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    1. Live at Fillmore West
    $14.99 $10.99 list($17.98)
    2. Live from Austin, TX
    $13.49 $11.98 list($16.98)
    3. Live at Blues Alley
    $10.99 $7.65 list($11.98)
    4. MTV Unplugged
    $26.49 $25.48 list($32.98)
    5. Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe
    $14.99 $12.99 list($19.98)
    6. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob
    $14.99 $14.84 list($18.98)
    7. Live at the Old Quarter Houston
    $14.99 $13.95 list($19.98)
    8. In the Hills of California
    $13.99 $13.01 list($17.98)
    9. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
    $20.99 $11.42 list($23.98)
    10. Live from Mars
    $10.99 $7.50 list($11.98)
    11. Greatest Stories Live
    $14.99 $13.93 list($19.98)
    12. Before The Flood [Live With The
    $14.99 $11.71 list($18.98)
    13. Live Rust
    $13.99 $7.99 list($18.98)
    14. Down from the Mountain: Live Concert
    15. Majikat
    $22.99 $19.63 list($24.98)
    16. 1200 Curfews
    $13.98 $5.99
    17. Rust Never Sleeps
    $10.99 $8.49 list($11.98)
    18. Miles of Aisles
    $13.99 $10.66 list($18.98)
    19. The Concert in Central Park
    $17.99 $14.98 list($21.98)
    20. Bootleg Series 6: Concert at Philharmonic

    1. Live at Fillmore West
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000641A2C
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 55164
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    2. Live from Austin, TX
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Z9R0W
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1021
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Austin City Limits tends to bring out the best in the musicians it showcases, and Richard Thompson is the sort of artist that the series reveres most. The veteran British folk-rock troubadour remains an instrumental virtuoso, a soulful singer, and a songwriter whose depth and emotional complexity rival Dylan's. This 15-song set provides neither a career-spanning retrospective nor a greatest-hits rehash, as Thompson's selection of some of his lesser-known material shows that he's incapable of writing a throwaway. The rhythm section of bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Michael Jerome gives his guitar plenty of room to maneuver on the acoustic numbers that dominate the performance before the set builds to the electrifying climax of the lacerating "She Twists the Knife Again" and the explosive "Shoot Out the Lights." On "Uninhabited Man," Thomspon combines a guitar progression that recalls the Byrds with a lyric that gives a sinister twist to the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while the pensive, sinuous "Ghosts in the Wind" extends his exploration into the recesses of the psyche. Though Thompson's droll humor typically provides a change-of-pace respite from the dark intensity of his material, this disc edits out all the between-song patter in favor of more music. --Don McLeese

    Recommended Richard Thompson Discography

    Fairport Convention, Unhalfbricking

    Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief

    Fairport Convention, Full House

    Richard & Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

    Richard & Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights

    Hand of Kindness

    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best singer/songwriter of our time
    The other day, my best friend, whose name happens to be 'Rich',
    was trying to explain to me how much he liked this song, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." I had never heard it before. Odd, considering I've been an avid Richard Thompson fan for over 30 years, since seeing Fairport during their last tour - in 1976 - before Sandy died. At any rate, Rich went on to tell me how he had found out the song was written by Richard Thompson. And he said, "Man, does that guy write everything??"

    The more I thought about it, the more it occurred to me that Richard Thompson has written every song with any meaning that I've heard for at least the last 15 years. From the haunting "Just The Motion," with its rocking guitar solo and suicidal edge, to the venerable "Genesis Hall" (a song RT performed at my request twice); from the wonderfully manic
    "Little Blue Number", woven with an out-of-the box krummhorn accompaniment that just isn't allowed, to the intense rocker "Living On Borrowed Time," this gifted musician is neither predictable nor limited, and he gives a hell of a performance, besides!

    It really doesn't get better than this. Oh, by the way, I finally got to hear "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." Kinda like Dylan -- only better!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lively, muscular sesson
    I think nearly everyone has heard a Richard Thompson recording, seen him in concert, or both, so many folks may bypass "Live from Austin, TX," figuring why do I need this one? To do so would be a mistake, even for those with a stack of Mr. Thompson's CDs.

    This performance, which was recorded live to tape for the "Austin City Limits" PBS show, features songs from throughout Mr. Thompson's long and steady career, some of which are not as well known as the tracks 1952 Vintage Black Lightning or Shoot Out the Lights. But throughout, Mr. Thompson brandishes his guitars like a weapon, ripping off searing solos or letting his fingers do the talking to convey emotional nuances. He is equally adroit on his vocals, conveying pain, adding a dash of humor, underscoring a turn of events with a bit of a sneer or a sustained note.

    Every track has its merits and its own story, from the self-effacing Walking the Long Miles Home to the undeterred love-struck soul in Persuasion. Hearing Mr. Thompson take an image, such as the jackknifed truck in Easy There, Steady Now, and using that as metaphor for lost love makes one appreciate what a fine writer he is. The angst that builds through She Twists the Knife Again mercifully culminates into a fiery guitar finale, making one wonder if the strings are infused with magnesium.

    Much of Mr. Thompson's work is as a solo artist, and while that work is enduring, hearing this collection performed with the excellent rhythm section of Danny Thompson on bass and Michael Jerome on drums is a revelation. This trio of veteran musicians never sounds at cross purposes but displays a subtle interplay equally effective with on the jazzy Al Bowling's in Heaven or the punchy rocker Crawl Back (Under My Stone).

    The sound quality is excellent, but Mr. Thompson's typical onstage banter (if you have seen him live, you know what I mean) and enough of the applause has been snipped out---which I think improves the overall flow and energy of this lively, muscular session.

    ... Read more

    3. Live at Blues Alley
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000009PO2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 584
    Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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    When Eva Cassidy is swinging her way through "Cheek to Cheek" and getting down and bluesy on "Stormy Monday" on this live set from 1996, it's nigh impossible not to get swept up in her voice's vast, barreling force. Her full range, though, becomes most obvious--and soul-shaking--on the slower side, as with Paul Simon's "Bridge over Troubled Water," Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Tall Trees in Georgia," and "What a Wonderful World." On these latter tunes, Cassidy's mix of aching clarity and rich warmth has a melting quality, speaking through the body to some evanescent presence that she seems to know all too well. She improbably makes Sting's "Fields of Gold" an emotional powerhouse just as easily as she makes Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow" an offhand declaration of feeling equal to nearly anything in the jazz vocal canon. In doing so she earns her place among the great singers--artists who could take any song and stamp it indelibly as their own. What Eva Cassidy had in her short life was an unbelievably perfect voice and a musical soul that grasped gospel, folk, blues, jazz, and all points in between as if they were mere stops on a single train ride. Alas, her ride ended in 1996, tragically early. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (109)

    5-0 out of 5 stars this cd will rarely leave your cd player, it's that good.
    the first time i ever heard eva cassidy was 3 years ago, on a local dc jazz station (which, sadly, has since gone off the air). it was the song "what a wonderful world," which i normally find cloying. but eva's clear, strong, beautiful vibrato cut through my work day and made me sit back and listen. wow. when i went to buy the cd at the store i was looking for an african-american woman on the cover. i was shocked to see a blue-eyed blonde, looking folkie and meek, on the cover. but my god, the woman has the soul, depth and power reserved for the best of the best, including mahalia and 1960s aretha.

    this cd, all covers, ranges from swinging jazz to traditional folk to blues. eva handles it all with incredible control and taste, with real singing and not the pyrotechno crap you hear on the radio these days. her range inspires awe, especially on "golden thread," in which she reaches a note that would give anyone else a hernia. her interpretation skills are amazing; she manages to breathe new life into songs that have been covered hundreds of times. particular standouts are "autumn leaves," "tall trees in georgia" and "fields of gold," all of which will make you cry; "golden thread," which is as spiritual as any hymn; and "fine and mellow" and "cheek to cheek," which are fun and sexy. the band is also in top form, keeping the sound tight and crisp while giving eva the spotlight.

    eva's passing robbed her of what surely would have been a big, long career, and us of an enduring talent. buy this cd and you will not be disappointed.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not the best Eva recording but still something truly special
    At this stage, what is there to be said about the genius of Eva Cassidy that hasn't already been said a thousand times before?

    All I can add is that you have never heard Ms Cassidy's voice before, I PROMISE that you will love it. Absolutely and completely fall in love with it. Eva's voice bypasses the head and instead goes straight to the heart. Once it is there you won't be able to remove it.

    This CD was my introduction to Eva Cassidy and while I think the selection of songs could have been better, it is clear that she is a unique talent. I don't want to give the impression that this isn't a good record - quite the opposite; it is on occasion truly magnificent with Oh, Had I A Golden Thread and Tall Trees In Georgia being among Eva's best recordings and two of the most moving songs I have ever heard. It is a great place to start your Eva Cassidy collection - buy this CD, fall in love with it, then move on to Eva two crowing artistic acheivements Eva By Heart and Time After Time. That's the way to do it!

    I don't joke when I say that the music of Eva Cassidy has enriched my life more that I thought any singer ever could and I am sure it will do the same for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If God wants you to own only one disc, THIS IS IT.
    Hands down, the best music recorded ever, and i believe, eternally and a day.

    The Artist/s. Eva Cassidy is so impressive and versatile on this disc. Words are not enough to describe her. She massages and caresses each and every note that would make your hairs literally stand from your skin (I call this a hairstanding ovation). But wait, unlike other Eva discs, this Blues Alley recording puts the other musicians (Chris, Lenny, Keith and Raice) right smack there in the center. A total BAND effort. And that makes it more exhilirating for me. The drums, the guitar licks, the bass, the piano . . . all were perfect.

    The record. Another thing that makes this record such enjoyable is that it is recorded live in a very HOME-y set-up. You go to your house, put the disc in, you sit in and close your eyes and youll be mesmerized as the music comes alive, complete with a FEW claps from the relatively small Blues Alley (unlike in massive concerts). So, you'll get the feeling that they are REALLY performing at your house/room when you close your eyes. The recording is so great that the disc is now being used as a tester for branded speaker companies.

