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Watchtower 009/010 2CD [T-529]

(1) Ostseehalle (Kiel, Germany); July 25, 1994
(2) Sportpaleis Ahoy (Rotterdam, Netherlands); September 19, 1987

Tracklist: (1) Jokerman, Just Like A Woman, All Along The Watchtower, Disease Of Conceit, Tangled Up In Blue, Positively Fourth Street, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Masters Of War, Love Minus Zero, Highway 61 Revisited, Man In The Long Black Coat, Maggie's Farm, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Girl From The North Country
(2) Times They Are A-Changin', Highway 61 Revisited, Ballad of A Thin Man, Shot Of Love, Queen Jane Approximately, Dead Man Dead Man, I Shall Be Released, Clean-Cut Kid, I Want You, John Brown, Watching The River Flow, Slow Train

DEEP: Befuddling. Combining Kiel '94 and Rotterdam '87 is a decision that was obviously made by someone who just doesn't get it. The Kiel is a nice show in very good quality, though not as distinctively crisp and clear, on the whole, as the best audience recordings. The vocals are upfront and in your face, instruments are well balanced and sharp, but a couple of generations below the master here. A fine show with an acoustic set that will leave you slack-jawed. An unbelievable stretch of genius here. Final two tracks stupidly not included but can be found on Best Wishes.
At the Rotterdam show, Dylan and the Heartbreakers steamroll through 12 tracks with a fiery gusto, most driven by some sweet keyboard tinkling by Benmont Tench and Dylan's no-nonsense vocals. An incredibly fun show to listen to, but the final two tracks are missing. Generic cover design.

CDG: The Kiel recording is wonderful; the sound is full, Dylan's vocals are upfront, and the performance is great. Rotterdam is not quite so good: the show is a bit messy, and Dylan's voice sounds tired and ragged. The show still holds a few gems. All in all, a nice pair of discs.