Night Of The Hurricane 1 & 2 (Real Boot RBT-01A/B/02)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – December 8th, 1975
Astrodome, Houston, TX – January 25th, 1976
Disc 1 Night Of The Hurricane 1, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – December 8th, 1975: When I Paint My Masterpiece, It Ain’t Me Babe, Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You, It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry, Romance In Durango, Isis, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Dark As A Dungeon, Mama You Been On My Mind, Never Let Me Go, I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine.
Disc 2: I Shall Be Released, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Simple Twist Of Fate, Oh Sister, Hurricane, One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below), Sara, Just Like A Woman, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, This Land Is Your Land
Disc 3 Night Of The Hurricane 2, Houston Astrodome, Houston, TX – January 25th, 1976: Introduction, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Maggie’s Farm, One Too Many Mornings, Romance In Durango, introducing Ringo Starr, I Threw It All Away, Isis, Positively 4th Street, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Oh Sister, One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below), Sara, Lay Lady Lay, Just Like A Woman, Hurricane, Ride ’em Jew Boy (by Kinky Friedman)
Night Of The Hurricane 1 & 2 collects audience tapes of the two benefits Bob Dylan organized and played for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter for whom the song “Hurricane” was written. This is simply a re-release of Night Of The Hurricane Volume 1 (covering the New York tape) and Volume 2 (covering the Houston tape) from three years ago on the Real Boot label and reviewed on this site. There is no difference in sound quality to the older editions.
On the older release Reel Boot used a tape source for the New York show that had a cut in “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll”. On this release there is no cut making it a bit more complete. The first two discs cover the final Rolling Thunder Revue show in 1975. There are two tape sources for this show. One is complete, capturing the entire show that is good to very good. The second one utilized on this release documents Dylan’s sets only and is a tremendous and dynamic stereo audience recording that is a joy to listen to.
There are signs of tape corruption by the end with an audible scraping sounds starting in the middle of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and continuing through “This Land Is Your Land”. This tape first surfaced on vinyl in the late ’70’s as Hurricane Carter Benefit on the Phoenix label and was reissued several times before it was finally pressed on cd, vinyl noise and all, in 1991 as Hurricane Carter Benefit (OMBS 99). Knight of the Hurricane on Razor’s Edge (GWW 001/002) followed in 1998 and was an improvement over the older issue since it used the tape source.
The concert itself is one of the best from the tour with many surprises. Before “It Takes A Lot” Dylan announces “We’re gonna bring out an old friend who plays in The Band, Mr. Robbie Robertson. We’re gonna do this song now for Mr. Albert Grossman. Hello Albert! Who won’t be the next president. Don’t even want to be president”. “We’re gonna play this song now. This is what this concert, or this show is all about. And this person, he’s a beautiful man, and beauty should never be in prison” he says before a great version of “Hurricane”.
The Houston show is the first on the 1976 leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue several days after rehearsals in Los Angeles. This disc is composed of three tape sources. The first starts with the opening house announcements and goes through “Isis” and fades out when Dylan introduces Mick Ronson. This is a good albeit distant and compressed audience tape with “One Too Many Mornings” sounding particularly distorted. The second source begins with “Positively 4th Street” and runs through “Hurricane”. This one is worse than the first sounding very thin. The third source documents the final song “Ride ‘Em Jewboy” by Kinky Friedman and this is poor as well.
The Houston show has its surprises, as does New York with Ringo Starr joining the band before “I Threw It All Away”. This is very much a transition concert between the 1975 and the 1976 Rolling Thunder Revues as the set list and overall mood of the tour would change drastically in the springtime. “Maggie’s Farm”, for example, shares a similar arrangement as the San Antonio show reviewed previously but without the hostility. This concert is also the last time “Hurricane” would ever be played live. Overall this is a nicely put together package which is worth having. The New York tape alone is with it, but it is good to hear them playing in the cavernous Astrodome in Houston.