    The songs. The songs herein would fit for almost any person. I love rock, and there's song #11. But I also love blues, so there's song #2. And man, song #3 or Bridge Over Troubled Water, now that's what I call sensuality in spirituality! You got to hear it. Then there's the songs Cheek to Cheek, Fields of Gold, What A Wonderful World and a lot lot more. Each song, perfect.

    Overall, this disc WILL MOVE you in a way you've never felt before. To quote from someone, it's the "best glimpse of heaven yet." And it sells as how much? $30 was it? Nahh, this is priceless. Buy this, thank me later.

    If you haven't bought any Eva disc yet, start with this, then American Tune.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    I first heard of Eva Cassidy in 1987 when I performed in the DC area... She was amazing then, and I wish to God she were with us today.

    I have bought this CD for countless friends and family members, and they have all been bowled over. Everyone that I purchased this for is in the music business. Contrary to one reviewers opinion...Eva Cassidy embodies soul, and I love Ella, and Louie and many other great performers from yesteryear, but again, contrary to another reviewer, if Eva were alive today, she WOULD be at the top of the charts month after month.

    Everytime I hear her rendition of a popular standard or cover tune I think..."it will never be done any better than that!"

    Please order this, and as many of her other albums endorsed by her family as you will NOT be disappointed. She is truly amazing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars wow.
    I cannot tell you in words... how this cd moves me. There are a handful of songs on this cd that are sung with such depth and soul... you cannot help but fall in love with it.

    I get a chill down my back just listening to the cd right now. If you want a cd that will touch you right there - right there on your heart - music that speaks to YOU as if she is singing directly to you.... this is the cd to have. ... Read more

    4. MTV Unplugged
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002HEM
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5425
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (39)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mellow Maniacs.
    Since we never got that "Best of" from them, I guess this will have to due. Of course, this is basically an unplugged greatest hits album. And as good as the studio albums are, this actually seems, and sounds, more natural for them. It includes the classics "Like the Weather", "Trouble Me", and "These are Days". Other wonderful songs are "What's the Matter Here?" and "Noah's Dove". The only songs that I really miss, are "Dust Bowl", and "Circle Dream". But you can't have it all. Though "In My Tribe", "Blind Man's Zoo", and "Our Time In Eden" are excellent studio albums, I would still suggest this to the person looking for just one "10,000 Maniacs" disc. It's 14 unplugged tracks that sound as good as "Natalie Merchant" looks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hauntingly exquisite live album
    This album stands as one of the most impressive MTV Unplugged albums ever recorded. The unique style and sound of the 10,000 Maniacs was captured beautifully in this concert, preserving an unforgettable legacy by the group which was essentially breaking up at the time this was released. Anyone who listened to the radio back then has to know and remember Because the Night. While it is still hard for me to believe this song so wonderfully suited to Natalie Merchant's voice was written by Bruce Springsteen, it served as a most impressive means of introducing Natalie Merchant sans Maniacs to the larger listening audience. Like many fans, I am not that familiar with the 10,000 Maniacs albums predating In My Tribe, but all of the 14 songs on this album (including four from In My Tribe) are just hauntingly exquisite. Each song tells a story, often a serious one touching on important social issues, infusing this modernized folk music with a very human folk music consciousness that speaks to both the head and heart in a number of very effective ways. If the unique sound of 10,000 Maniacs doesn't move you at first, give it a second listen, and I'm sure the power of the music will begin to reveal itself to you. It is unfortunate that Natalie Merchant left the group, but the magic that was 10,000 Maniacs has been wonderfully preserved in this truly incredible live recording.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Love Merchant, Dislike the Maniacs
    Natalie Merchant was truly the force behind this group. Luckily Merchant's voice raises this collection up from the formulaic collections of unplugged that have come before. (Think Eric Clapton etc) Trouble Me, and Because the Night are the two main reasons to buy this cd. If you don't have a love of the 10,000 Maniacs, you would be better to pay to download those two tracks. If you want to enjoy Natalie Merchants voice, please look at her solo debut Tigerlily.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A bit flat, but still a great collection
    I remember watching the original shortened broadcast of MTV Unplugged on TV before the album was released, and my first thought was that Natalie Merchant sounded tired during this performance. It's understandable, as the Maniacs were playing many dates in late '92 and early '93, but her last album with the Maniacs is also probably the worst. However, worse doesn't always mean "bad." This is a nice reworking of some of their back catalog, as well as the surprise hit, a cover of "Because the Night," that was worn out by excessive radio play.

    5-0 out of 5 stars pleasant, incredibly good album
    In my opinion - which of course may not agree with yours although it might- this is the best, and I mean the best light rock album with a female vocalist. If I were to pick the 5 best american female rock composers, Natalie would be among the three best with Tori and who else?... hmmmm that's a difficult one. But anyway, you know what I mean, her music is great, very melodic, inspires lots of different moods and adaptable for a wide variety of tastes. I wonder what is of Ten Thousand Maniacs nowadays now that they are without the marvelous Natalie. ... Read more

    5. Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)
    list price: $32.98
    our price: $26.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000679N8W
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 62
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    One may never be able to go home again, but that hasn't kept Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel from trying every other decade or so. This two-CD plus DVD live set (recorded in December 2003 at the Meadowlands and Madison Square Garden) shows their musical chemistry has transcended the years--and no small amount of acrimony. But while their '80s live reunion was marked by an aura of celebration, this one floats on an undercurrent of bittersweet resolve. There's no mistaking the elegiac tone of the title track, while stark readings of "Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Sounds of Silence" can't help but evoke the scars of 9/11. A musical circle is completed as the Everly Brothers step in for a joyous "Bye Bye Love," while elsewhere Simon's musical restlessness inspires a subtly jazzy reworking of "Slip Slidin' Away" and Garfunkel adds his stately grace to his partner's "American Tune." The album concludes with S&G's first new studio recording in 30 years, the plaintive, irony-studded plea, "Citizen of the Planet." --Jerry McCulley

    Recommended Simon & Garfunkel Discography

    Bridge Over Troubled Water

    Sounds Of Silence


    Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

    Wednesday Morning, 3am

    The Columbia Studio Recordings

    ... Read more

    6. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall Concert"
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000D9TO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1105
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 1998

    Nineteen ninety-eight: The same year he dances with Soy Bomb at the Grammys, his record label finally issues Bob Dylan's ultimate live document. A classic case of not giving the audience what they want but what they need, Mr. Dylan's oft-bootlegged 1966 gig begins with lovely and supple folk that foreshadows folk music's turn from protest song to introspection. The album's true highlight is the legendarily ill received and rocked-out electric set, with Dylan backed by members of the Band. There are too many perfect, on-fire guitar solos by Robbie Robertson to count, and Dylan himself responds to the audience's angry bewilderment with equal parts menace, grace, and brilliance. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

    Reviews (145)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hailed for years by critics as a bootleg, now official
    This is a copy of a review found in a newspaper of this album when it was available only as a bootleg:

    Beginning of article>Get this classic Dylan album -- any way you can (Quoted from Daily Record (of Morristown NJ) 1/5/97) --Knight-Ridder Tribune News "GUITARS KISSING & THE CONTEMPORARY FIX" Bob Dylan and the Hawks Various bootleg labels

    On this album, a young Bob Dylan blows through an epic two-hour set in May 1966 -- half acoustic, half with the Hawks, later renamed The Band. It's perhaps the best two hours of his career, distilling everything tender, raging, touching and rocking in his work into one potent show. The performance has been available for years in collectors' circles in muddy mono. But this two-CD set is in glorious stereo, clean enough to sound great yet low-tech enough to sound authenic. The electric set is just as revealing, with Robbie Robertson's sharp guitar punctuating Dylan's words. It ends with one of rock music's greatest moments, where an audience member yells, "Judas!" at Dylan for going electric, and Dylan replies with a screaming, angry "Like A Rolling Stone". "Guitars Kissing" technically is a bootleg, legal in some countries overseas, but a copyright violation in the United States.

    It's difficult to track down but worth the search; it's been repressed by six labels overseas, and copies are popping up all over. A good place to start searching is on the Internet -- fans of the disc have started their own web site tribute to it. For the computer impaired, check out the ads in record-collecting magazines such as Goldmine, ICE or Discoveries. But it's one of those discs where the rights and wrongs of copyright law become obscured by the purity, importance and force of the performance. This is an indispensable performance -- one of the few truly great lost albums of rock 'n' roll and easily one of Dylan's best.Of course now that it's available officially, you won't have to search for it and pay a premium price (usually $50). The point of this review is that if a bootleg which is illegal can draw this much attention then, ...well,..... if you haven't got it through your thick skull yet you won't ever get it........

    5-0 out of 5 stars My 26 year wait was worth it.
    I missed Bob Dylan and the Band when they played Seattle in 1966, but just a few years later I heard about this amazing concert he had done in May of that year in London. Bootlegs were available but I never had the money or resources to search this one out, though I did have the original GWW that later became the Basement Tapes. so I waited for this and just this evening played it for the first time. Pure bliss. Dylan has never sounded so young, tender, angry, and knowing all at once. Other reviewers have remarked mostly on the rock disc and they all got it right, but I am nearly as impressed with the solo disc. His phrasing and timing were never better, especially on Desolation Row and Mr. Tambourine Man, and the harp playing! My God; we have forgotten just how good he was when he concentrated. I can almost understand why the audience didn't like the full band sound after hearing that voice and harp so clearly in the first half of the show. Still, the rock half truly does capture the pure American style of the music Dylan was making: a wondrous stew of blues, rock and roll, and surrealistic poetry. Walt Whitman plugged in, or something. It's tough to even adequately describe it. Anyway, the 26 year wait was worth it, and I look forward to listening more closely in the weeks to come. Bill Compton

    5-0 out of 5 stars one, if not, THE best live album i've ever heard
    i really don't know what to say to make you buy this. one of my favourite albums ever. period.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most entertaining electric live set I've ever heard...
    I'm only 22 years old, which means I haven't even been thought of yet when Dylan took the stage in Manchester, but I'm pretty aware of what was going on at the time this event took place. Folk lovers considered the kind of stuff Hendrix was putting out "devil music," so some of the people in this audience weren't exactly thrilled when Dylan finished his acoustic set and began to rock out. It's definitely a legendary concert. This well-priced, handy-dandy souvenier represents one of the most important voices of the 20th century at the crossroads. Some liked it; some didn't. It's the ones who didn't that make this "Royal Albert Hall" concert the essential live document of Bob Dylan at the apex of his career.

    Throughout the electric portion of the concert, Bob is greeted with boos, unwarranted clapping and cursing from his audience. At one point, when the audience tries to annoy Dylan by clappinig ferociously as he's tuning up, he leans into the microphone and begins to ramble about a bunch of nonsense. He does so until the crowd finally shuts up, at which he says, "If only you wouldn't clap so hard." Sure enough, they clap harder and yell louder. One guy in the audience even yells out "SELL OUT!"

    But the real biggie here is when someone screams out "JUDAS!" after Bob plays "Ballad Of A Thin Man." I guess at this point, Bob was done being polite. "I don't believe you," he sneers. "You're a liar!" He turns to his band and yells indistinctly, "Play it f---ing loud!"

    "Like A Rolling Stone" is then thrown into the audience's face with audacity and contempt. The song finally ends, Dylan sarcastically says, "Thank you," and walks offstage.

    Cool, huh? The electric set is certainly the stand-out here, but the acoustic songs are nothing to shy away from either. In fact, I think "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" is better here than on the album version (ASOBD).

    Another suprise you'll find with this release is how well Columbia packaged it. It comes with a fat booklet filled with glossy pages of pictures and notes of the concert and other appearances. This is truly worth your money. HIGHLY recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where's The Riot?
    Hype is a funny thing. Sometimes one gets caught up in it, sometimes it turns you off. It generally turns me off, but in the case of this "historic" release, I got caught up in it.
    I have been a sometimey lukewarm Bob Dylan fan over the years. His heyday was a little bit before my adolescence but his musical maturity began its development about the time I started high school. I am quite familiar with the music of those days, but was curious to go back and try to feel a little bit of the magic and expectation that earlier fans of Dylan experienced.
    When I bought this, I expected to feel some of the excitement and tension in the air as the old clashed with the new. I wanted to hear the catcalls and Dylan's sarcastic retorts. I wanted to hear the riot!. But there was none. "One of the great confrontational performances of the 20th century" turns out to have been mostly the creation of the media myth machine. If there was any rioting to be heard, Columbia sure did a good job of screening out its sounds.
    The liner notes mention the opening of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring as another great confrontational performance. Yes, it was great theater, but it was all orchestrated by Stravinsky, Diaghilev and a claque of concert-goers who were given free tickets to the premier with the understanding that they would foment a riot thus generating press attention for Stravinsky and Diaghilev. The notes should have instead mentioned some of Astor Piazzolla's performances where fisticuffs between Piazzolla supporters and old-guard tango purists (sometimes involving Piazzolla himself) were regular occurences and death threats were a daily fact of life.
    If the CD package does not live up to its hype, then why own it? The main reason is to experience the budding transition of Bob Dylan from folk legend to rock and roll hero. The first disc features a fine acoustic set of which my favorites are Its All Over Now, Baby Blue and Just Like A Woman.
    The second CD features an electric set that showcases the talents of his sidemen that were later to gel into The Band.
    I like Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, the bluesy Ballad of a Thin Man, and the driving Like A Rolling Stone the best. There is a lot of musical tension and energy that makes the entire set memorable. Much of what the liner notes refers to as catcalling and slow clapping can be heard at any concert between songs. What people are usually calling out is a request. Only after Ballad of a Thin Man can you hear a real "insult" when someone shouts "Judas!" at which a few audience members applaud.
    Despite the lack of any real riot, I recommend this album to any Dylan fan precisely because of its historic nature as the marking of a pivotal point in Dylan's long and storied career. ... Read more

    7. Live at the Old Quarter Houston Texas
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000066ALO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5496
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    Legendary Texas singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt was just 29 years oldwhen he recorded Live at the Old Quarter. The result of a five-nightstand at a tiny club in Houston, what is arguably his best album was originallyreleased on vinyl as a two-album set, and later on compact disc in a slightlyabbreviated version. Tomato's reissue, however, restores the album to its fullglory, complete with remastered sound and insightful liner notes by music writerChet Flippo. Van Zandt, who died of a heart attack in 1997, sings of love andloss in a world-weary voice that begs you to pay close attention. Afterapologizing for the club's broken air conditioner, he kicks things off with astirring version of "Pancho and Lefty," perhaps his most famous song. But that'sjust one gem among many, such as the longing "If I Needed You," the fatalistic"Don't You Take It Too Bad," the bleak "Kathleen," the bitter "Tower Song," andthe touching "Tecumseh Valley." Unlike his studio albums, some of which sufferfrom overly busy arrangements, Live at the Old Quarter finds Van Zandtperforming solo and acoustic, which only makes his emotionally honest music allthe more powerful. --David Hill ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Homer, Taliesin, Robert Frost... and Townes Van Zandt
    It takes a minute to understand what you're really listening to with a Townes Van Zandt album, and that's twice as true with a live disc like this one. As he speaks his songs and gets out of sync with his guitar, you wonder why he's bothering to record songs at all. And then it hits you. Van Zandt isn't a musician. He's a bard.

    His songs are as loaded as any poetry you'd find at a university bookshop, and much more accessible. This is true whether you're speaking of a tongue-in-cheek piece like "Fraternity Blues," a more hermetic piece like "For the Sake of the Song," or something that's crossed over into popular music like "Pancho and Lefty." He can't sing, he's only okay at his guitar, but what really brings it home for you is the poetic structure of the song lyrics.

    In addition to being an account of an interesting concert, this album also serves as an introduction to Texas music as a whole and a synopsis of Van Zandt's music in particular. It bears up to repeated listening, and the liner notes included in this most recent CD release are very readable and informative. It's no wonder, in considering this CD, that Willie Nelson and other progressive Texas musicians have so often covered Van Zandt's songs: they're simply beautiful to listen to and stimulating to consider.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Album
    I guess that I'm one of the few that actually have the vinyl version of this great recording. Not long after my wife and I began dating (early 90's) she found it in a Goodwill thrift shop, of all places. So many of his great songs are on this album, all delivered with youthful perspective and wisdom. I first heard Townes live on a Houston public radio station in around 1974. He performed Pancho and Lefty, and single handedly turned me onto what has become a lifetime of appreciation of his music and of course his lyrics. I even saw him one night at the Hole in the Wall in Austin (1978,79?). I think I was as drunk as he was. Anyway, God bless him and his music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Could have been a Dylan but never had the voice
    During his later years Townes Van Zandt used to occasionally joke about his voice during his performances. He never really had one. And it never mattered to anyone who'd sat through his live appearances, or listened to a few of his songs on vinyl. Live at the Old Quarter is Towne's oldest recording (I'm guessing) and managed to catch him when his voice was at the prime. That's to say, it's an acquired taste. The songs make up for it. As with a lot of other of the greats, Townes' talent was in songwriting and in his method of delivery when he performed his own songs. "Pancho and Lefty" was a worthy for Willie Nelson. Listening to Townes sing it is an entirely different order of experience and magnitude. The same is true of his other songs you've heard made popular by other singers. If you've never heard Townes sing his own songs you probably won't find a better place to begin than in the Old Quarter of Houston when Townes was young. We all were.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The place to start
    I'm usually wary about live albums, since it seems strange that an artist could do his greatest work on the fly, instead of when he has all the time he needs to get things exactly right. Sure enough, Townes's voice cracks a little when straining to hit a few high notes, but for some reason it doesn't matter at all. He was usually ill served by producers who slathering his songs with strings and flutes and the rest of it. His presence is so strong when he performs that additional orchestration would only dilute what makes the songs so good. After a few listens I even started to like the missed notes and the cracks in the voice, and for the same reason I like such moments in Dylan, because these moments put the singer in front of you as a human being, and what you start to love as much as the songs is their presence. You enjoy the slips in the performance as much as the little idiosyncracies of an old friend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gone and Not Forgotten
    It has all been said. This man was inspired and inspirational. He paid to learn what he thought and how he felt. You can hear it in these songs; played live on a cool hot-summer night in Houston. Townes Van Zandt was as close to a soul as I've heard in a long long time. ... Read more

