Bob Dylan and The Band Massive Live 1974 Set Due

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It had improbably been more than seven years since Bob Dylan had toured, when he mounted his memorable return to the stage in 1974. Joining him were his friends and previous touring partners, The Band—Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel—who had backed the Bard on the just-released album, Planet Waves. Though the arena tour lasted less than two months, from January 3 through February 14, it spanned 40 concerts in 21 cities, with many dates offering an afternoon show followed by an evening performance. The outing was documented later that year with a 2-LP set, Before the Flood. The legendary run is now being presented as a massive 27-CD box set, Bob Dylan and the Band: The 1974 Live Recordings. The collection, via Legacy Recordings, arrives September 20, 2024. It’s available to order in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

The new set offers 431 live Dylan tracks, with 417 previously unreleased–including 133 recordings newly mixed from 16-track tape, and every single surviving soundboard recording–along with new liner notes by journalist and critic Elizabeth Nelson. It represents the first release from Dylan’s vast archives since 2023’s The Complete Budokan 1978. His last studio album was 2020’s acclaimed Rough and Rowdy Ways. Dylan, who turned 83, on May 24, is currently co-headlining the 2024 edition of the Outlaw Music Festival with Willie Nelson.

Bob Dylan and the Band: The 1974 Live Recordings includes performances of such classic rock favorites as “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” The complete track listing is here. [The massive collection, however, does not include The Band’s own sets during those concerts.]

As Best Classic Bands noted in its Album Rewind of Before the Flood, “As the tour launched, Dylan and The Band road-tested their sets, tweaking song choices and sequences. By the time they reached L.A., only ‘Forever Young’ survived from Planet Waves.

Listen to “Forever Young” from the first of two February 9 concerts in Seattle, Wash.

From the July 9 announcement: Though they might not have known it at the time, Bob Dylan and The Band were at the vanguard of a new era. Tour ‘74 would help create the template for the major rock tour, and codify many of its shared experiences – from the sight of audiences holding up lighters en masse (as captured in the iconic cover image for Before the Flood), to the bright flash of the house lights during a show’s signal moment, in this case their performance of “Like a Rolling Stone.” Likewise many songs performed live for the first time on Tour ‘74–“All Along The Watchtower,” “Forever Young” and the show’s eventual opener-and-closer “Most Likely You Go Your Way (and I’ll Go Mine)”–would take on a life of their own.

At the outset, the 1974 Tour was captured on a stereo soundboard mix, on both 1⁄4” tape and cassette. By tour’s end, Asylum Records’ David Geffen had commissioned recordings on multitrack tape, the standard at the time, for eventual release on Before the Flood. The 1974 Live Recordings includes it all: the cassettes and 1⁄4” tapes, and the shows that were recorded on 16-track tape, newly-mixed for this collection.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Timmy OC
    #1 Timmy OC 10 July, 2024, 07:29

    Dylan and the Band: ’nuff said.

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