November 14, 2016

"Bob Dylan - The 1966 Live Recordings: The Untold Story Behind The Recordings."



"Rock and roll was something that no one expected. There was a lot of booing. I mean, it was practically everywhere we went. The audiences were hostile. And the band responded to the hostility of the audience by playing more aggressively."

ADDED: The 1966 Live Recordings set is a great deal — 36 CDs for $128. Buy it here on Amazon. (And, please, generally, consider doing any Amazon shopping you might want to do through the Althouse Amazon Portal. It's a very effective way to give support to this blog.)

24 comments:

madAsHell said...

I'm sorry. My Bob Dylan history is poor. Are these the same thing as the Basement Tapes??

Ann Althouse said...

No. This is the 1966 tour. The Basement Tapes were recorded in 1967 and are all different songs.

You can see at the Amazon link what the songs are on the 36 CDs. Obviously, many of the same songs are on the different CDs from different concerts on one concert tour.

YoungHegelian said...

Well, yeah, audiences were hostile if you were playing rock & roll at folk music concerts! Remember, Dylan got his start as a folkie, not a rocker. The audience had their expectations & their tastes, just like any audience does.

Doing the Weavers greatest hits at a Led Zeppelin concert wouldn't win you any friends, either.

Ann Althouse said...

I like the idea that the rock got harder because people in the room didn't like it. There's this great stuff that other people beyond that room loved and it is what it is in part because it was an expression of hostility to the people who were there. There's a lot of hostility in 60s Dylan. It warped my mind, that's for sure.

traditionalguy said...

Sweet.

coupe said...

I never understood why a singer yells into a microphone. If you want to yell or howl, stand away from the electronics.

The audio guy there is waxing romantic about it, and then when it switches to the performance its howling.

I think he was stoned all those years :-)

JWH said...

coupe

If he wasn't then he should have been.

JWH said...

coupe

If he wasn't then he should have been.

Bob said...

"I never saw him again." Is he talking about Dylan, or the guy who sided with Columbia?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

One brief comment. How many performers/groups have ever successfully gone through a complete change of genre/style? Dylan could say to a noisy crowd, "It's still all protest music," but they had specific expectations as to what he was supposed to be.
Nashville-style country musicians, especially females, are apparently expected to keep the same look and hairstyle on stage, for years. If males have a slightly cartoonish hat and outfit combo that helps them stand out, again, it has to stay. Folkies I guess were like that too. A lot of talented musicians develop jazz chops, but if they were famous and/or successful, this is generally a step toward less success if any. The joke about Led Zeppelin is that fans of Stairway to Heaven don't like the rest of the catalogue, and vice versa. The famous photo of Sun Records stars--Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis--from a time when they were all roughly the same genre, or had genres that overlapped; still, once they had settled into a genre and style, they were stuck with it except when Cash was dying and made some truly different and remarkable music.
Maybe just to say: what Dylan did not only took guts, but seems almost impossible for a musician who has achieved a certain level of success. Generally, maybe paradoxically success sticks you to a hamster's wheel more than failure, and Dylan jumped off the wheel several times.

johns said...

I saw Dylan in concert at McCormick Place in Chicago in the Fall of 1965. He did the first half with acoustic guitar and the second half electric. when the second half started, there was mild booing, which quickly died down.
with regard to what YoungHegelian says, I would not say that the concert was a "folk concert." Even in the Fall of 1965 Dylan had already released two hit albums which were electric, and Like a Rolling Stone had been a #1 hit. The whole booing thing is kind of BS, IMHO.
Also, during the first half of the concert Dylan had to pause and adjust a few strings on his acoustic guitar. While doing so he said in a playful way, "this never happens with my electric guitar." This elicited a combination of booing and laughter.

SteveR said...

I'm glad to have missed the drama of that period. By the 70s -- I was a Blood on the Tracks Dylan fan -- it all ran together 64, 65, 66, Joan, Sara, etc. Now I just get on Spotify and play what I like.

GWash said...

