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Wanted Man WMM001 [T-218]

Berkeley Community Theater (Berkeley, CA); December 4, 1965

Tracklist: Tombstone Blues, I Don't Believe You, Baby Let Me Follow You Down, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, Long Distance Operator, It Ain't Me Babe, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Positively Fourth Street, Like A Rolling Stone

Heylin: Although only an average audience tape, its historical import as the only substantial Dylan/Hawks tape from 1965 outweighs any sonic reservations. [NOTE: While at least one other Dylan/Hawks tape from 1965 now circulates, this remains the only recording af a complete set.]

rmd: Despite the vintage of the source tape, the sound quality is surprisingly listenable. Dylan and The Hawks sound noticeably different here than they did during the 1966 England tour -- not as fiery or intense, but that's not to say not as good. In some ways, the performance here might be musically superior to the ones from England, but that is hard to tell from a 1965 audience recording. For me, the three songs that stand out are the three songs not performed in England. "Long Distance Operator" is the only surviving performance of this song by Dylan...and it's quite good. "It Ain't Me Babe" is an electric arrangement unlike any other Dylan has played -- much different and much better than the one from 9/3/65 Hollywood Bowl. And, finally, "Positively 4th Street" is, I believe, the best quality 1960's performance of this song...and easily the best live version I have heard. So, while the sound quality may be a tad rough, this CD is still a most thrilling listen.