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Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

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Various Artists 8/10/1993

Review

To commemorate 30 years since the release of Dylan's first Columbia album, a marathon tribute concert was held at New York's Madison Square Garden, with a galaxy of stars and voices from the past taking part. The cumulative effect of this tribute was staggering, revealing just how much truly great Dylan material there is to choose from all of his periods. A firm nucleus of the three surviving members of Booker T. & the MG's, plus G.E. Smith on guitar and Jim Keltner and Anton Fig on drums, anchors the bands, and most of the stars offer fresh slants on songs familiar and obscure. Among the more memorable interpretations are Richie Havens' moving "Just Like a Woman," completely within his style; the Clancy Brothers' fervent conversion of "When the Ship Comes In" to an Irish folk idiom; the swinging, countrified "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" from Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Rosanne Cash; and a sullen "Masters of War" by Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready on acoustic guitars. Lou Reed went through the bootlegs to come up with the pounding "Foot of Pride," which is perfectly suited to Reed's declamatory style. Eric Clapton shrugs off his diffident manner to deliver one of the most electrifying performances of his life in "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" -- each guitar lick and vocal cuts angrily to the bone -- and George Harrison makes his first U.S. concert appearance in 18 years with "Absolutely Sweet Marie." Dylan himself appears at the end, wildly improvisational and harshly authentic in voice on "It's Alright, Ma" and "Girl of the North Country." By no means does this box contain the entire concert, though, and while the reason was probably to make the thing fit on two well-packed CDs, some of the deletions are inexplicable. To cite just a few examples, Harrison's "If Not for You" is missing; so are Clapton's "Love Minus Zero, No Limit" and some numbers by Booker T. & the MG's ("Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Lay Lady Lay" are in Stax's Time Is Tight box). Even Dylan's own performance of "Song to Woody" is not here; the booklet pleads "technical problems" but it sounded fine on the live telecast. Nevertheless, enough of the concert is here to suggest its triumph -- and all were reminded that the fountainhead of all of this music was still alive, creative, and unwilling to be consigned to the history books. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Like a Rolling Stone Various Artists 6:53
  3. 2 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat Various Artists 4:19
  4. 3 Introduction by Kris Kristofferson Kris Kristofferson 0:56
  5. 4 Blowin' in the Wind Various Artists 8:53
  6. 5 Foot of Pride Various Artists 8:47
  7. 6 Masters of War Various Artists 5:7
  8. 7 The Times They Are A-Changin' Various Artists 3:1
  9. 8 It Ain't Me Babe Various Artists 3:50
  10. 9 What Was It You Wanted? Various Artists 5:46
  11. 10 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight Various Artists 3:5
  12. 11 Highway 61 Revisited Various Artists 5:5
  13. 12 Seven Days Ron Wood 5:26
  14. 13 Just Like a Woman Richie Havens 5:49
  15. 14 When the Ship Comes In Various Artists 4:23
  16. 15 You Ain't Going Nowhere Various Artists 3:52
  17. 1 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues Various Artists 5:38
  18. 2 All Along the Watchtower Various Artists 6:21
  19. 3 I Shall Be Released Various Artists 4:26
  20. 4 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right Various Artists 6:9
  21. 5 Emotionally Yours The O'Jays 5:43
  22. 6 When I Paint My Masterpiece Various Artists 4:23
  23. 7 Absolutely Sweet Marie Various Artists 4:43
  24. 8 License to Kill Various Artists 4:52
  25. 9 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Various Artists 4:44
  26. 10 Mr. Tambourine Man Various Artists 4:10
  27. 11 It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Various Artists 6:21
  28. 12 My Back Pages Various Artists 4:40
  29. 13 Knockin' on Heaven's Door Various Artists 5:38
  30. 14 Girl from the North Country Various Artists 5:7

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