As a product of that time period and a fan of dylan's from the very beginning, i can attest to the shock that many of my friends felt in 65 and 66... as has been noted quite a few times here he came from late '50s rock and found a niche in the folk scene where he excelled and then moved quickly and brought a lot of his fans with him... blew the door wide open for what happened next in music - cross pollination with english invasion... spoon, june, moon used to be more the norm for pop, now it was some kind of eclectic janglely poetry.. you don't get that kind of background in STEM schools...

Charlie said...

The version of "Visions Of Johanna" on 1966 Live CD (released a few years ago) is the greatest folk song ever recorded.

gadfly said...

coupe said...
I never understood why a singer yells into a microphone. If you want to yell or howl, stand away from the electronics.

I have never understood why, with all the improvements over the years in sound quality, audio engineers have insisted upon cranking up the volume to earsplitting, deafness-causing SPLs approaching 100 decibels. I will not go near a movie theater any more and I no longer attend my college football home games.

Dave in Tucson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surfed said...

Were we ever really that young? Or were we older then and just younger than that now?

Bob R said...

These were all recorded after Levon left because he couldn't take the booing.

Laslo Spatula said...

Brokedown Bobby Shakes says...

I don't see the big shiny deal, people: Brokedown Bobby here played hundreds of shows in the sixties, and a lot of them were even recorded, by Chicago and New York white folk who recorded your shit and then never paid ya, not even a Chinese dime. Shit, I must have six-dozen live versions of "Twelve-Year-Old Girl (I'm A-Gonna Make You A Woman Now)", jus' sitting in a shoe-box in my closet, by the jars of underwear from The Road and Brokedown Bobby's special urine collection...

I know what it's like to be yelled at while doing a show, though: up North, some peoples didn't be liking the songs about twelve-year-old girls, they said that's too young, Bobby. Well, maybe in the North it was, but anyone in the Ol' South'll woulda told ya that a twelve-year-old Southern Girl, she's just on the young side of 'Ready Right Here'...

I gets it, though: I do. White people like listening to white people, even if it's the same damn song, over and over again, and they'll pay for it, over and over again. Me, if I buy a sock, I only pay for it once, you get me...?.

So I live my life on the road, rockin' and rollin'. Who knows -- I might be comin' to your town, too, and if you come see me, do Bobby a favor: bring your granddaughters...

I am Laslo.

Robt C said...

I read an article in the NYT about the (mostly) unsung audio engineer who set up the sound equipment (in venues that weren't used to amplified rock music) and recorded the sessions. Pretty interesting, but caveat emptor: He said that the 36 recordings are of the same two sets with very few changes to the playlist. A quick check of the song list on Amazon bears this out. So yes, you're getting 36 CDs, but . . .

BN said...

"Rock and roll was something that no one expected."

It was actually a big deal. Indeed, the mixing of ALL other musical genres inside R&R is what made America great. Bob brought it home.

Bob for The Supreme Court!

BN said...

Ann: "It warped my mind, that's for sure."

Very Next Post in Full: "Sweet."

BN channeling The Dude: "We all abide. One way or another."

William said...

I don't see how moving from folk to rock was such a dramatic shift. It sounds more like a Baptist having a religious vision and converting to the Methodist faith. Now if he had moved to the disco genre that would have been revolutionary--especially in the sixties. I'm not sure, but I think he could claim credit as a proto rap artist. Maybe he should do something with Kanye West.........The career progression for song writers used to be Tin Pan Alley to Broadway. Then, if you really wanted to burnish your reputation, you would go on to write an opera or classical piece. Dylan is to be praised for never attempting a Broadway show or a symphony.......All those classical composers can go suck lemons.. Dylan is the one with the Nobel. I wonder if the escalator can reverse. Will classical composers who want to gain prestige start writing protest songs or concertos for electric guitars.

TheThinMan said...

When you actually listen objectively to the sound Dylan and his band were making, the booing was perfectly appropriate. I'm sure his audience would have been delighted to hear the electric Bob Dylan had those songs sounded as good as they did on the albums. But they are embarrassingly sloppy and out of tune, and the sound system is distorted mess. It wasn't the style they were booing but the quality.

In Dylan's biography he says he would form rock groups in high school, which would then throw him out. You can see why.