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(bathed in a stream of) PURE HEAT

QRecords 16/17 [T-551]

NOTE: Many copies of this set have proved to be mp3-sourced. This release is reportedly sourced from a fan project that was widely distributed as mp3 files, although lossless versions of that project were also distributed offline. Lossless editions of this boot also have been reported.

DEEP: Flat out, this is easily the finest and most awe-inspiring compilation of Dylan performances ever assembled, bar none. Think of a dream show without the usuals, then think of the best performances of the rarely-played, the debuts and the one-off performances. Add to this top-notch quality which consistently delivers from the opening track until the end with not a dud among them. Then, sequence them in a way that puts together a dream show so they flow together perfectly. The sum of what you get is a package that is a true testament to Bob Dylan's genius as an artist and a performer and establishes the current band as the finest and most versatile of all the ones he's worked with. The sheer magic of these Spring 1997 performances is incredible, from the vocals, the harp playing, the instrumentation, everything. The last track, "My Back Pages" with Larry Campbell on violin, is a stunning and beautiful climax to a Holy Grail-like set of performances. Play this for your friends who aren't Dylan fans and don't be surprised if they become converts. This was obviously a labor of love for someone.

CDG: Generally acknowledged as one of the best Dylan live compilations.