The 1966 Live Recordings, Bob Dylan

A box of 36 discs that tracks a single year of majestic performance from the maestro himself, Bob Dylan, it even records the live audience and their reaction to his on-stage presence. This box set is exclusively for the 1966 world tour.

The box set manages to grasp listeners from the word go. With the first set of tracks being more acoustic and vocal, the later part showcases his possessive attitude with electric compositions. Dylan rose to acclaim during the 60s and The 1966 Live Recordings is testament to this fact. It manages to capture the rapt audience listening to his live performances, including the onstage controversies such as playing electric guitar in front of a rock band. To top it all off, his often political lyrics come to the front during the entire recording.  The 36 discs truly show off his super charged vitality.

Right off the bat, the collection starts with a set format of songs. Bob Dylan always preferred sticking to a routine, playing certain songs in order and no matter the venue or occasion he stuck to the plan. This is evident in this box set as each CD moves from one tour to another but the tracks and their sequence remain almost the same. The audience reaction is vividly captured throughout the collection. As additional value items, the box set comes with songs that were unfinished or simply never released to the public. Some of the recordings though may be too vocal and slightly unpolished but overall, this collection is an excellent summary of Bob Dylan and his rise to fame in the 60s. Some even say that the box set is a perfect classic tour from the beginning to the end.

Starting out the discs set the pace and by the time you reach the 27th disc you suddenly realize that you are with Dylan on a Paris stage struggling to get the acoustics in sync. That is when you are treated to yet another of his histrionics as he struggles with the vocals and a slurred pitch. By the way, it happens to be the occasion of his 25th birthday and so probably he was under more pressure then. The audience in the background is not all that audible but their reaction adds more value to these recordings.

Chris Lear, Managing Director at One Sure Insurance, an Insurance broker who specialises in motor trade insurance believes that Bob Dylan was an idol for the insurance agency, said, “For a hardcode Dylan fan, such tiny details are what sets the box set apart from the rest.”

Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson on the piano and organ together belt out tunes that according to some British musical experts were overkill for the time. Then they moderate this with a little R&B in certain areas that together culminates in some sort of mix. Bob Dylan and his penchant for making more of mixes for onstage performance are caught in the 36 CDs giving a preview to what the band will eventually be known for. A few solos here and there but not much of it, Dylan taking over the pianos, an interview and more are all a part of the box set available now.

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