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Bob Dylan and the Band both needed the celebrated reunion tour of 1974, since Dylan’s fortunes had been floundering since Self Portrait and the Band stumbled with 1971’s Cahoots. The tour, with its attendant publicity, definitely returned both artists to center stage, and it definitely succeeded, breaking box office records and earning great reviews. Before the Flood, a double-album souvenir of the tour, suggests that these were generally dynamic shows, but not because they were reveling in the past, but because Dylan was fighting the nostalgia of his audience — nostalgia, it must be noted, that was promoted as the very reason behind these shows. Yet that’s what gives this music such kick — Dylan reworks, rearranges, reinterprets these songs in ways that are still disarming, years after its initial release. He could only have performed interpretations this radical with a group as sympathetic, knowing of his traits as the band, whose own recordings here are respites from the storm. And this is a storm — the sound of a great rocker, surprising his band and audience by tearing through his greatest songs in a manner that might not be comforting, but it guarantees it to be one of the best live albums of its time. Ever, maybe.

CD1
01 Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
02 Lay Lady Lay
03 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
04 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
05 It Ain’t Me, Babe
06 Ballad Of A Thin Man
07 Up On Cripple Creek
08 I Shall Be Released
09 Endless Highway
10 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
11 Stage Fright

CD2
01 Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
02 Just Like A Woman
03 It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
04 The Shape I’m In
05 When You Awake
06 The Weight
07 All Along The Watchtower
08 Highway 61 Revisited
09 Like A Rolling Stone
10 Blowin’ In The Wind

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