Rolling Thunder Revue 1975, recorded in Worcester, Massachusetts and Harvard Square in the US. With 64pp booklet. An Official Sony Legacy boxset with all five professionally recorded dates on the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour: 29th October - Seacrest Motel Rehearsals, Falmouth, MA; 19th November - Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA; 20th November - Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge, MA. Plus two discs of rehearsals at SIR Studios 19th & 21st October plus a bonus disc of rare performances from other dates on the tour is also available.
After his 1966 world tour, Bob Dylan didn’t hit the road again (barring a handful of one-off appearances) until his return to the stage in January 1974 with his US tour backed by The Band. It would be only eighteen months until his next set of shows and this time he had something different in mind. Launched in the fall of 1975, ‘Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue’ flaunted the touring conventions of the time by featuring an eclectic cast of characters and playing small and unusual venues with little advance notice. The shows would often stretch to more than four hours long, generating some of the artist’s most dramatic and dynamic on-stage performances ever. Dylan debuted the new songs he’d written for his forthcoming ‘Desire’ album (which became one of the most acclaimed and popular in his canon) with a fire and intensity that Dylan had reached ten years earlier with his incendiary tours with musicians who became The Band. He also took wild, interpretative rides through his back catalogue and broke-out some unexpected covers.
Dylan gathered amazing friends and collaborators for his ensemble – dubbed Guam for the tour – that included T Bone Burnett, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bobby Neuwirth, Scarlett Rivera, Ronee Blakley, Steven Soles, David Mansfield, Rob Stoner, Howie Wyeth and Luther Rix. Poet Allen Ginsberg and Joni Mitchell also brought their talents to the show’s encores. Dylan, the consummate band leader, managed to take these musicians from various backgrounds and sensibilities and mold them into a tight musical unit on stage.
Five shows were professionally recorded. Some were filmed as well along with hours of other footage, backstage and elsewhere, to be used for a film Bob had in mind. The tour was relatively short: it commenced on 30th October and finished on 8th December and only covered the North East of the U.S. with four dates in Canada. A second leg of the Revue took in the rest of the U.S. the following spring, after the release of ‘Desire’. A TV special and a live album ‘Hard Rain’ came from this period but the common consensus was that this tour wasn’t as hot as the first one. It wasn’t until 1978 that Bob’s film ‘Renaldo & Clara’, a four hour marathon of seemingly unconnected scenes with nearly all the musicians, interspersed with live footage from the first leg was released. It got a carpeting from US critics but in Europe the film was lapped up until Bob himself withdrew the film from circulation in the mid-80s.
This collection features 148 tracks in all from the 1975 leg, with more than 100 of those never previously released. Included in the box set is a 52-page booklet featuring rare and never-before-seen Rolling Thunder Revue photos and a revelatory essay by novelist/musician Wesley Stace.
'The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings' serves as a companion piece to the new film, ‘Rolling Thunder Revue - A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese’. Every one of Bob Dylan’s performances in the movie can be found in this boxed set.