After a long career which has famously been `Bootlegged' many times, Bob Dylan has now decided to do what the fans have wanted all along and started to release previously archived material - unreleased demos, live recordings, stuff that never made it onto albums etc - in a series of official Bootleg albums. The first three volumes were a good mixture of alternative versions and live numbers that never made it to albums and included many important and interesting recordings, such as the original Blood on the Tracks sessions. The fourth volume was the infamous Manchester concert from 1966, recorded at a time when Dylan was accused of being a traitor to the folk movement for his electric album Highway 61. So far so good, these have been recordings well worth owning, especially the visceral '66 concert. But for volume 5, a live recording from the 1975 Rolling Thunder review I feel as though material is now being released for the sake of it and to cash in on avid fans (such as myself) who will buy anything released by his Bobness.
It's not to say it's a bad record, it's just that there's nothing new here. The previous bootlegs added to the sum total of original Dylan in my collection. Here we just get another live recording of stuff we've heard a thousand times before. And there's nothing to set it apart, none of the vigour of the Before the Flood concerts or the originality and reinterpretation of Dylan at Budokan. It's almost like another greatest hits compilation. 3 stars for the feeling of cashing in by Bob.