Bob Dylan at Budokan

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Bob Dylan at Budokan
A profile view of Dylan's face
Live album by Bob Dylan
Released April 23, 1979 (1979-04-23)
Recorded February 28 and March 1, 1978
Genre Rock
Length 99:41
Label Columbia
Producer Don DeVito
Bob Dylan chronology
Street-Legal
(1978)
Bob Dylan at Budokan
(1979)
Slow Train Coming
(1979)

Bob Dylan at Budokan is a live album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on April 23, 1979 by Columbia Records. It was recorded during his 1978 world tour and is composed mostly of the artist's "greatest hits". The performances in the album are radically altered from the originals, using the same musicians that backed Street-Legal, but relying on a much larger band and stronger use of brass and backup singers. In some respects the arrangements are more conventional than the original arrangements and the album was criticized for being so. At the same time that it was criticized for being too polished, it was criticized for being too sloppy. For a few critics, such as Janet Maslin of Rolling Stone, the differences between the older and newer arrangements had become less important.[1]

Recording and releases[edit]

The audio recording is from two different shows on February 28 and March 1, 1978. Columbia Records released this double LP on August 21, 1978; the original issue was limited to the Japanese market. Later that year, it was released in Australia. On April 23, 1979, spurred by extensive importing and at least one counterfeit European edition, Columbia released the album to worldwide markets. The shows were the fourth and fifth in an eight-show appearance at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau C+ [3]
Rolling Stone 1/5 stars [4]

Bob Dylan at Budokan received some of the worst reviews of Dylan's career. Critically savaged, it was derided as "slick" and "sterile."

In a sarcastic review published in his "Consumer Guide" column, Robert Christgau gave the album a C+ rating, writing "I believe this double LP was made available so our hero could boast of being outclassed by Cheap Trick, who had the self-control to release but a single disc from this location." [3] Critic Jimmy Guterman named it one of the worst albums ever released in the history of rock.

However, the album received stronger reviews in Europe, and critic Janet Maslin (then a music critic for Rolling Stone magazine) defended the album in her review. "The method here is hit-or-miss, and the results are correspondingly spotty," Maslin wrote. "The fire and brimstone are behind Dylan, [but] this hardly means the fight has gone out of him: Bob Dylan at Budokan is a very contentious effort—and, for the most part, a victorious one."[1] Ironically, fire and brimstone were to again become very much a part of Dylan's music, with the release of his gospel rock album Slow Train Coming later in 1979.

Bob Dylan at Budokan reached #13 in the US and went platinum, while simultaneously peaking at #4 in the UK.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Bob Dylan, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Mr. Tambourine Man"   4:54
2. "Shelter from the Storm"   4:30
3. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit"   3:52
4. "Ballad of a Thin Man"   4:47
5. "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"   4:55
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Maggie's Farm"   5:06
7. "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)"   3:19
8. "Like a Rolling Stone"   6:31
9. "I Shall Be Released"   4:12
10. "Is Your Love in Vain?"   4:02
11. "Going, Going, Gone"   4:22
Side three
No. Title Length
12. "Blowin' in the Wind"   4:25
13. "Just Like a Woman"   5:03
14. "Oh, Sister" (Bob Dylan, Jacques Levy) 4:44
15. "Simple Twist of Fate"   4:15
16. "All Along the Watchtower"   3:20
17. "I Want You"   2:34
Side four
No. Title Length
18. "All I Really Want to Do"   3:37
19. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"   4:00
20. "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"   6:04
21. "Forever Young"   5:38
22. "The Times They Are a-Changin'"   5:31

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Tim Charles – monitor mixer
  • Don De Vito – production
  • Val Lane – sound technician

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sounes, 2001, Down The Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan, pp. 314–316.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b Robert Christgau review
  4. ^ link Rolling Stone review