Bob Dylan – Walk Around Heaven All Day (Thinman-026/027)

Walk Around Heaven All Day (Thinman-026/027)
Earl’s Court, London, England – June 26, 1981

Disc 1:  Come On In This House, It’s Gonna Rain Again, Show Me The Way Lord, Saved By The Grace Of Your Love (Willie Smith/David Palmer), 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, Simple Twist Of Fate, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Girl From The North Country, Dead Man Dead Man, Mr. Tambourine Man, Slow Train, song intro

Disc 2:  Walk Around Heaven All Day (Rev J Cleveland/C George), Abraham Martin And John (Dick Holler), Barbara Allen (trad.), Lenny Bruce, Just Like A Woman, Solid Rock, Forever Young, Watered-Down Love, What Can I Do For You?, Masters Of War, When You Gonna Wake Up?, In The Garden, Blowin’ In The Wind, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right (acoustic)

Walk Around Heaven All Day is Thinman’s second release from the summer tour in support of Shot Of Love.  The tour began with two French dates (Toulouse on June 21st and Colombes on June 23rd) before settling in for a six-night residency at London’s Earl’s Court.  This is a new tape source for the opening night in England.  The older source was released in 1982 on the vinyl title Footsteps  ’81 (ST 1313), limited to three hundred copies.  It was was copied the following year as Gospel Rock And More (ST B+D 1313 A/B) with a limited release of one hundred copies.  This new source is much more complete with the gospel opening and non-Dylan songs and is much better sounding too.  The taper was fairly close to the stage and was able to make a nice document.  The cavernous acoustics of the venue produce a tremendous echo but all of the instruments are clear with minimal top end distortion at some points.

The introductory “Come On In This House” is the perfect up-tempo opener by inviting people to come in and praise the Lord:  “We don’t need no music / come on in this house…of the Lord.”  “It’s Gonna Rain Again” is a mid-tempo number with the repeated refrain “It’s gonna rain / better get ready and bear this mind/ God showed Noah the rainbow sign / it won’t be water but fire next time”.  Dylan begins his set with the hard rock version of “Gotta Serve Somebody” followed by an aggressive “I Believe In You” and the first non-gospel number “Like A Rolling Stone”.  T here is a cut right after “Man Gave Names To All The Animals” eliminating most of Dylan’s comments and cutting back his greeting to Max Jones (“Who is Max Jones?” someone by the taper asks) before launching into a devastating version of “Maggie’s Farm”.  “Dead Man Dead Man” is introduced as “a new song we just did about a month ago.  I don’t know when it’ll be released.  It’s called ‘Dead Man Dead Man When Will You Arise'”.

“Barbara Allen” makes a surprising appearance in the set list.  Dylan sang this song in the early sixties and a version is included on Live At The Gaslight 1962.  It would appear again in the early days of the NET but here he sings it because “people have always…last few years they’ve been asking me ‘sing an old song’.  There’s a whole lot of people that love to live in the past.  I do it some times myself.  Anyhow, this is a real old song.  I used to sing this song before I wrote any songs.  I’ll try this, don’t do this too often any more, but I’ll try it anyway.  I used to sing that at the Troubadour Club, I don’t know if it’s still there.  It used to be there.”  A new song follows this from Shot Of Love, “Lenny Bruce”, which Dylan introduces as:  ” another song just recently recorded.  About a comedian named Lenny Bruce.  I don’t know why, sometimes I write these songs.  I wrote this in about two minutes.  I figured well, if it’s that easy I should keep it.”

The show’s finale is surprisingly heavy on the gospel material with the show closing with a dramatic version of “In The Garden”.  The full gospel arrangement of “Blowin’ In The Wind” is played for the first encore.  An acoustic version opened many shows on this tour but this night has only one.  The packaging is very attractive with only one black and white picture used on the insert.  The rest are all clear and in color from the tour.  There is one interesting picture in the insert which shows Dylan preaching to the audience.  Walk Around Heaven All Day is another great release on Thinman and worth checking out.  (GS)

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