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At Budokan based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
At the time (1978) this album was released the critics seemed split about its merits. After Dylan's Christian period many of them, especially at Rolling Stone, completely dismissed it. I always liked many of the redone songs. The female singers detract as often as they help but Bob sounds pretty good and the band is quite versatile. Before the Flood and Live 1966 are the best live Dylan efforts but this is interesting, more so than Real Live or Dylan and the Dead.
First, this album was recorded in 1978 and came out in April of 1979, Dylan's first Christian album came out later in August of 1979, so if the critics were judging Budokan because of Slow Train Coming (as an earlier reviewer indicated), the critics had it backwards (again). Budokan should be seen for itself. It certainly is a very different Dylan album. Its not exactly mellow, but it is played in front of a very respectful crowd which is so quit that you almost forget this is a live album. But that is far from being a bad thing. These songs are beautifully performed and every detail of the performance can be heard. Now I love the Rock elements of Before the Flood and The Rolling Thunder Revue, but this live set comes across as a meditation, a glory in the song itself, not that these recordings lack power, they just lack the screaming crowds. This is not a popular Dylan album, but it is none-the-less one of his best.