Bob Dylan Releases 36-Disc Set of 1966 Concerts

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Bob Dylan The 1966 Live RecordingsBob Dylan’s 1966 concerts were some of the most heralded of his long career, the first full-scale breakout of the electric rock sound he ushered in a year earlier with “Like a Rolling Stone” and the albums Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited.

Most of the music performed during 1966 has never been given an official release. Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings will rectify that situation with the November 11 release of Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings, a whopping 36-CD boxed set containing every known recording from the 1966 concert tours of the U.S., U.K., Europe and Australia. The title’s list price is just $149.98, which is incredibly low given the scope of the release. (As of its November 11 street date it’s just $110 via Amazon.)

The New York Times has premiered “Bob Dylan On Tour in 1966”, a new short film made to accompany the release of the boxed set, with previously unseen footage of the tour, both onstage and off, shot by D.A. Pennebaker.

“While doing the archival research for The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12, last year’s boxed set of Dylan’s mid-’60s studio sessions, we were continually struck by how great his 1966 live recordings really are,” said Adam Block, president of Legacy Recordings. “The intensity of Bob’s live performances and his fantastic delivery of these songs in concert add another insightful component in understanding and appreciating the musical revolution Bob Dylan ignited some 50 years ago.”

The recordings included in the set are drawn from three main audio sources: soundboards, CBS Records mobile recordings and audience tapes. With the exception of the Manchester concert (May 17, 1966) released as Bob Dylan Live 1966—The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 in 1998, a pair of songs appearing on the 1985 Biograph compilation and a handful of others, the overwhelming majority of tracks and performances on The 1966 Live Recordings are previously unreleased in any format—official or bootlegged—and are being made available now for the first time.

All the songs on The 1966 Live Recordings were written by Dylan (vocal, guitar, piano, harmonica) with the sole exception of “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down,” a traditional song arranged by Bob Dylan for concert performance. Dylan is accompanied on these recordings by Robbie Robertson (guitar), Rick Danko (bass, backing vocals), Richard Manuel (piano), Garth Hudson (organ) and Mickey Jones (drums). (Sandy Konikoff plays drums on the White Plains and Pittsburgh shows only.) Robertson, Danko, Hudson and Manuel would, of course, re-emerge on their own (with drummer Levon Helm) as The Band a couple of years later.

Liner notes for the set have been provided by Clinton Heylin, a consultant on the project and author of JUDAS!: From Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall: A Historical View of Dylan’s Big Boo, an account of Dylan’s historic and pivotal 1965-66 world tours.

Each of the individual CDs in the box is housed in a custom sleeve featuring stills from color film shot by D.A. Pennebaker, whose footage from Dylan’s 1965 and 1966 tours became the cinéma vérité classics Don’t Look Back (1965) and Eat the Document (1966).

Columbia/Legacy will also release Dylan’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall from May 26, 1966 (two days after the artist’s 25 birthday) as an album entitled The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert. For decades, says a press release from Legacy, “Dylan’s performance in Manchester was incorrectly labeled ‘The Royal Albert Hall Concert.’ Now, for the first time, the real Royal Albert Hall concert—originally recorded for a live album by CBS Records—is finally being released, mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Chris Shaw. The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert will be released as a 2-CD collection on December 2 with a 12″ 2-LP edition of the album arriving on November 26. Pre-order the CD here.

Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings CD Listing
Disc 1 – Sydney, April 13, 1966 (Soundboard recorded by TCN 9 TV Australia)
Disc 2 – Sydney, April 13, 1966 (Soundboard recorded by TCN 9 TV Australia)
Disc 3 – Melbourne, April 20, 1966 (Soundboard / unknown broadcast)
Disc 4 – Copenhagen, May 1, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 5 – Dublin, May 5, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 6 – Dublin, May 5, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 7 – Belfast, May 6, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 8 – Belfast, May 6, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 9 – Bristol, May 10, 1966 (Soundboard / audience)
Disc 10 – Bristol, May 10, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 11 – Cardiff, May 11, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 12 – Birmingham, May 12, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 13 – Birmingham, May 12, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 14 – Liverpool, May 14, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 15 – Leicester, May 15, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 16 – Leicester, May 15, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 17 – Sheffield, May 16, 1966 (CBS Records recording)
Disc 18 – Sheffield, May 16, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 19 – Manchester, May 17, 1966 (CBS Records recording)
Disc 20 – Manchester, May 17, 1966 (CBS Records recording except Soundcheck / Soundboard)
Disc 21 – Glasgow, May 19, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 22 – Edinburgh, May 20, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 23 – Edinburgh, May 20, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 24 – Newcastle, May 21, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 25 – Newcastle, May 21, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 26 – Paris, May 24, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 27 – Paris, May 24, 1966 (Soundboard)
Disc 28 – London, May 26, 1966 (CBS Records recording)
Disc 29 – London, May 26, 1966 (CBS Records recording)
Disc 30 – London, May 27, 1966 (CBS Records recording)
Disc 31 – London, May 27, 1966 (CBS Records recordings)
Disc 32 – White Plains, NY, February 5, 1966 (Audience tape)
Disc 33 – Pittsburgh, PA, February 6, 1966 (Audience tape)
Disc 34 – Hempstead, NY, February 26, 1966 (Audience tape)
Disc 35 – Melbourne, April 19, 1966 (Audience tape)
Disc 36 – Stockholm, April 29, 1966 (Audience tape)

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