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Bob Dylan – The Complete Osaka Premier (Hot Lips CD HLCD-5006)

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Bob Dylan, ‘The Complete Osaka Premier’ (Hot Lips CD HLCD-5006)

Disk 1 – Applause / A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall / Repossession Blues / Mr. Tambourine Man / I threw It All Away / Love Minus Zero – No Limit / Ballad Of A Thin Man / If You See Her, Say Hello / Girl From The North Country / Maggies Farm / Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright / To Ramona / Like A Rolling Stone / I Shall Be Released / Going, Going, Gone.

Disk 2 – Applause / One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) / Blowin’ In The Wind / Just Like A Woman / Oh Sister / You’re A Big Girl Now / All Along The Watchtower / I Want You / All I Really Wanna Do / The Man In Me / Knocking’ On Heaven’s Door / band Introductions / It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding / Forever Young / The Times They Are A-Changing.

Matasushita Denki Taiikukan, Osaka, Japan, February 24th, 1978.

The Japanese shows of 1978 by Bob Dylan are fairly well represented between various labels. It’s unfortunate that the Tarantura label’s output from the Peach archives has shuddered to a halt, there are a few representatives from the Thin Man / Tambourine man stable and then this show, which has only seen one other release on the Great White Wonder label nearly 21 years ago.

A gaudy, over-egged cover wouldn’t help it’s collectability, the fact that tracks from a couple of nights later were stuck into the setlist at the end of the individual disks doesn’t help either – they’re a frankenstein hotchpotch of what the show should have been – All very good at the time but not for the discerning listener these days. Thankfully, the Hot Lips label bring us a brand new recording – a copy of the matrix that dropped at Dime in March of this year with various fixes from different sources by uploader, Audiowhore – with the suggestion that we have the most complete version and in the best ever quality.

Audiowhore noted that his reconstruction thus; This is a ‘new’ version of this show that uses LB-12066 to patch the three brief missing sections from LB-4133. The recordings have also been mixed to hopefully improve their sound. The result is a complete version of this very nice show from Osaka.
LB-4133 is a very good quality recording. Thanks to the taper for doing such a great job. This same recording has also been torrented as LB-4143, LB-7293 and LB-11745. This is easy to confirm due to three brief missing sections in the recording, most likely due to tape (or reel) flips made by the taper.
These occur as follows:
1. between Maggie’s Farm and Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
2. between Blowin’ In The Wind and Just Like A Woman
3. between The Man in Me and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.
These cuts resulted in a brief section of Bob talk missing after Maggie’s Farm and the first few lines of Just Like A Woman also being lost.
I have given LB-4133 some gentle EQ to hopefully improve its already very good sound and then used hard limit between tracks to smooth any excessive audience applause.
LB-12066 is an alternate recording of this show from LK’s tape collection. Thanks to LK for sharing this rarity! While the recording quality of LB-12066 is noticeably poorer than that of LB-4133, it does include each of the three sections missing from LB-4133. A simple patch of these sections was not possible though due to LB-12066 running slower and being a lower pitch than LB-4133. So I sped up LB-12066 by 3.08% so as to match LB-4133, and then increased the pitch by 3% in order to match that too. The speed and pitch matched LB-12066 was then given an EQ mix and hard limiting to improve the sound as much as possible. However, it remains of noticeably poorer sound quality.
The following missing sections were then patched into LB-4133.
Maggies Farm > Don’t Think Twice = 24 seconds patched in
Blowin’ In The Wind > Just Like A Woman = 41 seconds patched in
The Man in Me > Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door = 16 seconds patched in

It’s a great tape alright – very, very rich and listenable, more impassioned than the eventual live album (‘Live at the Budokan’) but then the tapes that we’ve heard generally have been. The joins are nice and smooth despite – as has been mentioned – the fixer tape being of a rougher provenance. It takes a keener ear to notice the changes on playback.

Hot Lips package up the set in a typical Idol Mind style – One solo image to the front with impressive blocky fonts, the rear is cluttered with a couple of different shots from the tour and nice clear track listings.

As no-one else has stepped in to press this show, it’s a useful addition to your collection and a very good point to start if you’re considering where to collect.

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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