This is a recording, as the title suggests, of a Dylan concert at Brandeis University in May 1963. It remained lost for almost 50 years and has never been released before, not even as a bootleg. On the evidence here Dylan was, even at this early stage of his career, both a confident and an accomplished live performer. The audience are really receptive and Dylan gives them plenty of laughs particularly on the anti-communist mocking 'Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues'. Just 21 years old, Dylan was fast becoming a phenomenon - his mature lyrics and song writing skills putting him in a league of his own, as evidenced on the extraordinary 'Masters of War'.
Opener 'Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance' is incomplete (it has a very brief fade in) and there are three talkin' blues songs. The sound quality over all is very good but it does suffer slightly on 'Talkin' World War III Blues' and the first half of 'Bob Dylan's Dream' (Dylan is heard asking at the end of 'Talkin' World War III Blues' if a microphone is plugged in which probably explains why).
Clocking in at 38 minutes and housed in a standard jewel case, this is essential listening for Dylan aficionados.
on 22 May 2011
Early Dylan, working the circuit in the shadow of bigger names who have since long been forgoten and seldom acknowledged. The sound, recorded in a gymnasium is variable but the lyrics are clear and so is the talent! He is confident, making a VERY DIFFERENT sound and message to his peers delivered with the Dylan break in his voice and the amazing lyrics carrying a powerful message. I was asked by a young person today 'which war was he protesting about?' well, it is all wars but was then the Vietnam war I guess. Billy Brag has since said that pre internet, twitter and mass communication it cannot be underestimated just how powerful such songs could be and that they spread like a 'virus' (at a snail's pace by todays standards) by record sales. Simply by purchasing a vinyl record meant that you could be part of a world conciousness, an awareness that affected so many people across the world. Dylan still posesses the power to affect people and the cross genrational appeal is testimony to his integrity. Buy this 1963 recording and be delighted, I was!
on 12 April 2011
Another release of early material by Bob Dylan which highlights the nascent talent that was to become such an influence throughout the music industry. The CD is from a live concert at Brandies University in 1963 featuring some songs that would become standards later. The concert begins with Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance and though incomplete, this unpolished version sounds good. There is an extempore version of Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues (which differs from the version on The Bootleg Series Vol 6) with Dylan sounding comfortable and at home with the audience. Both Ballad of Hollis Brown and Masters of War sound really polished. There is also a version of Bob Dylan's Dream that is played at a slower tempo than on `The Freewheelin' album, which I felt was very effective and really enjoyable. In fact all the songs are pleasing, and whether your preference is for Dylan's early or later recordings, this CD arguably deserves a place in the collection of most fans.
on 18 May 2011
This is an interesting little album, and I do mean little; it's only seven tracks.
Dylan sounds assured and confident with his material and his audience, and is obviously enjoying himself. However this lightness of touch does belie the passion he has for his songs. Two tracks, Hollis Brown and, in particular, Masters of War, are delivered with power and, even, some real hate, while the voice for Bob Dylan's Dream carries deep loss and regret for a life and friends left behind. "I wish we could sit simply in that room again."
It feels VERY diffrent from the studio recordings. Buy it and listen often even if you've been listening to the songs for 40+ years!