– November 30, -0001
love this CD because its a mix of acoustic and rocking versions of some of Bobs classic songs and songs off Infidels. Backed by a small but excellent band that features former rolling stones guitarist Mick Taylor, blues breaker drummer Colin Allen on drums ex-Faces’ keyboard player Ian McLagan and bassist Greg Sutton, Real Live kicks some rocking life into some Dylan tunes.”Real Live” was the 1984 european tour that ended with a huge concert of 75,000 at wembley in the UK. ( You can see on utube videos of the wembley shows as well as others in germany and spain.)It starts off with Highway 61 is played as a chuck berry style rocker and moves along nicely compared some of the plainer versions i’ve heard .Maggies Farm starts of with great energetic shuffle drum riff and Taylor on slide guitar . This is is my favorite version ever of this song because Dylans vocals are great here and Taylor slide guitar riffs and fills are just So good ! Great energy.”I and I” is haunting with the band playing in a more minor key, compared to the infidels which featured more of Knoflpers style guitar style. Boths versions are great though.”Licence to kill” is done in a powerful dark mood with Taylor doing some beautifully dark extended solo’s. Dylans voice is great here and Ian McLagan on keyboards give a bit of a reggae feel.”It Ain’t me Babe”, has just Dylan on acoustic and you can heard by the crowd, its an audience favorite. His harmonica solo is not as good as earlier versions though and is a bit repetative.Next is a great version of “Tangled up in blue” , Dylans vocals and guitar are very good. He changes the words a bit, but compared to other versions, this one is more energetic.”Masters of War” is one of my favorites with its dark mood and Taylor’s very melodic lead guitar. Its much better than the Infidels version.”Ballad of a thin man” .. i usually skip this one..”Girl from the North Country” is excellent. Just Dylan on acoustic. The live ambience make you think you are actually up in the north country.”Tombstone Blues” was always the finally jam song on this tour where they brought Carlos Santana on stage to play with the band. (since he was the opening act). Its a great rocking version.Of all the live concerts form 1980 on, this captures Bob with more of a rocking sound that any other i’ve heard since. I love this CD.
– November 30, -0001
I just got this CD for my wife, who had worn out the LP and tape. (She was too thrifty in the 80’s.) I have nothing great or original to say here, but I don’t understand why everyone trashes “Empire Burlesque.” When Dylan released the 1965 album “Bringing It all Back Home,” all the folkies wept bitter tears–Dylan had gone electric! He was abused and reviled by his coffeehouse beatnik fans, and deeply mourned as having sold out. What BS. He was only getting started. This is a man who won the Pulitzer Prize for literature, and some of his best lyrics are on this album. My wife is obsessed with “When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky,” and with good reason. It rocks, it says much about relationships, and is perfect poetry. She’d play her (unplugged) Fender Strat along with the video on MTV every time it came on. She was a very good electric guitarist then, tho she’s had to stop playing now for physical reasons. So the 80s used synths. This song can be duplicated exactly by a live band, too. It’s all the haters again. Nothing a genius like Dylan does is liked across the board because tastes and prejudices are so varied. The video rocked out, featuring Eurythmics Dave Stewart, bassist Phil Chen, and some of Tom Petty’s crew–pianist Benmont Tench, and drummer Stan Lynch. There was a gritty, urgent sound to the song that lent itself to the images of the poor neighborhood in which that video was filmed.Let Dylan do what he wants, WHEN he wants. He will, anyway. Give a little. He wanted to do this album in 1985 and he did. He produced it himself, and every song on it is a treasure. His future second wife sings on it, with some of the finest female backing vocalists ever. The studio musicians were the best to be had. Why people can’t let Dylan express whatever he’s feeling at any given time is beyond me. And why synth is so appalling to people today is a mystery. The music that came after the 80s was really problematic. We never could understand why grown men used to scratch vinyl LPs by pushing them back and forth against the stylus, in order to make noise. What was THAT? Well, it was called “music.” We just let it go. It was modern–it appealed to a new generation. We didn’t trash it, we ignored. Most of the non-musician critics on here could learn to do the same.
– November 30, -0001
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