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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Before The Flood (2CD)
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£6.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 23 June 2016
The seller was excellent in this sale as the original copy of the CD failed to arrive but they issued a replacement within a few days. Would use this seller again.
The actual content of the CD did not live up to my expectations. Compare Dylan's vocals on this live album with The Last Waltz. "Why all the shouting Bob? Had it not been for the Band's contributions, this album would have received a reluctant one star!
We should remember that Dylan is renowned for "changing" the studio arrangements of a lot of his milestone hits when playing live, but he seems to have abandoned the emotion of the lyrics on this album in an effort to be heard above the instruments. Shouting is not the vocalists best way to be heard. Try getting the audience noise level down instead of increasing the on stage volume.
Richard's and Levon's vocals and Robbie's guitar work saved the day!
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on 26 September 2013
I found this an enjoyable listen for all the usual aspects of a live performance. Bob Dylan and the rest are obviously on a high, buoyed by the audience(s) . Still enjoyable, but I was also aware that there was a quieter and (cliché alert!) more nuanced version of the songs from a studio setting.
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on 21 August 2017
Very good quality.
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on 13 October 2017
replaced my vinyl copy.Still as great today as when first issued
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 9 February 2013
If you like Dylan but feel so-so about The Band's music, be warned: this is live concert material by Bob Dylan & The Band, not just by Bob Dylan. This record of the 1974 tour features no fewer than 7 numbers by The Band, with His Bobness absent from the stage.

Dylan's on-stage material here with The Band behind him definitely rocks, with a lot of energy. The sound quality on the 2009 re-master is very, very good and a noticeable improvement on previous releases in clarity and `warmth.'

Highlights: `Most likely you go your way', `All along the watchtower' and `Like a rolling stone' are outstanding, played with gusto and feeling and may be the best recorded versions of those songs available. Other numbers like `Knockin on Heaven's door' and `Lay lady lay' lose some of their sensitivity, with Dylan - perhaps conscious that his voice has to reach the back of a big stadium - almost shouting rather than singing the lines.

Overall verdict: good but not great, with some fine moments.

BTW if you've never seen Martin Scorsese's elegy to the late-60s-early-70s musical epoch `The Last Waltz,' it's worth checking out. The film is based around The Band's farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day 1976, features some truly sublime music intercut with revealing interview footage of Robbie Robertson and other Band members, plus a stellar supporting cast of other musicians - including Dylan. It's excellent, and you might have a greater appreciation of `Before the Flood' after watching it.
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on 24 March 2017
I saw this tour and loved it. For me, Dylan was (and is) the best, and the Band, well they were great too. I remember listening to this at the time, but I never bought it. For me, live performances sound great live but never quite as good when captured on records. And this proves true with this double CD.

This is a true 50/50 album - half of Dylan backed by the Band and half of the Band sans Dylan. Both give very good accounts of themselves, with Dylan trying a bit too hard on his vocals - as he often does. His voice is an acquired taste and until his croaky phase that started in the 1980s, I always bought into it. I liked his re-interpretations but not his hollering, which he does a lot of on this. Mostly, the Band songs work very well.

This is decently recorded, marred a bit by all the cheering. I guess that proves it is live. Phil Ramone, one of the greats, recorded it, and he would produce Blood On The Tracks shortly after this was released. The material chosen is memorable by both acts, but it sends a chill down my spine to hear Dylan again in his pomp - well, just after it.

Nearly great and essential.
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on 3 March 2015
Live and hard rock - an amped up energetic document of the stadium filling Tour 74 - Bob and The Band back out on the road after nearly a decade (give or take the odd appearance in the intervening years). Always shedding off one more layer of skin, this couldn't sound any more different from the Rolling Thunder Review just a year later, or the Budokan era tour shortly after that. The Band are at full tilt (and their own songs included here are powerful), Bob's declamatory vocals and forceful strumming say more about that paranoid post-Watergate era than any Washington Post editorial. The lightning flash Strat crack on the intro to "Like A Rolling Stone" just IS mid-70's America.
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2009
I bought this album when it first came out in 1974 and played it endlessly. But this remastered CD gave me the opportunity to listen to it again for the first time in over twenty years. It is much better than I remembered it. The sound quality is great and the musicianship is warm and inspired.
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on 31 March 2012
I had this on vinyl in 1978. I must have listened to "like a rolling stone" endlessly- it is the one version where dylan says "how does it feel" etc. like he really means it. Great versions of other classics, in the dylan vein of always making it a bit different sung live. Eventually I bought the cd, it still makes me close my eyes when I listen. If you love dylans music, and want a bonus few classic tracks from the band, buy it. In fact, just buy it anyhow.
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on 25 October 2006
As a record of Dylan's 'Tour 74', this is a really good album, although the CD issue could have included a bit more music for the money.

There are some great versions here, but you have to like The Band's tough approach to the songs and the fact that Bob shouts a lot rather than sings, for example on Most Likely You'll Go Your Way, the set opener.

However, many songs benefit from this approach, particularly All Along the Watchtower, which gets a Hendrix inspired treatment. Predictably, the folkies get excited by the solo tracks, but I prefer the tracks with The Band.

The Band's own songs are enjoyable, but add little to the versions on Rock of Ages. There's one new song, Endless Highway, which is a nice surprise. The sound is solid and rich, but lacks some top-end and sounds pretty much the same as my old LPs.

The set makes an an interesting contrast to the Live 1966 'Albert Hall' concert, which featured the same musicians except Levon Helm.
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