    8. In the Hills of California
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    Asin: B0002O06Q2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2323
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    Rare is the voice that is both as deep and as warm as Greg Brown's. Though the veteran troubadour boasts the most weather-beaten baritone this side of Johnny Cash, there's sunshine in the smile of his wry phrasing and a disarming playfulness in his work. This two-disc set includes recordings from six years of California's annual Kate Wolf Music Festival and, while it lacks the flow of a single performance, the easy intimacy that the Iowa bard enjoys with his audience offsets any disjointedness from track to track. The generous selection of material (more than two and a half hours) includes nine songs Brown has never recorded before. Highlights range from the sly sensuality of "The Way My Baby Calls My Name" and "Slow Food" to the social commentary of "I Want My Country Back" and the droll evocation of life's ironies in "Where Is Maria." The conviction he brings to Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" transforms familiar favorites into testaments of faith. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    9. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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    Asin: B00064VKYU
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2610
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    Those who have experienced a Robert Earl Keen show in his native Texas know it can be hard to hear the artist amid all the whooping and partying of his rabidly loyal following. This 2001 taping from the Austin City Limits series gives the singer-songwriter's range the attention it deserves. An eight-minute rendition of Keen's signature anthem, "The Road Goes On Forever," shifts that epic into overdrive, as the furious interplay of guitarist Rich Brotherton and steel guitarist Marty Muse finds the band firing on all cylinders. Yet the subtler selections are every bit as impressive, with his reflective rendition of Townes Van Zandt's "Snowin' on Raton" and the brooding melancholy of Johhny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" highlighting the performance. Though Austin City Limits typically condenses an artist's appearance into a half hour for airing, this CD (with the performance also available as a DVD) presents the full studio concert. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    10. Live from Mars
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    Asin: B00005AFR0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3164
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    With a slate of more than 200 shows a year, Ben Harper has never been an album-tour-album-tour kind of artist; for him and his fans, the stage is the ultimate proving ground. So after four studio albums, Harper has finally released his first official live set, a 25-song double-disc collection that surveys each of his four albums and adds a couple of well-executed, if not terribly inventive, covers. Disc one is electric and finds Harper and the Innocent Criminals tearing through their patented mix of rock, folk, soul, and blues. Yet, the solo-acoustic disc two is the true prize, putting the spotlight squarely on Harper's incredibly agile, versatile, and enormously moving voice. In this pared-down setting, Harper shows an uncanny ability to connect with his audience, offering one spellbinding performance after another. Culled from two years' worth of shows--no two songs are taken from the same concert--Live from Mars provides a welcome overview of Harper's many facets. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (72)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Past Due
    Finally Ben Harper has a live album and while it's past due it's well worth the wait. This cd is a perfect compilation highlighting the many aspects of his show with one disc being the band and one being solo acoustic. And because each is taken from a different night, every song is top quality. Especial highlights for me would be "Steal My Kisses" w/Rahzel and the cover of the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work." The only complaint one could have would be the inevitable and unavoidable one of track selection. There are going to be a few of his songs not on this that you wish were but if anything that just makes all the reason for another live album of similar nature to be released. And that is definitely a good thing so if you buy this and you are not amazed, maybe you are listening to the wrong type of music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I already love this album
    For those who don't about know them, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are going to be a pleasant surprise: their music has this incredibly big sound, but the material is very introspective and personal. Ben Harper as a musician is a study in contrast also: his vocals are kind of reminiscent of Cat Stevens if he was a gospel singer, and he plays these blistering licks and chords, completely without any showmanship at all, dictated by his lap-style playing.

    Live from Mars is a great title, and a great description. It's a two-record set of live recordings; seemingly recorded in a variety of venues and edited together. This gives the entire album a kind of weird disconnected feeling - the recordings are soundboard mixes that eliminate most of the crowd noise, but it actually serves the songs pretty well. The two discs have been organized to be Loud (disc one) and Quiet (disc two) - kind of splitting up the flow of a coherent performance. While this would be my only complaint, it does allow you to listen to an entire record of your preference, however.

    Ben Harper's albums can be a little spotty because the variety of his playing: from bluegrass and zydeco-influenced, to wailing rock guitar, to funky covers of Motown. His live shows are incredible however, and with live recordings like Live From Mars, we'll never need a greatest hits record.

    This album is a complete out-of-body experience, either Loud or Quiet. If you like great songwriting that has a great vibe and a great rhythm, or you just like artists that don't sound like anyone else, get this record.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have
    A classmate always talked about Ben Harper, so I decided to download a couple of his songs to see what he was about. I didnt really like what I heard but when I borrowed Live From Mars it completely changed my mind. Disc 2 is great and I can listen to it over and over for hours. After hearing the studio versions and live versions I realize that I like Ben much better live. If you havent been impressed by Ben yet buy Live From Mars and you will be. Everyone loves DMB but I think that Ben is much better. I cant wait to catch a concert.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointed
    Ben Harper was brought to my attention through his association with Jack Johnson. Then Direct TV showed Ben Harper this month on their free concert. I only saw part of the show and decided to buy Live from Mars as my first (and last) Ben Harper CD. I can't get into his doesn't have any flow. His guitar playing is mediocre at best, and his vocals even worse. At times I thought Tiny Tim had come back from the dead. I'll stick with Jack Johnson. Ben Harper was not what I expected, and I utterly fail to see what all the hype is about.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a good sampling of Harper's work
    The editorial review nails it in describing this release, but what it fails to mention is that the best part of this compilation is the cover of the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work." Harper's version of this song is beyond spectacular. There are no words to appropriately describe his ability to seemingly connect w/suffering and hardship and portray it w/such grace, sensitivity, and emotion. It's up there w/Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars." Not to mention that the "Whole Lotta Love" cover that's played in the middle of "Faded" makes it my new favorite BH song. The only reason I won't give this release 5 stars is because I would have preferred to hear a different mix of songs, but this album is still highly recommended. ... Read more

    11. Greatest Stories Live
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    Asin: B000002GYZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5108
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    "Stories" is the operative word here.The late Harry Chapin penned tales that touched a chord in listeners regardless of their age, background, or truth be told, regardless even of the type of music they normally listened to. Chapin always came across as a tough guy with a heart of gold, a brainy type who wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty--much like the protagonist of "Taxi" (a terrific rendition of which is contained herein). In addition to radio staples like "Cat's in the Cradle," the 1976 recording also sheds light on slightly lesser-known pieces like "Circle" and "Mr.Tanner." Chapin's affable manner shines through the entire album, giving it a disarming quality that's not always present on the studio versions. --David Sprague ... Read more

    Reviews (42)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good.....but seems to be missing something.
    This is a fine "live" album and captures the essence of Harry's early work. From my college days, I have always listened to Chapin songs. While the studio albums are wonderful, it was in his live performances where he truly excelled. A large part of that success was due to his musicians. Not only their musical abilities, but their unique personalities shone through both in recordings and live performances. Two tracks which are my favorites are "Mr. Tanner," a work of depth and emotion and Stephen Chapin's "Let Time Go Lightly."

    I gave this "only" 4 stars primarily because this is an incomplete album. While the sound quality is fine, the original vinyl had another track that is not included and I take exception (for what it's worth) to shortcuts which have often been taken when converting earlier works to CD in general, whether is in the arbitrary omission of album tracks or in the use of subsequent tapes rather than original masters.

    That being said, this album is a fine example of Harry's early live performances. One can only hope that eventually the remainder of his albums will be released on CD (and properly mastered too). In particular, "Short Stories" and "Legends of the Lost and Found" (the latter of which reveals Harry's slightly older, "more mature" voice) as well as "Sequel" would be most welcome.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What an album, one of the Great Live recordings!!!!!
    Harry Chapin was an artist that seemed to put out better live recordings, that had much more intensity then any of his studio work. I've listened to alot of his studio driven recordings but nothing will ever compete with this record. The album does have three studio songs pinned at the end but it doesn't disregard the magnitude of his songwriting.

    Many folk artists strive for a catchy three minute song with backbeat and sensibility. Chapin never followed that formula. At times, his songs could be long opuses with not much of a chorus to backup. His songs were painted with a very personal, intimate picture of life's dark and virtuous side. This record captures everything anybody needs to know about the man.

    The album captivates a very energetic side of exuberance with the opening track "Dreams Go By", but it also exhibits a beautiful portrait of bittersweet remembrance. Another classic, "Mr. Tanner" examines a singer's hopes and visions but with wishful sincerity towards confrontation of ability. The album wasn't just hippie influenced lyrics, but honesty to dreams deferred. Every track told stories of love lost, found and expectant. It seems like many live recordings fail to pickup on what an artist is trying to portray with thier music. This one nails it, seriously.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In a class by himself
    There's a lot of songwriters with the reputation for telling a fine story in a song: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jim Croce, Van Morrison... But seriously, did anyone ever create on a level with Chapin? His songs remind us what humanity is all about. Isn't that the best thing a song can do?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Takes me right back to college
    At the University of Nebraska in spring of 1972, we decided to go on a road trip to the University of Oklahoma, our rival. It was rainy the entire drive and every radio station played, "Taxi." Well, O.U. was a pleasant surprise...everyone was nice (I don't know what we expected) and we returned home to our finals. 30 years later, if I hear Taxi on the radio, I'm right back on that road trip to Oklahoma.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Did I write that?" asks Harry Chapin
    "Christ, it sounds like the theme from Godfather II!"
    Chapin makes this comment after signalling his band to a halt during the intro to the opener "Dreams Go By", because of a banjo solo in that part, played vibrato mandolin style. A dead giveaway right from the start of how this live set is going to feature his often humorous approach to the material. This is also reflected later on in the set in this version of the song "30,000 Pounds Of Bananas", in which Chapin makes a departure just before the last verse, relating his trials and tribulations in coming up with that particular verse. But Chapin was always more than a comedian with a guitar--his material was mostly heartfelt and often as sentimental as anything the younger Billy Joel ever wrote. Quite at odds with the rules of pop music, Chapin came across more affable than charismatic. In that brief period of musical history, you didn't have to be a babe magnet to be a star. Today people think of the "Singer Songwriter Era" as an aberration. After all, pop music is supposed to be about sex or anger, right? Or if there's a "folkie" dimension to it as in the case of artists like Chapin, a sociology or poli-sci aspect. Or if you don't have any of that, you have to be like Joni Mitchell and be versatile in style and/ or one hell of a player. Harry wasn't any of those things. His guitar style was basic accompanist, his songs were more prosaic than poetic. Their arrangements were pretty much predictable. His voice was limited in range and tonal color (just like the man himself says of "Mr. Tanner", a song also present here). He didn't have the melodramatic, almost operatic delivery of Texan contemporary Shawn Phillips. Harry was basically The Man On The Street who had an uncanny ability despite his shortage of the stuff stars are made of to express himself in music. It has become a cliche to say that a musician "sings in a style you can relate to", but Chapin was one of very few artists about which that description is bang on target. Chapin did a later live set called "Legends Of The Lost And Found", which I see is no longer available. A shame, really--that set has a high percentage of material that was never released on any studio album. Anyway, if you're at all curious about any of Steve Earle's antecedents, look to Shawn Phillips and Harry Chapin. ... Read more

