B. Series Vol. 4: 5/17/1966
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B. S.9: Witmark Demos: 1962-64
B. Series Vol. 6: 10/31/64
B. Series Vol. 4: 5/17/1966
B. S.11: Basement Tapes
B. Series Vol. 5: Live 1975
B. S. 7: No Direction Home
B. S.8: Tell Tale Signs
Bringing It All Back Home
Highway 61 Revisited
Blonde On Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Nashville Skyline
B. S.10: Another Self Portrait
Self Portait
New Morning
Planet Waves
Before the Flood
Blood On The Tracks
Love and Theft
Modern Times
Bootleg Series Vol. 1 - 3


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The Bootleg Series Volume 6 - Bob Dylan

Bootleg Series Vol. 4

  Bob Dylan - London 1965
Bob Dylan - London 1965

1998 (5/17/1966)






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Review -The Bootleg Series Volume 4 - Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 review

The abbreviated review in one word, essential.

Bob Dylan's album, Bootleg Series Volume 4 captures Bob performing live on May 17, 1966, in Manchester, England in both an acoustic and electric setting. A generous book with historical information and photos is included. 

Dylan's career up to this point was primarily acoustic. At the Newport Folk Festival on July 24, 1965, Dylan performed his first electric set. This band was Paul Butterfield's Blues Band, who also performed at the festival, and included; Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Jerome Arnold (bass), Sam Lay (drums), Barry Goldberg (piano), and Al Kooper (organ). After Newport, Dylan went in to finish recording Highway 61 Revisited with Bloomfield, Kooper, and other musicians. To support a tour, a quest for a backing band ensued. First, there were two performances in the U.S., one in New York and one in Los Angeles. The primary personnel from Highway 61 Revisited weren't available so Dylan recruited two members of The Hawks, guitarist Robbie Robertson and drummer Levon Helm, along with keyboardist Al Kooper and bassist Harvey Brooks. Then for the tours from September 1965 through May 1966, Kooper and Brooks weren't available. To fill those shoes the rest of the The Hawks, later to be named The Band, were recruited; Richard Manuel (piano), Garth Hudson (organ), and Rick Danko (bass). Though, drummer Levon Helms was replaced in the middle this tour. This was the first of many musical collaborations between Bob Dylan and The Band

The first disc is a set of Bob Dylan's acoustic music performed at his peak. His voice is incredibly strong and powerful throughout, and the track selection is much to my liking with no weak song renditions. It is no surprise that "Its All Over Now, Baby Blue" is a highlight with great vocal phrasing and harmonica playing. The following track, "Desolation Row," is quite long, and just about the time you get tired of the verses Bob strums some outstanding rhythm guitar intermixed with his harmonica to the delight of his audience.  

The electric set of the show featured on disc 2 of the Bootleg Series Volume 4 is one of Dylan's best electric performances, certainly the most intense. The Band exceptionally set the cornerstone and foundation with their tight rhythm section, and in addition, they hit all the right accents, dynamics, and fills to bring out the best in Bob. 

Throughout the set, the vocals are very strong. Take for example "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues" during the section "I don't have the strength to take another shot" where Dylan highlights the word shot, as he leaves the notes pour out of voice with an uncanny balance of gentleness and strength. Robbie's guitar solo and concluding riffs are excellent to bring more joy. 

Robbie doesn't take the standard approach with his guitar playing of strumming the chords till he has the opportunity to play a guitar solo. Rather, he is continually throwing in riffs and fills, leaving the rhythm section to the drums and bass, making these renditions of this material essential. Another strength is Robbie's approach of concluding songs with a combination of melody and power. 

A few of the electric tracks Dylan plays harmonica. The second song "I Don't Believe You" showcases his ability to not only play a solo, but to highlight and enhance others. As Robbie is cranking out his guitar solo, Bob cues into his solo in perfect lockstep.

Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series Volume 4 captures Bob Dylan in top form. Essential. 
by Barry Small
Grade A +


Musicians - The Bootleg Series Volume 4 - Bob Dylan
Track List

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Disc: 1 - Acoustic
1. She Belongs to Me (Dylan) - 3:27
2. Fourth Time Around (Dylan) - 4:37
3. Visions of Johanna (Dylan) - 8:08
4. It's All over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan) - 5:45
5. Desolation Row (Dylan) - 11:31
6. Just Like a Woman (Dylan) - 5:52
7. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) - 8:52

Disc: 2 - Electric
1. Tell Me, Momma (Dylan) - 5:10
2. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We... (Dylan) - 6:07
3. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (Davis) - 3:46
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (Dylan) - 6:50
5. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Dylan) - 4:50
6. One Too Many Mornings (Dylan) - 4:22
7. Ballad of a Thin Man (Dylan) - 7:55
8. Like a Rolling Stone (Dylan) - 8:01

Musicians - The Bootleg Series Volume 4 - Bob Dylan

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Bob Dylan Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano
Robbie Robertson - Guitar
Rick Danko - Bass, bcg. vocals 
Garth Hudson - Organ
Richard Manuel - Piano
Mickey Jones - Drums

The Bootleg Series Volume 4 - Bob Dylan

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Label - Columbia 10/1998
The album includes a booklet with linear notes and photos by Tony Glover.

The Bootleg Series Volume 4 - Bob Dylan- Order


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