A comprehensive anthology of music from Bob Dylan’s groundbreaking Rolling Thunder Revue is to be reissued as a 3LP and 14CD boxset, including all five of Dylan’s full sets from that tour that were professionally recorded.
The collection also provides the listener with an intimate insider’s seat for recently unearthed rehearsals at New York’s S.I.R. studios and the Seacrest Motel in Falmouth, MA plus a bonus disc showcasing one-of-a-kind performances from the tour. The new boxset is set for release by Columbia/Legacy Recordings on 7 June.
The collection features 148 tracks in all, with more than 100 of those never previously released. Included in the box set is a 52-page booklet featuring rare and never-before-seen Rolling Thunder Revue photos and a revelatory essay by novelist/musician Wesley Stace. Concurrent with the release of the 14CD box set will be a reissue of The Bootleg Series Volume 5 on vinyl, back in print for the first time since 2002 as a 3LP set with a 64-page booklet.
Launched in the fall of 1975, Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue flaunted the touring conventions of the time by featuring an eclectic cast of characters and playing small and unusual venues with little advance notice. The shows would often stretch to more than four hours long, generating some of the artist’s most dramatic and dynamic on-stage performances ever.
Dylan debuted the new songs he’d written for his forthcoming Desire album (which became one of the most acclaimed and popular in his canon) with a fire and intensity that Dylan had reached ten years earlier with his incendiary tours with musicians who became The Band. He also took wild, interpretative rides through his back catalog and broke-out some unexpected covers.
Dylan gathered amazing friends and collaborators for his ensemble – dubbed Guam for the tour – that included T Bone Burnett, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bobby Neuwirth, Scarlett Rivera, Ronee Blakley, Steven Soles, David Mansfield, Rob Stoner, Howie Wyeth and Luther Rix. Poet Allen Ginsberg and Joni Mitchell also brought their talents to the show’s encores. Dylan, the consummate band leader, managed to take these musicians from various backgrounds and sensibilities and mold them into a tight musical unit on stage.
Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings serves as a companion piece to the new film, “Rolling Thunder Revue – A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese,” premiering on Netflix on June 12. Every one of Bob Dylan’s performances in the movie can be found in this boxed set.
Bob Dylan – Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
DISC 1: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 19, 1975
DISC 2: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 21, 1975
DISC 3: Seacrest Motel Rehearsals, Falmouth, MA – October 29, 1975
DISC 4-5: Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA – November 19, 1975
DISC 6-7: Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge, MA – November 20, 1975
DISC 8-9: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (afternoon)
DISC 10-11: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (evening)
DISC 12-13: Forum de Montreal, Quebec, Canada – December 4, 1975
DISC 14: Rare Performances