Bob Dylan / At Budokan 1st March 1978 / 2CD / Zion
Live at Budokan, Tokyo, Japan 1st March 1978
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The regrettable point of Bob Dylan’s live album “BOB DYLAN AT BUDOKAN”, which Japan is proud of in the world, is that it was not a complete recording of the concert. However, when this album was released, there was no concept of a live album that completely recorded the concert, and the 1976 live album “HARD RAIN” was released in the volume of one LP, so it can’t be helped.
The most regrettable thing about editing such “AT BUDOKAN” is that the opening number “Love Her With A Feeling” has been cut. The 1978 World Tour kicked off with a blues cover every night, even though it was an exciting opening. If it wasn’t included in the album, the whole picture of the live wouldn’t be conveyed. In the first place, this album was a composite edit from the two-day recording of Budokan on February 28th and March 1st, and it was far from the complete recording of one show.
It was in 1999 that a masterpiece that would reduce the drinking of such enthusiasts was quietly released. The title “MARTIAL ARENA” was issued by Lille Masters, an old label that had released performances in Japan from the master cassette that was not available among traders. Even though this was the first appearance and a stereo audience recording with outstanding sound quality, it did not attract much attention unexpectedly.
It must have been because I was recording March 1st, which was the core of “AT BUDOKAN”. In other words, at the beginning of the release, it was not conveyed at all that “MARTIAL ARENA” had a big meaning in that it completely recorded the pattern of the same day unlike the live album.
It is true that most of the takes were adopted for the live album, but there are many songs and takes that were cut for the above reasons. Not to mention the opening of the example, but after the end of the live “The Man In Me”, it was cut and the recording of the previous day was adopted, so it is a part that is not heard at all in “AT BUDOKAN”. And above all, it is more valuable as a document that clearly reproduces the night at the Budokan on March 1, 1978, more than a live album.
In addition, the sound quality is outstandingly good. It’s different from the so-called sound board-like sound image, but it’s still a fairly close sound image, and the freshness of the tape is outstanding anyway. Probably the storage condition of the cassette was good, the reality of breathing in plenty of air at the Budokan on March 1, 1978 is exceptional. From the opening “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” instrument to the beginning of “Love Her With A Feeling”, the microphone is delayed and the sound is muffled (still the goodness of freshness is transmitted!). A wonderful view … or rather, a sound with a texture that makes you want to call it the Budokan itself.
Also, it is often said that the first performance in Japan was the impact of the first visit to the charisma of Dylan, and the gap of the 1978 mode Dylan’s first debut was confusing to the Japanese audience, but rolling regardless of where Dylan is.・ It is really regrettable that the charm of this tour was not reported in real time because there was no way to reproduce the Thunder Review. More than 40 years have passed since then, and the 1978 World Tour has finally come to be justified, but the biggest attraction of this tour is “Dylan as a singer”.
Enjoying the rough rock sound in the Rolling Thunder Review (and getting tired of it … lol) Dylan is conscious of maturity in his 40s. So he signed a contract with a company that managed Frank Sinatra and others to become a singer and entertainer. This fact alone made it clear what direction Dylan was aiming for, but at the time it was completely unknown. Similarly, a big band with a gorgeous sound that is completely different from the Rolling Thunder Review has joined a master such as Steve Douglas who was active in Phil Spector’s session. It was only natural that Dylan later recalled, “I was a gorgeous member who could never be teamed up again.”
On the other hand, the arrangement that is far from the original song caused controversy, but Dylan sang carefully by tailoring representative songs such as “Blowin’In The Wind” and “Just Like A Woman” into a slow ballad arrangement. Come on. That is where the charm of the 1978 tour appears. Both are famous performances that were adopted in “AT BUDOKAN”, but especially in “Blowin’In ~”, the warm applause when Dylan started singing is really like Showa Japan, and it is transmitted realistically. I wonder if this is the scene where audience recording is the real thing.
Also, the R & B-like slow ballad arrangement of the short-lived repertoire “I Threw It All Away”, which was not recorded in “AT BUDOKAN” but was played only in the Far East schedule from Japan to Australia, is also excellent. Since it was the starting point of the tour in the first place, it was the first performance in Japan that conveys a more cautious performance than the later stages, but that is why Dylan’s songs in the ballad-arranged repertoire shine. Even more so, “I Threw It All Away” is wonderful. The good manners of the Japanese audience who watched over Dylan’s first visit (although it certainly lacks excitement) support the ease of listening to Dylan’s songs. I think it’s working positively.
And the best part is the recording that perfectly captures the atmosphere unique to the Budokan concert. When “MARTIAL ARENA” was released in 1999, a Dolby equalization was added to eliminate the hiss noise of the cassette, but 20 years have passed since then, and the hiss noise is not suppressed and the natural and warmness of the master cassette is utilized. The making is completely different from “MARTIAL ARENA”. The upper feeling that makes me want to assert that I finally succeeded in confining the original charm of the sound source in the limited press CD. If you play this outstanding listening comfort from the speaker at a loud volume, you will travel back in time to the Budokan on March 1, 1978!
★ Uses the master cassette of “MARTIAL ARENA” (Reel Masters, released in 1999).
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