    12. Before The Flood [Live With The Band, 1974]
    list price: $19.98
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    Asin: B0000025OU
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3058
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Dylan has issued a large number of live albums in his day, but 1974's Before the Flood deserves special mention because of the presence of the Band behind him. Dylan had recently brought the Band into the studio to record the chart-topping (yet still somehow underappreciated) Planet Waves, which was the first (and, as it turned out, only) studio record he made after leaving Columbia for Asylum. He then asked them along on the subsequent tour, which at the time became the most successful rock tour in history. The fruits of that partnership are contained on this two-CD set, which actually ignores Planet Waves completely in favor of older classics. Although the album includes several strong collaborations, the highlights ironically come during Dylan's solo-acoustic portion, which yields powerful and gritty versions of "Don't Think Twice" and "It's Alright Ma," and during the Band's own exhilarating numbers with Dylan sitting out. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Energetic and Passionate
    Dylan's music is closest thing to American folk art produced in the 20th century. Always evolving, his songs remain works in progress even after 40 years of recording and touring. His most recent tour, with moving remakes of his classics and brilliant new songs from Love and Theft, proves Dylan is never content to rest on his laurels.
    Before the Flood is nothing short of a brilliant live album, featuring an energized and passionate Dylan, putting into his songs a vitality that a studio cannot hold. Versions of "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine," "Rolling Stone," and especially "Watchtower" are among the best ever performed, reaching a breathless level of intensity. The acoustic numbers are uptempo, clearly stated and articulate. The Band is tight and focused, economic in their playing, sometimes following Bob, sometimes challenging him to keep the pace, but always with brilliant interplay. Their solo numbers are as intense as they have ever recorded, on a par with Rock of Ages. True Dylanphiles rank this record with the best of the many bootlegs which capture his greatest performances. Those with only a casual familiarity with Dylan can listen to this album and learn why the leading figures in rock and roll history count Dylan as a major influence.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Dylan effort on this joint live album
    This is a 1974 live album from Dylan's "Planet Waves" tour, when the Band was his backing group. The 2-CD set includes 13 Dylan songs and 8 by the Band. The song selection provides a lot of the "greatest hits" for each. The sound is fairly muddy, which was typical of live albums at the time. But the big drawback is Dylan himself--throughout the first CD, he seems to be goofing on his own songs, singing all the lyrics as throwaways that aren't worth an effort to put any emotion into. That makes this merely a pretty good album, and keeps it from getting anywhere near greatness. "Lay Lady Lay", "Rainy Day Women", "Ballad of a Thin Man", all are sung as though they had the same subject, one that wasn't dear to Dylan. The Band picks things up with their set at the end of the first CD. The second CD starts with Dylan's best performances, a lively three-song solo acoustic sequence of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", "Just Like a Woman", and "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)". After three Band songs, including "The Weight", Dylan returns on electric for a strong four-song close. The CD booklet doesn't say how many shows were taped for the purpose of this album; it's hard to believe the producers couldn't come up with better performances of the first six songs.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Disagree with other reviewers about live Band recordings
    "Before the Flood" is a great album, and the Band's best live recording, with Dylan and alone. The best track is the Band's "Endless Highway", which most other reviewers didn't mention.

    I vehemently disagree with other reviewers, including star rock journalist Greil Marcus, about the Band's "Rock of Ages" -- I have never liked it. The guest horn section sounds like they aren't even playing in the same concert as everyone else.

    Of the other Dylan & the Band live recordings, "Live 1966" and "The Last Waltz" are mediocre. One exception on the "The Last Waltz" is the wonderful version of Rev. Gary Davis's "Baby Let Me Follow You Down", which really rocks. Few people remember Dylan's odd "Self Portrait" album, but it has four excellent live tracks by him and the Band -- "Like a Rolling Stone", "The Mighty Quinn", "Minstrel Boy", and "She Belongs To Me".

    Dylan and the Band did studio recordings together, too. "The Basement Tapes" is stellar. "Planet Waves" is very good. And, of the 5 of their songs together on the "Volume 2" disc of Dylan's "Bootleg Series", 3 are quite good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Successful Tour Came At Just the Right Time
    The sheer fearlessness of The Band in this 1974 live performance is so confident that it makes one wonder how they ever could have caught their famous case of 'Stage Fright.' "Before the Flood" is the live document of Bob Dylan's tour for his "Planet Waves" album, joined by his one-time backing outfit, The Band. At the time, the tour was one of the most successful ever. It couldn't have come at a better time for both parties; Dylan had staggered musically as he entered the 70s, releasing the ill-fated "Self Portrait" album, and fans of The Band were disappointed that they hadn't released any original material since 1971, their latest album having been a collection of covers, the "Moondog Matinee."
    "Before the Flood" captures the electrical bond that had linked the two legends together in the first place, something missing from earlier classic Dylan/Band efforts like "The Basement Tapes." The Band (unintentionally) upstages and outshines their former mentor, being the more thrilling of the two, but Dylan finally demonstrates the sincreity and power of his cross from folk to rock. But here, the response from fans surely isn't the boos it met in 1965; Dylan compositions associated with his folk period are given a more exciting life, notably 'It Ain't Me Babe' and 'Blowing In the Wind,' as he soars on 'Rainy Day Women,' 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door,' and 'All Along the Watchtower.' The Band however steals the show, even though there are more Dylan compositions on the album; they captivate with such paintings of rural life as 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' and Richard Manuel's shiver inducing vocal on 'I Shall Be Released.' "Before the Flood" also contains the most thrilling and rambunctious live version of the raw 'The Shape I'm In.'
    This album packages one of the best live performances in rock and roll. "Before the Flood" is an absolute necessity for Dylan/Band fans and concert experts in general, and it's a pleasantly affordable necessity at that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Rocking Good Time
    This is the second record that Mr. D recorded for David Geffin's Asylum label before he went back to Colombia, (both this record and "Planet Waves" are now with CBS/Sony where all Dylan's stuff is now) and it's a rocking good time of a record. Dylan's voice is right up front and central, the Band's playing is strong. And Dylan performs a very, very angry, version of "It's Alright Ma," where the audience goes nuts when he shouts out, "Even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked." You have to remember that this record came out during the Watergate scandal, seems Mr. Nixon wasn't to popular with the Dylan crowd. Five stars for this one.

    Reviewed by Stephanie Sane ... Read more

    13. Live Rust
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B000002KDI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3291
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Mere months passed between the release of Neil Young's mid-career milestone Rust Never Sleeps and this 1979 tour recording, which documents a late-'78 San Francisco performance. Indeed, Live Rust boasts four songs from the album that gave it its name. It's also sequenced in the same spirit as its studio sibling. As with Rust Never Sleeps, Live Rust opens with steady-flowing acoustic numbers before swirling into an electric vortex. What was side 4 off the original two-record version--"Like a Hurricane," "Hey, Hey, My, My," and "Tonight's the Night"--is arguably Young and Crazy Horse at their peak as a live unit, with all due respect to 1991's estimable Weld and 1997's desultory Year of the Horse. Few rock bands rank with Young and his stalwart electric trio, and Live Rust presents them in all their raging glory. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Neil Young & Crazy Horse "Live Rust" is an essential album
    Neil Young is my favorite artist and this is one of my favorite albums by him. Though he has too many great works to appear on one album, this shows many facets of Neil Young, 16 songs, while at the same time being very enjoyable to listen to. It starts out with some of his great acoustic works and moves into some of his heavy grungy stuff giving off the energy of being at a live show.
    He takes us down lifes roads with songs like I Am A Child and Comes A Time, Lotta Love, ect., then thru more serious songs like The Needle and the Damage Done, Powderfinger, Cortez the Killer, and then hits it hard with classics like Cinnamon Girl (a rocking fantasy), Like a Hurricane, Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black), Tonight's the Night. As diverse a sample this is, it flows together like a charm and is probably the best live album I've heard. -Steve Anderson

    4-0 out of 5 stars Godfather of Grunge
    Live Rust is one of the better live albums to come out of the seventies. It not only works as a concert experience, but as a sampling of Neil's greatest hits as well.

    The contrast of Mr. Young's folky acoustic side is well represented (Sugar Mountain, Needle and the Damage Done, After the Goldrush) as well as his hard-rocking distortion-filled jams (Cinnamon Girl, Powderfinger, Cortez the Killer).

    Not all of this album is incredible by any means, but this works as a good introduction to Young's lengthy and large span of music. Cortez the Killer especially shines with its Hendrix-like guitar solos and playful energy of the band. Also of note is Young's clever tribute to Johnny Rotten with the songs Hey Hey My My and My My Hey Hey. Rock and Roll will never die.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Live Rust
    All The Songs Rock All Essential Young Stuff A Real Gem
    Live And Raw Music Thats Whats Its All About

    5-0 out of 5 stars best live album
    this is the best live album. I like this one more then rust never sleeps and weld. The song selection is much better in this one to. And neil isnt trying to do bob dylan songs in this one eather like in weld

    5-0 out of 5 stars NOT RUST NEVER SLEEPS PART II
    Coming on the heels of Rust Never Sleeps, Live Rust is often seen as a live version of the studio Rust album. Although some of the songs are the same, this album is a much broader interpretation of Neil's career up to that time. Like Rust Never Sleeps, this album starts out with just Neil and his guitar, doing what he does best. Beginning with the timeless classics Sugar Mountain and I am a Child, Neil builds a foundation that gets progressively harder and more electric with each song. The beauty of the CD format (unlike the double LP) is that you get to experience the progression from folksie Neil Young (I am a Child) to disillusioned and grungy Neil Young (Powderfinger, Tonight's the Night). The latter Neil is considered by many to be the fore-runner of modern grunge, as displayed so well on Weld.

    Over the years, I think the album has suffered somewhat by having such a similar title to Rust Never Sleeps, as these albums are really quite different in both construction and tone. While not as polished as Rust Never Sleeps, Live Rust has an edgier feel that seems to give notice of where Neil would be taking his music in the future (Weld, for instance). Although I would recommend Decade for anyone interested in a greatest hits, or more retrospective album, this is a great performance by a consummate artist. ... Read more

    14. Down from the Mountain: Live Concert Performances by the Artists & Musicians of O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B00005MJYJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2201
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Country music reclaimed its traditional soul with the chart-topping triumph of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. This concert sequel, recorded (and filmed) at Nashville's venerable Ryman Auditorium, reunites Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and other O Brother standouts. With little duplication, the selection extends the movie's revival of acoustic spirituals and Appalachian balladry, though the performances and pacing of the concert aren't quite as consistently compelling as the studio soundtrack. Among the highlights are a pair of originals by Welch and David Rawlings, the bluesy "Dear Someone" and the Everlyesque "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll." Where O Brother interspersed archival recordings among the contemporary artistry, the concert finds Nashville gospel's Fairfield Four harmonizing on the chain-gang chant of "Po' Lazarus," while the late John Hartford (in one of his final performances) renews the deadpan whimsy of "Big Rock Candy Mountain." --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the soundtrack, but still worth the money!
    After three years of being dominated by mediocre, middle of the road pop singers with only marginal talent, country music was finally given a wakeup call with the unexpected success of the O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU soundtrack. The double platinum soundtrack has become one of the most successful albums of the year, and has proved to Nashville that the roots of country music are still thriving.

    DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN is the companion to the hugely popular soundtrack. Recorded live in Nashville in May, 2000, the album features several of the songs made popular by O BROTHER, as well as many songs recorded by the artists from the soundtrack. While it lacks the variety of the first CD, DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN sports several songs that make it a fine album to own, regardless of whether they were on the O BROTHER album or not. Standouts include the Cox Family's "Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown," Emmylou Harris's "Green Pastures," Gillian Welch's "I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll," and the Whites' "Sandy Land." DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN closes with Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss's duet of "I'll Fly Away." One of the album's best and most bittersweet moments is the late John Hartford's performance of "Big Rock Candy Mountain." Hartford died at age sixty three just a year after the recording was made.

    While it isn't as long or enjoyable as the O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU soundtrack, DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN is an excellent companion to its prequel. If you enjoyed the soundtrack, you will love this album. Hopefully, DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN, which has already appeared on the country album charts, will do its share in the quest to repopularize bluegrass and traditional country music.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As Expected
    Having read the glowing reviews on Amazon, I picked this up, with high expectations and was let down by the lack of consistency of the music and the mediocre sound quality. Mind you, my criticisms have nothing at all to do with the musical genre - I love folk blues, blues, bluegrass, newgrass, etc. As an example, I'd prefer the Oh Brother version of "I Am Weary" to this live version and although "I'll Fly Away" comes across pretty well on this live version, I prefer the studio version on the Oh Brother soundtrack. I consider "Wild Bill Jones", "Blue and Lonesome", "John Law Burned Down the Liquor Store" and "I'll Fly Away" to be the only high points on this disc.

    About the sound quality: Live albums can have exceptional sound but this one does not. For examples of excellent live sound, check out the Weavers at Carnegie Hall and you'll see that it was possible 40 years ago. I'm not trying to say that this disc has horrible sonics, just that they are lower quality than I expected. Modern engineers can pull off excellent live sound on classical (many examples), rock (Zappa and many others) or acoustic music (Hedges), so it's not a limitation of the medium. Maybe the hall this disc was recorded in is difficult to mic?

    2-0 out of 5 stars Check this out ..
    This is a cool movie no doubt.
    I would have rated it higher -- had I not known that some artists in the movie have never been paid for their performance in it -- hundred of thousands of copies sold -- but zilch has been paid to at least one artist that I personally know.
    THey were giving this away on PBS -- to those making a donation --he (artist I know of)is ALL over this movie -- but he has yet to be compensated or recognized by the movie producers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just try it, it is addicting.
    I never thought I was a fan of this kind of music till the "Oh Brother" movie, but this "Down from the Mountain" performance has added to my new love. The DVD or VCR of this is also a must see, where it was good to get to visit John Hartford one more time. I really enjoyed the backstage, inside glimpse at the performers on the DVD. Every single song on the CD is a good addition to the over-all pleasant experience, and I suggest you buy this CD if you are a true lover of good music, no matter what type of music you prefer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my Top Ten
    I purchased this C.D. after "Oh Brother..." spent the whole week of my vacation in the C.D. player of my car. In addition to live versions of some of my favorite songs from "Oh Brother..", it has EVEN MORE terrific bluegrass/folk songs from these great artists. Ignore the funny looks that you get when you blast this in your car - you will enjoy remembering "the good ol' days". ... Read more

    15. Majikat
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B0002VJW9C
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 105448
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    16. 1200 Curfews
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    Asin: B000002B7F
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4143
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    While many of these live tracks were culled from the Swamp Ophelia tour, the entire collection on this two-disc set covers a lot of territory in the Indigo Girls oeuvre. From the charming "Back Together Again" (recorded in Amy's basement in 1982) to the reverent cover of Joni Mitchell 's "River" (recorded live in Atlanta), these songs capture the energy and spirit of one of the most successful folk-rock duos in the history of contemporary music. Live renditions of favorites like "Closer to Fine," "Power of Two," "Strange Fire," "Land of Canaan," and "Galileo" bristle with passion, and the mandolin, cello, and percussion parts sparkle in concert. While they're right on with their rave-up of Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue," the one misstep is the lackluster performance on the 10-minute "Down by the River" by Neil Young. --Lorry Fleming ... Read more

    Reviews (47)

    5-0 out of 5 stars On my third copy
    I wore out two copies of this album on tape and I'm beginning to wear it out on CD. I've been an Indigo Girls fan since college and feel that this CD set is a wonderful representation of their work. It is a live album, but the sound quality is wonderful. It includes almost every one of my favorite songs with some wonderful twists. I also deeply enjoy their covers - Last Train to Georgia is a favorite, as is Tangled Up In Blue.

    If you like the Indigo Girls, this album is a must.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
    If you can only have ONE Indigo Girls CD - get this. Amy and Emily are amazing singer/musician/songwriters in their studio recordings - but they are even more amazing live - and this set certainly is that. Not only do you get to hear some of their most fabulous and famous songs (as well as some lesser-known to the new indigo fan), you also get to hear some fabulous musings from them. ALSO their cover of "Tangled Up in Blue" with its break down blues section in the middle is probably the best recording ever of one of the all-time great songs. There isn't one false note on this set! Totally worth listening to over and over - it rarely leaves my CD player.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MUSICAL ORGASM

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'll make it simple for you ...
    ...if my house was on fire, this would be the CD I'd grab on my way out the door. It's that good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Find...
    I'm usually disappointed with most performer's live albums- this is one exception. I bought this long before I saw the "Girls" in concert, but I listen to it again and again to remind me of their incredible talent to perform live.

    Many of these performances are better than the studio versions-- the Dylan song, the Buffy St Marie song, and the Gladys Knight songs become their own and make this album even more enjoyable.

    My husband and I love singing along with this in the car on a road trip. The music calms my infant daughter as well.

    All and all, the best live album I've ever purchased and just maybe my favorite Indigo Girls album (and I've been a fan since the beginning) ... Read more

    17. Rust Never Sleeps
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    Asin: B000002KDG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3225
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    Young has recorded many live albums, but none capture his two dominant musical personalities with as much power as 1979's Rust Never Sleeps. The acoustic side opens with "My, My, Hey, Hey (Out of the Blue)," a devastating anthem about the state of rock & roll. Comparing the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten to the late Elvis Presley, Young delivers perhaps his most famous line: "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Side 2 demonstrates the emotional power of Young's hard-rocking quartet, Crazy Horse, with the scathing political songs "Powderfinger," "Welfare Mothers," and the loud reprise of "My, My, Hey, Hey." --Steve Knopper ... Read more

    Reviews (49)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Neil's best album Ever!!!
    This is just one of those albums that will never grow old for me. While the album contains several standout tracks, namely, the acoustic and electric versions of Hey Hey My My, and the absolutely beautiful Thrasher, its real strength lies in its folw as an album. Just as you begin to grow tired of the softer, acoustic songs that fill the first half of the album, you are greeted by the loud electric guitars of Powderfinger, another Young classic. From this song on, it is nothing but Neil and Crazy Horse jamming on loud, electric numbers. No album better demonstrates Young's talents in acoustic and electric rock. All in all, the album is a great starting point for any new fan, as well as a great addition to any long time fan's collection, although I can't see anybody getting this album just to finish off their Neil Young catalog.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Neil and a perfect introduction to his solo work
    Disco had the charts, punk rock and new wave had the critics. What could possibly come from dinosaur Neil Young in 1979? Well those who were fortunate enough to see his "Rust Never Sleeps" tour in late 1978 already knew. This album was recorded at various stops on that tour and remains one of rock's finest efforts.

    Sometimes reffered to as Neil's "answer" to punk rock, I think of this album more as a tribute. Neil saw punk as the lifeline for rock, which had grown increasingly stagnant over the decade. Accordingly, Neil is more furious and inspired than ever before.

    The album is divided into acoustic and electric halfs with neither besting the other. The acoustic songs are gorgeous, lyrically baffling, and quite torrid. "Hey Hey My My" is a stirring song about rock and the music business. "Thrasher" remains Neil's ultimate statement of individuality, while "Pocohontas" revisits his destruction of the Native-Americans motif.

    For the flip side Neil adds Crazy Horse and turns out four of his most brutal jams. "Sedan Delivery" is perhaps the closest to actual punk rock, but is the reprise of "Hey Hey My My", now electric. Full of glorious distortion and feedback, the song is an untoppable close to a near perfect album.

    Because of its dualistic nature that shows off both Neil's acoustic and electric leanings, I think this is the best record to get acquianted with Neil's legacy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars No Rust Yet
    It's hard to believe that I picked up "Rust Never Sleeps" on vinyl more than 20 years ago. I just downloaded the album the other day and it still holds up all these years! God, I recommend everybody go and revisit this album (or pick it up for the first time if you've never heard it before). This album still rocks!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grime and Glory
    I guess this album was considered some sort of comeback for Neil Young in the seventies, although, let's face it , he'd been there for years. I first heard "Hey Hey My My" on the soundtrack of Dennis Hopper's great, depressing movie "Out of the Blue" (for real!) playing over shots of seagulls swarming over a garbage dump - somehow that image is very appropiate to the music. This album is Neil Young at his most enigmatic and powerful, a combination that only him and Dylan have been able to pull off with any degree of real success. Somehow, the combination of meloncholic acoustic songs and bruising rockers results in an album that's of one piece, instead of one that's an awkard mish-mash. This should really be one of the first five Neil Young albums that you should buy - if you buy that many and feel that you don't need any more, you're not truly a fan.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Neil Young Raw Sound Heard on this CD
    It's a raw sound, but full of emotion. Young sings from the heart...he is not one of those high-image guys. What you see is what you get, and I would expect what you hear on this album is a good indicator of the energy one feels at a Neil Young concert.

    He'll be rocking in the free world until he is 75!! ... Read more

    18. Miles of Aisles
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    Asin: B000002GWN
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8429
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars As constant as the northern star
    The first song I ever heard from this album back in '74 was A Case Of You. That was all it took for me to leap out and buy it (on double vinyl). That such an exquisite song could be even improved upon was inconceivable to me. Yet Joni did it with the 'live' version recorded here.

    In almost every case the songs are fresher and more vibrant than the originals - Cactus Tree from her first album being a good example. The sound quality throughout is astonishingly good, making Miles Of Aisles one of the best 'live' albums of all time, and as a double length CD, the value is just out of control.

    If you have heard a lot about Joni Mitchell but never really heard much of her material, this album would be a wonderful entry point to her work.

    An absolute classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest live recordings EVER!
    This particular recording shows Joni Mitchell's abilities off to great effect. There were many terrfic songs she wrote before COURT AND SPARK was released, but there was something about her tendency to sing in the higher end of her range (on albums like LADIES OF THE CANYON and BLUE) that would leave me cold to the music. This live recording features what I consider to be definitive versions that surpass her studio takes of many of those songs.

    Singing in a more natural, lower end of her range (in 1974), there is not one song on this album that is uninteresting. What's's one of the rare live albums that has actually makes me feel as though I am there in the audience; particularly on the gorgeously simple sing-along track, "Circle Game."

    I love every track here, but pay attention to "Woman of Heart and Mind" in particular. Joni is timeless. If you enjoy her, and don't have this album, get it. You won't be let down.

    4-0 out of 5 stars When it's good, it's sublime.
    Joni Live, finally. Her first concert album is a schizophrenic affair. Half of it is just Joni by herself, with guitar, piano or dulcimer. These tracks are uniformly amazing. Her skill as a singer has improved so much over the years that the studio versions (especially of older songs like "Cactus Tree") sound slight and precious by comparison. The other half pairs her with the L.A. Express jazz band. While she bent the same players to her will with glorious results in the studio on "Court and Spark," on tour they just sound like a pretty good fusion band trying too hard to be hip. I find the performances unlistenable. "Miles of Aisles" is also notable for the chatting: Joni's wise but spacey discourse on the difference between painting and singing is much fun.

    Four stars may seem a bit high, since I hate half the tracks. But when it's good, it's sublime.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Paint A Starry Night Again, Man"
    Joni Mitchell's "Miles of Aisles" is a wonderful live album, which just recently has been finding its way more and more into my CD player's tray.Recorded primarily at the Universal Amphitheatre (Circa '74)the album features Joni doing some of her more popular songs of the era, while she is backed up by the jazz ensemble, 'The L.A. Express' (featuring horn player Tom Scott).I like to think of this as a gateway recording between the light musical shadings of "For the Roses" and the folk/jazz/rock sound found on the immensely popular, break-out album "Court & Spark. Eventually the transition would lead too the more serious, hard core jazz found on "Mingus" and the stupendous, live recording, "Shadows & Light". On "Miles of Aisles" we are treated to a mix of both folk and light jazz arrangements.The album opens with a lively rendition of "You Turn Me On (I'm a Radio)" which really makes my pulse race. The same can be said for the classic track "Woodstock". But instead of the slow mournful version, that we are use to Joni singing, we hear something that is closer to the rock athem made famous by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Different but still good! The album also features slower material such as nuanced versions of "A Case of You" and "Blue".Other highlights include the 'Court & Spark' rocker "People's Parties" and an off center audience sing-a-long of "Circle Game".The recording has a boisterous audience, that includes one excited guy who shouts out "Joni, you have more class than Mick Jagger, Richard Nixon and Gomer Pyle combined".The references might be a bit dated, but we all know what he means. A classy lady giving a classy performance!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A+***** Beautiful Songs Performed To Perfection THE BEST!
    I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell since my sisters played her albums almost constantly, so yes I am biased on my opinion of this artist. Still, how can some people say they prefer the regular recordings to these jazzed, lovely versions? Fools! The reviewer who skips over the last two numbers is a nut!. My favorites ARE the last two songs- "Jericho" and "Love or Money." "Jericho" is beautifully sung and quite moving while "Love or Money" is rocking and played exceptionally well by the jazzy musicians. A friend of mine who had only heard the slow version of "Woodstock" was blown away by the upbeat, live version . In all of the songs, Joni comes across as an exceptionally talented singer! Her later live recordings don't stand up because of the songs chosen. I like later Joni Mitchell music, but this was the peak of her creative energy, when she still had the folk sound but was experimenting with jazzy, more upbeat tempos. What a great CD, EASILY deserving 5 stars!!!!! ... Read more

    19. The Concert in Central Park
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B000002KNI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1706
    Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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    You can almost hear Simon & Garfunkel begin to like each other again on this now-legendary set. On September 19, 1981, the duo reunited for just the second time since their initial breakup and revealed a camaraderie that had apparently vanished years earlier. Not only do they reprise their shared hits, they also work in a few of Paul Simon's solo gems and a couple of telling covers--one from the Everly Brothers and one from Chuck Berry. The band includes the best session men around. By the time they get to the sincerity of "Old Friends" and the joy of "The 59th Street Bridge Song," you sense a relationship fully repaired. After this success, they even planned a studio record together--one that eventually became Simon's overlooked Hearts and Bones--few were surprised when it did not come to pass. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best
    To say that this is the best Simon & Garfunkel album will perhaps offend some fans who love their acoustic folk-pop of the late 60s. But it is, and their most accessible, too.

    It was recorded a decade after the break-up of the duo, and features a full backing band, complete with a subtle, well-used horn ensemble, and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel perform truly excellent versions of classics like "Mrs Robinson", "The Sound Of Silence", "Homeward Bound", "The Boxer" and a magnificent "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
    And the presence of Art Garfunkel (and the fine backing band) makes for some superb live renditions of several of Paul Simon's best solo tunes, especially "Still Crazy After All These Years", "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" and "Slip Slidin' Away", which features Garfunkel's masterful harmony vocals.

    This album is much more lively than the duo's strictly acoustic outings from the 60s, and it is highly recommended as one of the very best live albums of the 80s, one that really adds something to the artists' legacies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime!
    To say that this is the best Simon & Garfunkel album will perhaps offend some fans who love their acoustic folk-pop of the late 60s. But it is, and their most accessible, too.

    It was recorded a decade after the break-up of the duo, and features a full backing band, complete with a subtle, well-used horn ensemble, and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel perform truly excellent versions of classics like "Mrs Robinson", "The Sound Of Silence", "Homeward Bound", "The Boxer" and a magnificent "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
    And the presence of Art Garfunkel (and the fine backing band) makes for some superb live renditions of several of Paul Simon's best solo tunes, especially "Still Crazy After All These Years", "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" and "Slip Slidin' Away", which features Garfunkel's masterful harmony vocals.

    This album is much more lively than the duo's strictly acoustic outings from the 60s, and it is highly recommended as one of the very best live albums of the 80s, one that really adds something to the artists' legacies.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The worst of Simon and Garfunkel
    The idea of a reunion might seem romantic, especially if we are talking about the best duo that pop music have ever created. Anyway, here the problem is not the noble intention but the execution. The band backing the sublime S&G's voices and guitars is awful. The choice of instruments, with all that keyboards and horns ruins the simple melody and essential instruments backgrounding the original songs. So, if you want to know better the music of Simon and Grafunkel, PLEASE!, don't buy this "illusion". If you absolutely need a collection, try the 2CD of TALES FROM NEW YORK (THE VERY BEST OF) instead (but I think it's a european-only release).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Actually 3 1/2
    The famous 1981 reunion concert finds Simon & Garfunkel in fine form vocally, but I was less than entranced by their back-up band. The excessive horns made them come off like a Vegas act at times, as if Tom Jones were waiting in the wings. At other times, sappy keyboards detract from some of the quieter moments. Nevertheless, it¡Çs great to hear S&G together again and I¡Çm looking forward to eventually hearing some recordings from their current ¡ÈOld Friends¡É tour.

    4-0 out of 5 stars As memory serves; Revisiting Simon and Garfunkle
    I was happy to see Simon and Garfunkle in concert on their recent "Old Friends" tour, and was more than pleased by the performance of two men who, by all rights, should've been retired and not in the best of vocal form. The afterglow of the Philadelphia show led me to reacquire this CD from the 1981 Central Park reunion show. Since most of the songs from the current tour are reflected by the Central Park set list, it was worth it for me.

    This CD is actually better than I originally remember it. Maybe I was just too wrapped up in my new wave years (I was a junior in college at the time the album was released), but both men were in strong form vocally. It also meant that, as a greatest hits sort of show, all the bases are essentially covered. Even the Paul Simon solo material comes across as well matched (in particular, "American Tune" which rings truer in the post 9/11 world as it did back then). The instrumentation is a bit dated, Richard Tee's keyboards especially, but that's more the fault of the times than of performance.

    And the performances here are superb. Oddly, the one major omission from the disc is "The Late Great Johnny Ace." If you watch the DVD of the concert, it was Simon's tribute to John Lennon and is when a fan charges the stage, distracting Simon from the microphone. Art Garfunkle is relegated to only one solo hit here, and naturally it's "A Heart In New York." Just as "counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike" gets a huge outburst of applause (it did here in Philly, too), "Heart" brings the crowd to express itself with exuberence.

    On the other hand, when Art begins to sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water," it's hard not to notice that he can still sound like the folk singing choirboy of the sixties, and even more so for "The Sound of Silence." Despite all the infighting, back biting and legendary arguments that Simon and Garfunkle have shared over their career, there is no denying that - as a duo - they created magic. After 20 years, I'm glad "The Concert In Central Park" is back in my library.

