this show – conflicting reports on the internet suggest they were recorded in sporadic points the way through or from the 1st of July, either way, it would be unlikely that the main recording would add too much over this capture.
The show is another equally impressive show from the Euro Summer tour of 1981, Dylan sings a lively show, is just as chatty as some of the other shows from the same tour and keeps remarkably cool when when some hound throws a bottle his way during the band introduction (A huge thud that you can quite plainly hear on this recording)
Hot Lips again package up the set in stylish way, a singular image to the front with eye-catching bold fonts, the rear is an algamation of stage shots in black and white and colour with an easily readable set. Another desirable addition to your Dylan collection and – it being the first press of the show – an instant collectable.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)