In late 1975, just before the release of his Desire album, Bob Dylan launched a tour. It was his second outing in two years after an eight-year hiatus from the road. Dubbed the Rolling Thunder Revue, it would not trace the usual path through large venues in major cities. Instead, Dylan would play smaller auditoriums in underserved markets, in front of audiences who might not get to see him otherwise. As Dylan told Rolling Stone at the time, “the atmosphere in small halls is more conducive to what we do.” His band for the occasion included T Bone Burnett, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bobby Neuwirth, Scarlett Rivera, Ronee Blakely, Steven Soles, David Mansfield, Rob Stoner, Howie Wyeth, and Luther Rix; the tour also included Allen Ginsberg and Joni Mitchell.
The Rolling Thunder Revue was instantly the stuff of legend, the kind of thing people brag about seeing while giving the rest of us extreme FOMO. As such, it has already undergone some significant archival examination in the form of 2002 live album The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue . That record went over well with Dylan’s fan base, and now they’re getting even more material from the era. Netflix just announced it’s releasing a Martin Scorsese documentary about the tour called Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese. The movie comes out 6/12. And five days earlier, a massive Rolling Thunder Revue box set will see release as well.
Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings spans a whopping 14 discs and 148 tracks. It includes five complete professionally recorded concerts from the tour, as well as two discs of rehearsals from New York’s S.I.R. Studios and a third rehearsal disc from the Seacrest Motel in Falmouth, MA. That Seacrest Motel disc gives us our first advance taste of the unreleased material from this release, a rousing recording of “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)” that you can hear below.
Here’s the disc-by-disc breakdown:
DISC 1: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 19, 1975
DISC 2: S.I.R. Rehearsals, New York, NY – October 21, 1975
DISC 3: Seacrest Motel Rehearsals, Falmouth, MA – October 29, 1975
DISC 4-5: Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA – November 19, 1975
DISC 6-7: Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge, MA – November 20, 1975
DISC 8-9: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (afternoon)
DISC 10-11: Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – November 21, 1975 (evening)
DISC 12-13: Forum de Montreal, Quebec, Canada – December 4, 1975
DISC 14: Rare Performances
For the full tracklist, check Dylan’s site.
Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings is out 6/7 on Columbia/Legacy. Pre-order it here.