Bob Dylan & The Band - Before The Flood

Double Album 2LP 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Remaster

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Before The Flood is the first live album by American singer songwriter Bob Dylan and backing band The Band, originally released in June 1974 via Columbia Records.

Before The Flood, a double-album tour souvenir, suggests that these were generally dynamic shows, but not because they were reveling in the past, but because Dylan was fighting the nostalgia of his audience - nostalgia, it must be noted, that was promoted as the very reason behind these shows. Yet that's what gives this music such kick - Dylan reworks, rearranges, reinterprets these songs in ways that are still disarming, years after its initial release.

"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" becomes melodramatic, as Dylan breaks single syllables in two, his voice throbbing with artificial emotion. "It Ain't Me, Babe" is a stiff country march, glomphing along to an unk-cha! beat. "Ballad Of A Thin Man", despite some spooky organ, is dispirited.

"Lay Lady Lay", with funky guitar fills, is attractive, even though the altered bridge with its ascending end note gives a jarring feel. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" no longer has a cutting edge, is now more of a consolation.

An acoustic Dylan segment includes "Don't Think Twice," an entertaining modern rendition of a decade-old folk song. "Just Like A Woman" is transformed from its original the wasted lovely to a harsh interpretation. "It's All Right, Ma" is taken at blistering speed, and here the lyrics are well served by the rush of notes as Dylan spews out the words with a sentiment absent from the original recording. Here, he seems to have a personal stake in a song; the effect is relatively thrilling.

The Band, costars of this concert production, do seven familiar vehicles and the previously unrecorded "Endless Highway". Back with the Band, Dylan scores on "All Along The Watchtower", an unqualified treat which gains from becoming a real rock vehicle, the sort of inspired transformation we have come to expect from Dylan's revampings.

The indisputable highlight of these four sides, "Like A Rolling Stone", is kicked along by the Band in a twostep, a cakewalk, a triumph. The vocalist, shouts his message as an affirmation, not a putdown. The performers (and the audience) are singing about themselves, and the reply implicit to the refrain of "How does it feel?" is: Good.

Dylan could only have performed interpretations this radical with a group as sympathetic, knowing of his traits as the band, whose own recordings here are respites from the storm. And this is a storm - the sound of a great rocker, surprising his band and audience by tearing through his greatest songs in a manner that might not be comforting, but it guarantees it to be one of the best live albums of its time. Ever, maybe.

Check out the tracks: Ballad Of A Thin Man” and an audio video of a show from the '74 tour.

This double LP is a Music On Vinyl, 2014 remaster, reissued on 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve, pressed in Europe.

 

(8713748982119)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)

4:15

A2

Lay Lady Lay

3:14

A3

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

3:27

A4

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

3:51

A5

It Ain’t Me, Babe

3:40

A6

Ballad Of A Thin Man

3:41

B1

Up On Cripple Creek

5:25

B2

I Shall Be Released

3:50

B3

Endless Highway

5:10

B4

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

4:24

B5

Stage Fright

4:45

C1

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

4:36

C2

Just Like A Woman

5:06

C3

It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

5:48

C4

The Shape I’m In

4:01

C5

When You Awake

3:13

C6

The Weight

4:47

D1

All Along The Watchtower

3:07

D2

Highway 61 Revisited

4:27

D3

Like A Rolling Stone

7:09

D4

Blowin’ In The Wind

4:30

SKU 8713748982119
Record Label Columbia Records
Label / Model # Sony
Catalogue Number MOVLP340
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 21 July 2011
Original Release Date (Year) 20 June 1974
Barcode # 8713748982119
Shipping Weight 0.5400kg
Shipping Width 0.008m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000789000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Double Album 2LP Records, 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Remastered Audio, Reissue
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock
Genre Folk Rock
Format VINYL LP

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