Home | Audio Reviews |Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags News

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

The Bootleg Series - Vol. 5
Bob Dylan Live 1975
The Rolling Thunder Review

Review By Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

CD Number: Columbia/Legacy


  Bob Dylan. Easily the most influential single musician of the second half of the twentieth century, his name alone conjures up an mélange of images. Dylan has never confined himself to one kind of music. At various times he has appeared as a finger-picking folk purist, protest-song singer, rock innovator, roots spelunker, and country crooner. Throughout his career Dylan has worn his mantle of inscrutability with a single-mindedness that at times bordered on downright curmudgeondom. His ability to change from one thing to another often left his fans wondering which Bob they were going to get – the "good" Bob, or the "bad" Bob. Depending on their own personal tastes, one person’s good Bob IS another person’s bad Bob. On "The Bootleg Series" – Vol. 5 we get a little bit of all the Bobs. Lucky us.

In 1975 Bob Dylan came up with the idea of putting together a touring group, not just a band, but also an entire musical revue. Instead of a headliner supported by a couple of opening acts as was the norm, Dylan wanted a troupe of musicians, a changing cast of characters, capable of entertaining an audience for an entire evening. In retrospect, his recruiting methods were not all that strange – assemble a group of musicians and see if they could make music together. But at the time his methods seemed like madness, picking musicians seemingly at random, but after a few false starts, the final result produced a remarkable band named "The Rolling Thunder Review." Personnel for "Rolling Thunder" included Joan Baez on vocal and guitar, Bobby Neuwirth on vocal and guitar, Scarlet Rivera on violin, T. Bone Burnet on guitar, Roger McGuinn on vocal and guitar, Steve Soles on vocal and guitar, Mick Ronson on guitar, David Mansfield on steel guitar, mandolin, violin, and dobro, Rob Stoner on bass, Howie Wyeth on piano and drums, Luthar Rix on drums, percussion and congas, and Ronee Blakely on vocals. Besides the musicians the revue included Alan Ginsburg and Peter Orlovsky, sound and lighting technicians, fifteen members of a film crew (their footage became "Renaldo and Clara"), and assorted friends and guests. The entire entourage added up to 70 people. Imagine a very hip, very wigged-out Grand Ol' Opry.

Of the 22 different songs on the two CDs, not a single selection lets you down. From early material like "A Hard Rain is Going To Fall" and "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" right up through "Isis" and "Tangled up in Blue," the performances and arrangements are still fresh and exciting. My personal favorites are "Just Like a Woman" and "The Water Is Wide" which feature Joan Baez’ soaring soprano harmonies.

Although may fans taped the shows surreptitiously, and bootleg tapes have been circulating among hardcore Dylan fans for years, Legacy chose to use only material recorded by the official sound truck, who taped the revue’s shows in Worcester, Cambridge, and Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Canada. While some cognoscenti will argue that these are not the best performances from the tour, they are the only recordings where the audio quality is at least equal to the level of the performances. Producers Jeff Rosen and Steve Berkowitz did a fine job with the song selections as well as the seamless way the songs flow from one to another.

With the sheer number of Bob Dylan albums available, any new release must offer something special and compelling to warrant its purchase. It’s gotten to the point that Bob Dylan is competing against himself. Even with the stiff competition, "The Bootleg Series" – Vol. 5 demands to be heard and owned. "The Bootleg Series" Vol. 5 certainly equals any previously released live Dylan album in the quality of the sound and the performances. For those who consider themselves a Dylan fan, this CD is a must-have.




Sound Quality:
























































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report
New York Audio Show 2019 Report
Capital Audiofest 2019 Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2019
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2021  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.