Over at The Ringer I wrote about the strange and timeless charm of the Rolling Thunder Revue and Bob Dylan becoming the carny he was always meant to be! Check it out in advance of the new Scorsese documentary.
The compelling mythos and famous optics aside—the spectacle of Dylan in a flower-covered bowler hat and vaudeville pancake makeup cannot be unseen—what does the music sound like? We already know quite a bit about that from 2002’s invaluable Bootleg Series, Vol. 5, the first official audio document of the ’75 tour. That two-disc set validated the fantasies of many Dylan aficionados who had tried feverishly to conjure what those nights were like. To a remarkable extent, the sound of the Rolling Thunder Revue was very much the exquisite expression of the tour’s utopian ideals: immersive, collaborative, energetic, off-the-cuff, and yet ballasted at each turn by the solid rock of Dylan’s peerless songcraft.