The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert

by Bob Dylan


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It's been called the most famous bootleg of all time. For decades, underground tapes of the so-called Royal Albert Hall concert (the show was actually held at the Manchester Free Trade Hall but was misidentified by early bootleggers) have circulated among Dylan aficionados. Now, at long last, the official release is here -- with quite good sound quality -- and it has definitely been worth the wait. Here is a young Bob Dylan, the angry young man of his generation, standing on the divide between folk and rock: the sainted folk-singer about to sell his soul to the demon rock-'n'-roll. Disc one features a stirring Dylan solo set, just singer with acoustic guitar on such brilliant tunes as "Visions of Johanna," "It's All Over Now (Baby Blue)," and "Desolation Row." But disc two is the big payoff, a rousing electric performance backed by the Band that is, quite simply, one of the most exciting sets of live rock ever captured on tape. The finale includes the famous cry of "Judas!" from an outraged folk diehard. To which Dylan responds, "You're a liar," before kicking into the hardest, loudest, nastiest version of "Like a Rolling Stone" you'll ever hear. Sheer magic.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/13/1998
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646575925
catalogNumber: 65759
Rank: 37935

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The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's all been done before, it's all been written in the book! Words from the man himself. Most of us knew this release in some shape or form before it hit the shops officially. I bought my vinyl copy from a mail-order company in Glasgow. To have it in more pristine recording quality and with professional packaging is a luxury indeed! The music is an eternal howl of passion! Nothing less! The acoustic side is a beautifully balanced performance. Listen to the phrasing and intonation of inspired lyrics. The electric side is something to change your life and times! No exaggeration whatsoever! The thin wild mercury sound/red music. B52s in a cathedral. These have been attempts to capture the feelings in words. Listen to this music and experience the full potential of artistic expression. If you do not already own this one, buy it! You won't regret it! A recent "Uncut" special limited its review to quoting the famous stage aside "Play ******* loud!" That was all that needed to be said! It is that sort of aural experience. Buy it, hear it, steal it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bob Dylan’s Live 1966 is a half acoustic, half electric set that laid in the Columbia vaults for over 30 years. The first disc is Dylan solo with his guitar and harmonica. Although it is full of some of the best solo renditions of those songs ever released, I must admit I find my attention wandering after a while. The second disc is the killer. Dylan and four of the five musicians who became the Band confronted an angry audience who felt Bob & Co. were selling out folk music. The hostility spurred the players into some of their greatest performances. The Band never were as fierce again. Robbie Robertson’s guitar playing may be his best ever. The music almost could be called early punk, it is that intense. I think the finale of Like A Rolling Stone is the best performance of that song ever recorded by Dylan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sentiments won't vary much from the previous reviewer, as she/he nailed it. The first disc is pretty awesome, but the best stuff is definitely on disc 2. Disc two is more punk than any thing a punk band has done. It's ferocious, like the sound of being punched in the face. But seriously, it's vicious and mean and it's full of energy and adreneline. I'll be bold and say it's the best live recording I've ever heard. I'm getting excited just thinking about listening to it. I think I'll put it on now.
CA514 More than 1 year ago
I had never been a huge Dylan follower but had always respected his work and songwriting abilities. The majority of my exposure had been with his more mainstream hits that would be played over the waves when I was younger. I had the opportunity to see him in concert at a small venue last November. I became very intrigued and had an even greater appreciation for his work and instantly wanted to explore further. It was overwhelming at the number of choices to choose from in making a selection of his work. I wanted something more raw that was reflective of a younger Dylan. Bootleg Vol. 4 provided me with everything I was looking for and more. A great collection of songs recorded at one of the music meccas. Highly recommend to add to your music collection.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
The very first bootleg album was a thing called The Great White Wonder that consisted of various Bob Dylan songs that had not been put out officially, but the greatest bootleg of all time was the Royal Albert Hall Concert (so named because Americans were familiar with that name and knew nothing of the venue where it was really recorded). Columbia was not eager, understandably, to release a live album where their artist was being called "Judas" by the audience, but the bootleggers, and the fans, knew that this concert was a turning point in Dylan's career and in the history of Rock and Roll. Dylan insisted on being Dylan and was not going to be pigeon-holed as an acoustic Folk hero and a bulwark against the onslaught of electric Rock and Roll, on the contrary, Dylan would not only embrace that format but revolutionize it with his words and works. It must be said that Dylan did not set out to upset his folkie fans as the first half of the concert was indeed acoustic, but the "fans" didn't come to honor Caesar, they came to bury him. As soon as Dylan came out for the second half of the show with The Band, the boos started from those so-called fans. Dylan would have none of their stupidity and let out a scream (verbally and musically) that shook the world. It certainly would not be the last time that Dylan had to be Dylan no matter what the fans and the critics had to say about it, but we can be thankful that decades after the fact Columbia finally gave us the official version of that important concert.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm very surprised nobody else has yet reviewed this title here. This live show, for years available only on bootleg, features Dylan at his mid-'60s peak. The performances are brilliant, both on the solo acoustic set and the incendiary electric set with the Hawks (soon to be the Band). More than just a concert document or fan souvenier, it's an artistic highlight that ranks with the great Dylan studio albums of this period like "Highway 61" and "Blonde On Blonde". If you love Dylan, you need to have this in your collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago