Bob Dylan – Train On Down To Brighton (Thinman-054/55)

 Train On Down To Brighton (Thinman-054/55)

Brighton Centre, Brighton, England – March 26, 1995

Disc 1: Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood), I Want You, All Along The Watchtower, Just Like A Woman, Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate, Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic), Boots Of Spanish Leather (acoustic)

Disc 2: Mama You Been On My Mind (acoustic), Dignity, Man In A Long Black Coat, Maggie’s Farm, Like A Rolling Stone, It Ain’t Me Babe (acoustic), I Shall Be Released

Train On Down To Brighton is the first silver disc debut of Dylan’s first British show on the spring, 1995 tour. Several tape sources exist and Thinman use the best of the lot. It is an up-front, very clear stereo audience recording capturing every detail of the majestic, nuanced performance. None of the songs are cut in any way, but there is a small digital glitch thirteen seconds into “I Want You” on disc one. In contrast to the earlier Prague shows, Brighton is less ethereal and more straightforward with heavier emphasis on the instrumental passages by the band.

The tape begins with the PA introduction followed by the opening number. Like most of the shows on this tour, the opening number is “Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)” followed by “I Want You” making its first appearance of the year. Another scorching version of “Tangled Up In Blue” is played and is followed by another Blood On The Tracks songs “Simple Twist Of Fate” (which also happens to follow “Tangled” on the LP). This arrangement transforms the narrative thrust of the studio recording from resignation to one’s inescapable destiny to optimism in providential care and desire (represented by the occasional chime heard throughout). John Jackson’s guitar solo comes five minutes into the song delivering a tower of strength and makes this rendition a true masterpiece. “Mr. Tambourine Man” is very gentle with Baxter underlying the melody with his slide.

“Mama You Been On My Mind” was considered for some of the earlier shows but finally makes an appearance in the acoustic set and even this stripped down version is a foot stomper and a lot of fun. The following song “Dignity” is the only “new” song in the set. It was written in the late eighties but wasn’t released until Greatest Hits Vol. 3 in 1994 and on the MTV “Unplugged” broadcast. The flighty guitar serves as an uplifting foil in contrast with the gravity of the rest of the performance. “Man In The Long Black Coat” again steals the show with another breathtaking delivery. “We’re getting out of here right now. We got places to be, things to do” Dylan says before “Maggie’s Farm,” and “Like A Rolling Stone” is the set closer.

An acoustic version of “It Ain’t Me Babe” is the first encore and is followed by “I Shall Be Released.” This is one of six performances of the song that year, and each time it is used as a special, second encore. Train On Down To Brighton is packaged in a double slimline jewel case and the inserts are printed on color glossy paper. Dylan’s tour of Europe in the spring of 1995 has, twelve years later, attained legendary status and any document is worth having. It is to Thinman’s credit that Train and License are rather oddball choices for silver release. It would have been tempting to manufacture a massive six disc set with all the Prague shows (for example), the third Prague and Brighton concerts stand on their own and are worth having.

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