    PS: I eagerly await the inevitable "Old Friends" concert disc, and would also recommend Paul Simon's "Concert In The Park" from 1991. ... Read more

    20. Bootleg Series 6: Concert at Philharmonic Hall
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    Asin: B0000DG069
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 678
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    The brooding Bob Dylan of the 1966 live collection in the Dylan bootleg series gave way to an even more hooded character on the second live bootleg album from 1974. Which makes the jump back to a younger Dylan in this set all the more jarring. Here is Dylan as an eager-to-please 23 year old with nothing between him and his worshippers but a guitar, a harmonica, and, for four songs, his lover, Joan Baez. In marked contrast to the acerbic electric Dylan of the mid-'60s and the tight-lipped living legend of the mid-'70s, here is Dylan as entertainer. Joking and bantering with the crowd, Dylan deals up some favorites ("The Times They Are A-Changin'," "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), but is already shedding his earnest folkie persona; imagine another artist a mere two years into his career declining to perform a hit on the scale of "Blowin' in the Wind." But Dylan was moving fast. Having completed the last all-acoustic collection of his early years three months before the Philharmonic concert, he would record the half-electric/half-acoustic Bringing It All Back Home three months later. Three of the four acoustic songs from that album are presented here, as are a handful of then-unreleased songs, including "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" (which was soon given a rock arrangement), and a protest-period remnant, "Who Killed Davey Moore?" Had Concert at the Philharmonic Hall appeared the year it was recorded, it would been seen as a respite for folk fans to catch their collective breath before Dylan reappeared in his rock & roll Rimbaud guise. Heard for the first time decades later, it's simply a testament of his gifts as a showman and songwriter. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absoultely fantastic! Everyone should listen to this!
    Bob Dylan is a truly great poet, blues/folk musician, and also a prophet for our times. This concert took place nearly 40 years ago, yet so many of the messages in the songs are still relevant in 2004. The line in "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" that goes "even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked!" was already manifested once, when Tricky (...) Nixon had his crookedness exposed for all the world to see. One only hopes that the same will happen to our current Moron in Chief, Gee Dumbya Bush. Also, in "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" there are many lines foretelling events to come, such as "I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children" which would seem to foretell the tragedies at Columbine and so on. Dylan sings from the heart and from the soul and tells us things we might not want to hear, but that we ignore at our own risk. He is still out there, recording and playing live shows. Get this CD, and catch him in concert next time he comes near to where you live.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Young Man at the Crossroads, Enjoying Himself
    There's all kinds of Bob Dylan fans; fortunately, there's all kinds of Bob Dylans too. This concert captures the best of the pre-electric Dylan, before he started changing the arrangements and some of the words all around (well, he does change some words here, to the two "Talkin' Blues" adding contemporary references to TVs Hootenanny and some current pop hits, Martha and the Vendellas and Leader of the Pack(!)).

    A fine concert it is, and it's the quality of the sound and overall experience that makes this CD special, like you were there. Its also Dylan's chatty, giggling personality that comes through and is most memorable. That's probably even more important than anything new you hear in the music. I mean, you've heard most of this sung more-or-less this way before: it's not like Rolling Thunder or something. He has yet to really re-invent himself even once (he does change the sound of "Don't Think Twice" a little, rising inflections and semi-shouting: a presage of things to come).

    The concert was, however, groundbreaking history, and you can sense it: the first public unveiling of "Gates of Eden" and "It's Alright, Ma" (he sounds very proud of them, as he recites their words with care); the first (and maybe only?) public performance of "Spanish Harlem Incident." And, like in a way-back machine, you can feel the audience laughter at their first hearing "If You Gotta Go, Go Now"--they wouldn't react the same way today. And there's old history: he and Joan do "With God on Our Side" (the duet that helped make Bob's reputation--and it's an album highlight, in my view). He'd been leading off with "The Times They Are A-Changin'" for over a year, and it sounds kind of tired, but he concludes the set with the new Bob, in a kind of inspired kiss-off: "It Ain't Me Babe" and "All I Really Want to Do." Surprisingly, older songs like "Davey Moore" and the "Talkin' John Birch" are strong, while the newer "Tambourine Man" seems rather weak.

    This is the live album for those who were "shocked" by some of his later experiments, like the Budokan album or even Manchester Hall ("It used to go like that, now it goes like this ... "). Buy it, it's an artifact from a young genius at the crossroads, but I think his most inspired work would be in future. This is Laughing Bob, pleased with himself--not the anguished genius and seeker that he would shortly become (and that, I confess, I probably like best).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dylan at his most - first Dylan, that's it!
    A magnificent proof of why Dylan is a capital part of modern music and culture. A set of his most powerful songs before becoming electric. Sound quality is really excellent. A good way to continue a superb collection of Dylan best, this sixth installment of the bootleg series is as good as any of the previous ones. Plus, the nonsensical, teasing, unusually Dylan comments opening some of the songs offer another wiew of the man. Good record to hear after a war!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, not Great
    The Bob Dylan Bootleg cd's that cover the Manchester, and Rolling Thunder concerts have been exemplary additions to Mr. Dylan's catalog. The recordings capture Mr. Dylan at two of his many career peaks and are rare documents of incredible concerts. "Bootleg Series 6..." tries for the same affect, and though it is Bob Dylan at another peak it may not be the best concert of the period. A number of years ago I taped a concert at New York's Town Hall from the radio that presented much of the same material, with patter that was a lot more coherent, and a delivery that seemed much more impassioned - and sober. The concert also included an absolutely heart-felt rendition of "Bob Dylan's Dream," which should be in the canon as one of his best songs. Granted, Joan Baez did not share the stage, and her participation may be one reason for Sony's decision to release this concert. Anyway, Mr. Dylan manages to be charming, sloppy, and yes, impassioned in the course of the event, but the first attributes detract from the third, and by now his fans will have heard better renditions of most everything on the cd. I think Sony could have chosen more carefully.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A key snapshot of Dylan before he went electric
    THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6, a bootleg that has been around for decades, is a Halloween show from the Philharmonic Hall in New York City. One of the most important shows in Dylan's early career, this show gave quite an overview at the time from Dylan's ever-growing song book, including new, bizaare songs that would show up within a few months on Dylan's fifth LP, BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME. While much has been made of the later electric performance of the 1960s, it is here that you can see how good Dylan really was with just a guitar, a harmonica, and the signing girlfriend. Covering such a broad overview, Dylan shows all the budding facets of his art up to this time, from the protest songs (including ones that never made the studio records), the more introspective material, and the radical new direction Dylan was pursuing with the three songs from the unreleased (and unrecorded, for that mater) fifth album, BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME. He proves him a very masterful solo performer. If you like Joan Baez, you greatly enjoy the four songs she performs. If you don't like Baez, this won't win you over.

    This 1964 concert, the first all acoustic performance (barring MTV UNPLUGGED, which also has a band) to enter Bob Dylan's discography, captures Dylan at a peak period as he was making a transitional move into rock and roll. Historically significant, funny, and overall Dylan, this installment of the Bootleg Series show a new side of early Dylan, and as VoodooLord7 points out, quite a contrast from the 1966 Manchester concert. What is so startling about this concert is how Dylan comes across as giddy, young, and, overall, a Minnesota boy just honoured to be playing at such a distinguished venue. When introducing the then unreleased "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding," he prefaces the song with the comment that it is very funny. On "I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)," he forgets the first verse, asking the audience if they knew it. The rest of the album shows Dylan in this 'aw, shucks' mode, but he gives the audience a wide variety of songs to chew on, showing them that even though he's giddy and young, he's a songwriter the likes of which they've never seen.

    Compare this document to the cynical, aloof Dylan just a few months later. This was before the 1965 Newport show where Dylan brought out the electric band totally broke with the folk scene in general. (Who'd like to see a Bootleg installment of the Newport show???) The general atmosphere totally changed after the Newport show; afterwards Dylan was cynical, confrontational, cutting edge, and 'hip.' He's not angry. He doesn't have anything to prove. Dylan just wants to give a good show, and he wants to have a good time. After this, he played rock and roll, the likes of which had never been heard before, and forever changed popular music as we know it. The music went in directions, especially lyrically, that totally broke with all songwriting and pop traditions. VOL 6 captures Dylan just before this, and that's what makes it so endearing and so historically important. Nowhere on VOL 6 is there an equivalent to that legendary accusation "Judas!" on VOL 4. Dylan's not at war with the folk community who wanted to make him their own personal musical saviour. Instead, he was following his muse and this audience went with it.

    What makes BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 6 so special is it gives us the opportunity to listen to Dylan before he made the permanent transition to rock. We can listen to Dylan play with the audience while giving a first rate performance. Those who were in-tune with Dylan this night, though, would surely know Dylan was moving far and away from the folk movement. Dylan showed an unparalleled depth of writing on ANOTHER SIDE, deep, introspective, and far and away from the protest songwriting that had dominated his second and third album. What really must have blown their minds were the new songs ("Mr. Tambourine Man," "It's Alright Ma," and "Gates of Eden) that Dylan had only previously played a very few times. Filled with wildly surrealistic, symbolist imagery, the words floated into your head and showed Dylan was opening up all sorts of new avenues for music, with a much bigger agenda that just being a protest singer, a la Phil Ochs. Dylan proved himself going deeper and deeper into a surrealistic, unprecedented, and never equaled period of songwriting that would become some of the most important songs in all of rock and roll. For those fortunate enough to be there, this would be one show you couldn't afford to miss. This was history in the making.

    In the end, an essential addition to Dylan's canon, and for those interested in following the progression of the twentieth century's most important song writer, a must-have purchase. For those who love his all acoustic sound of the early 1960s, this will rival the studio albums themselves. With stunning production, a crisp, clean sound, and such an important snapshot of Dylan's early career, BOOTLEG SERIES VOL 6 will stay in your CD player for the foreseeable future. Highly recommended for the Dylan afficionado. ... Read more

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