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QRecords 13/14 [T-544]

(1) Stadthalle (Magdeburg, Germany); July 12, 1996
(2) Zeltfestival (Konstanz, Germany); July 3, 1996
(3) Palace (Louisville, KY); May 7, 1996

Tracklist: To Be Alone With You, Lay Lady Lay, All Along The Watchtower, Positively Fourth Street, It Takes A Lot to Laugh, Silvio, Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Gates Of Eden, Mr Tambourine Man, Jokerman, Like A Rolling Stone, Absolutely Sweet Marie, Times They Are A-Changin', Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
(2) Maggie's Farm, I'll Remember You, Everything Is Broken, Times They Are A-Changin'
(3) Never Gonna Be The Same Again

DEEP: The sound quality is astonishing. The full force of Dylan's vocals come through loud and clear, upfront and strong, every nuance and inflection fully intact and true. The acoustic tracks just leap out of the speakers and sound so alive. The balance is perfect - Dylan's vocals ride above the equally forceful instrumentation in perfect sync. Every instrument is clearly defined. The setlist is a doozy, more varied than most. The performance is special. The throttle was opened up from the get-go and stayed on throughout. More even than usual, Bob's vocals are playful and crisp and alive with adrenaline. The trump card, though, would be the killer filler. Finally, we get the tracks from Konstanz with Boyd Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band accompanying Bob on violin. Very well though out, this set. The original artwork is a very interesting and deceptively simple pastel portrait of Bob, amidst a wonderful design of pastel squares and blocks, a classy touch to an all-around class package.

CDG: Another Euro '96 show, but a special one! An audience recording in superb quality; one of the best performances of that tour. The filler tracks are well picked, of somewhat lesser quality than the main dish, but still highly enjoyable.

rmd: The hype surrounding this title has always been epic for some reason and it just doesn't deserve it. I know what he sounded like on a good vocal night back in 1996, and several other '96 boots blow this out of the water. The sound that swims with the tide and the voice with the piercing lilt honestly makes for a tired listening experience. (gopherstick)
The downtalking of this album is utterly inexplicable. I consider this period to be one of Dylan's most enjoyable and this album to be perhaps the best document of it. The recording quality is good and the performances sound very inspired.