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Before the Flood Original recording remastered

129 customer reviews

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Before The Flood
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 31, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

For his 1974 tour, Dylan reunited with The Band-the only group that could possibly keep up with his spontaneous new spins on his classics. This double-album document of that immensely successful tour features Highway 61 Revisited; Like a Rolling Stone; Ballad of a Thin Man; Lay Lady Lay; All Along the Watchtower , and more including Band tunes like The Weight and The Shape I'm In !


Disc: 1
1. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
2. Lay Lady Lay
3. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
4. Knockin' on Heaven's Door
5. It Ain't Me Babe
6. Ballad of a Thin Man
7. Up on Cripple Creek
8. I Shall Be Released
9. Endless Highway
10. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
2. Just Like a Woman
3. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
4. The Shape I'm In
5. When You Awake
6. The Weight
7. All Along the Watchtower
8. Highway 61 Revisited
9. Like a Rolling Stone
10. Blowin' in the Wind

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 31, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B001SF8G1G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,848 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Scott McWade on April 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been vexed by this release ever since some old friends of mine used to rave about it. I just couldn't warm up to it. I thought the Dylan songs were just not like the studio ones I was familar with and the sonic limitations (of the orignal CD release) definitely did not help its cause. Now I can say it was soley the sonics that kept this on the shelf for so long. The improved sound is just brilliant, the high end rides above a solid bottom whereas this used to be a muddy mess. I can finally recommend this. Many diehards will lament the lack of any bonus material whatsoever. This is how the Dylan machine operates, he uses his bootleg series toward that end and he keeps the legacy material tried and true. I applaud that and I think brevity is sometimes its own reward.
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92 of 107 people found the following review helpful By John Stodder on December 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This one is a tough call. Some of the best live versions of Dylan's folk songs like Don't Think Twice, It's Allright, appear on this album. Also some of the best versions of Band chestnuts like Stage Fright and the Night they Drove Old Dixie Down. It is also the only album where you can hear them do Endless Highway.
BUT: When Dylan and the Band play together, as they do on about 8 cuts, the results are mixed. Dylan seems to feel the need to shout, rather than sing, over their support. The worst example is Lay Lady Lay, which loses all its delicacy here. Other collaborations come out somewhat better, but you get the feeling that Dylan is nervous singing in front of the arena crowds that had begun to characterize rock touring by 1974. This was Dylan's first real tour since the 60s, and maybe all the fistpumping populism freaked him out. Who knows?
If you love Dylan or the Band, you'll want this. But if you don't have any other Dylan, don't start here.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By B. Rosenthal on June 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Dylan's music is closest thing to American folk art produced in the 20th century. Always evolving, his songs remain works in progress even after 40 years of recording and touring. His most recent tour, with moving remakes of his classics and brilliant new songs from Love and Theft, proves Dylan is never content to rest on his laurels.
Before the Flood is nothing short of a brilliant live album, featuring an energized and passionate Dylan, putting into his songs a vitality that a studio cannot hold. Versions of "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine," "Rolling Stone," and especially "Watchtower" are among the best ever performed, reaching a breathless level of intensity. The acoustic numbers are uptempo, clearly stated and articulate. The Band is tight and focused, economic in their playing, sometimes following Bob, sometimes challenging him to keep the pace, but always with brilliant interplay. Their solo numbers are as intense as they have ever recorded, on a par with Rock of Ages. True Dylanphiles rank this record with the best of the many bootlegs which capture his greatest performances. Those with only a casual familiarity with Dylan can listen to this album and learn why the leading figures in rock and roll history count Dylan as a major influence.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "craig_paul" on November 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
By now, everyone in the world knows the historical significance, at least within the context of music, of this recording. Dylan is a folk singer. Dylan goes electric and takes Robbie, Rick, Richard, Levon, and Garth along for the ride. The die - hard folk fans are incredulous. Dylan is a traitor. A few years later, Bob is again regarded as a genius. So here we are in the early 70's with political hysteria abounding, and Dylan and the Band on tour, in fine form, and whipping crowds into a frenzy everywhere they play.
I agree with the reviewer who said that the recently released "Live 1966" CD is a better showcase of Dylan and the Band performing live, and that "Rock Of Ages" is the ultimate live Band recording. Those albums are raw, gritty recordings, first cousins of The Who's "Live At Leeds," while "Before The Flood" is a portrait of The Band and Dylan at the top of their respective games, both together and separately. This is not to say this album lacks intensity; more aptly put, the Band members are tight, and follow Dylan effortlessly as he reworks his classics.
The highlights of the collaborative efforts between The Band and Dylan are "Highway 61", "Most Likely You Go Your Way And I Go Mine", and "Like A Rolling Stone." Robbie Robertson provides excellent guitar work, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson are solid as ever, but it's Rick Danko's bass and Levon Helm's drumming that hold the songs together.
When Dylan takes a break and The Band plays alone, there is no shortage of energy; in fact, their set is even stronger than the songs on which they back Dylan.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hirsch on May 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I caught the show in Charlotte NC in January 1974, purely by luck as someone offered a ticket on the UNC student radio station at face value, something like $8-9. (Yes, young people, major concerts used to be reasonably priced.) It turned out to be on the center aisle, row W. Bill Graham walked by a couple of times during the show. It was unbelievable, so great, I had no idea walking in how staggering it would be.

But on to Before the Flood. A huge disappointment to me at the time, it sounds somewhat better in hindsight. Dylan oversings, especially on what would be the first side on vinyl. He didn't overdo every vocal when I saw him (and I have a boot of the concert to remind me) but he pretty much does here. On the other hand, the Band is great particularly Garth Hudson. The versions of Stage Fright and the Weight are particularly strong and Garth makes a mighty effort to save Ballad of a Thin Man with his organ/synth work.

The fourth side, from Watchtower on, is really good. Dylan, Robbie, the Band are really rocking and tear it down.

Don't start here for either Dylan or the Band, but it's worthwhile with the exception of the opening numbers.
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