Bob Dylan / At Budokan 1st March 1978 / 2CD

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).
More about this source textSource text required for additional translation information

 日本が世界に誇るボブ・ディランのライブアルバム「BOB DYLAN AT BUDOKAN」の惜しまれる点は、何といってもコンサート完全収録でなかったことでしょう。もっとも本アルバムがリリースされた当時にコンサートを完全収録したライブアルバムの概念はなく、1976年のライブアルバム「HARD RAIN」に至ってはLP一枚というボリュームでのリリースであったのだから致し方ありません。
 そんな「AT BUDOKAN」の編集で一番惜しまれるのは、オープニングナンバーの「Love Her With A Feeling」がカットされてしまったということではないでしょうか。1978年のワールドツアーは毎晩ブルースカバーで幕を開けていましたが、これこそエキサイティングなオープニングだったというのに。そこがアルバムに収められなかったのではライブの全体像が伝わって来ない。そもそも本アルバムは2月28日と3月1日の武道館という二日間の録音からの複合編集であり、一ショーの完全収録からも程遠かったのです。
 そんなマニアの留飲を下げてくれる名盤がひっそりとリリースされていたのは1999年のこと。トレーダー間にも出回っていなかったマスターカセットから往年の来日公演をリリースしていた古のレーベル、リール・マスターズから「MARTIAL ARENA」というタイトルが出されていたのです。これが初登場かつ音質抜群のステレオ・オーディエンス録音であったにもかかわらず、意外なほど注目を集めませんでした。
 それは一重に「AT BUDOKAN」の中核をなした3月1日を録音していたせいだったように思えてなりません。つまり「MARTIAL ARENA」は同日の模様をライブアルバムと違い完全収録してくれていた点に大きな意味があったということがリリース当初には全く伝わっていなかったのです。
 確かに大半のテイクがライブアルバムに採用された訳ですが、先の理由からカットされた曲やテイクも多数存在します。例のオープニングはもちろんですが、ライブ終盤「The Man In Me」以降はカットされたり前日の録音が採用されたりと、「AT BUDOKAN」ではまったく聞かれないパートなのです。そして何よりもライブアルバム以上に1978年3月1日にの武道館での一夜を克明に再現してくれるドキュメントとしての価値があまりにも大きい。
 おまけに音質が抜群にイイ。いわゆるサウンドボード的な音像とは違いますが、それでもかなり近めな音像な上、とにかくテープの鮮度が抜群。恐らくカセットの保存状態が良かったのでしょう、78年3月1日、武道館での空気をたっぷりと吸い込んだリアリティは格別。オープニングの「A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall」インストから「Love Her With A Feeling」の序盤まではマイクを出すのが遅れて音がこもっていますが(それでも鮮度の良さは伝わってくる!)以降は素晴らしい見晴らし…というか武道館そのものと呼びたくなる質感の音へと。
 一方で原曲とかけ離れたアレンジが賛否両論を巻き起こした訳ですが、例えば「Blowin’ In The Wind」や「Just Like A Woman」といった代表曲をスローなバラード・アレンジに仕立ててディランがじっくりと歌いこむ。そこにこそ78年ツアーの魅力が現れています。どちらも「AT BUDOKAN」にも採用された名演ですが、特に「Blowin’ In~」ではディランが歌い始めた時の暖かな拍手の盛り上がりがいかにも昭和の日本らしく、しかもリアルに伝わってくる。これぞオーディエンス録音が本領をする場面かと。
 また「AT BUDOKAN」に収録されなかったのは元より、日本からオーストラリアまでの極東日程でしか演奏されなかった短命レパートリー「I Threw It All Away」のR&Bチックなスロー・バラード・アレンジがまた絶品。そもそもツアーのスタート地点だったことから後のステージより慎重な演奏ぶりが伝わってくる初来日公演ですが、だからこそバラード・アレンジなレパートリーでのディランの歌いっぷりが映える。なおさら「I Threw It All Away」は素晴らしい。ディランの初見参に固唾をのんで見守った日本のオーディエンスのマナーの良さ(確かに盛り上がりには欠けるのですが)がこうしたディランの歌いっぷりの聞きこみやすさを後押ししてくれるのも今となってはプラスに作用しているのでは。
そして極めつけは武道館コンサートならではの空気感を完璧なまでに捉えてくれた録音。1999年の「MARTIAL ARENA」リリース時にはカセットのヒスノイズを消すべくドルビー系のイコライズが加えられていたのですが、あれから20年が経過し敢えてヒスノイズを抑え込まずマスターカセットのナチュラルでウォーミーさを活かした作りは「MARTIAL ARENA」とはまるで別物。ようやく音源本来の魅力を限定プレスCDの中に封じ込めることに成功したのだと断言したくなるアッパー感。この抜群の聞き心地をスピーカーから大音量で鳴らせば78年3月1日の武道館へとタイムスリップ!
★「MARTIAL ARENA」(Reel Masters, 1999年リリース)のマスター・カセットを使用。
Disc 1 (62:40)
01. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
02. Love Her With A Feeling
03. Mr. Tambourine Man
04. I Threw It All Away 
05. Love Minus Zero / No Limit
06. Shelter From The Storm
07. Girl From The North Country
08. Ballad Of A Thin Man
09. Maggie’s Farm
10. One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)
11. Like A Rolling Stone
12. I Shall Be Released
13. Is Your Love In Vain?
14. Going, Going, Gone
Disc 2 (66:28)
01. One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
02. Blowin’ In The Wind
03. Just Like A Woman
04. Oh, Sister
05. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
06. You’re A Big Girl Now
07. All Along The Watchtower
08. I Want You
09. All I Really Want To Do
10. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
11. The Man In Me
12. Band Introductions
13. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
14. Forever Young
15. The Times They Are A-Changin’

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