Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Never Ending Tour: time to end it? Encore #2

Thanks to Martin Cowan:

“Further to the recent debate, I would say that some of the live recordings from the last 10 years are right up with other great performances down the decades. And - let's be honest - there are detractors who can't stand the caterwauling "Rolling Stone" (1966 vintage), his "shouting" when fronting the Band in 1974, the so-called "gone Vegas" 1978 shows etc etc.

“Listening to live recordings from the mid-‘80s, many vocal tics were in place at the time, including a faithful rendition of the tune for one verse, and then lots of Dylan-esque up-and-down singing for the rest.

“It seems to me that following Good As I Been and World Gone Wrong he really discovered the joy of singing - I'm thinking of live shows in 1993, the Great Music Experience from 1994, the beautiful "Restless Farewell" at Frank Sinatra's 80th in 1995, and the scintillating "Love Sick" from the Grammys in 1998.

“However, I do think that Dylan would benefit from an extended break. The old vocal chords are not what they were and I do think the set lists have become somewhat stale and formulaic.

“It's good that he gives such exposure to recent material, but some of the stuff from the ‘70s and ‘80s deserves to be played. When he is focussed, he is still an extraordinary vocal talent and anyone who doubts this should check out his cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change is gonna come" from 2004 on YouTube:

“But he does need to remember that for most of us it's words AND music and to "recite" the lyrics is not really good enough.

“I'm not sure that the O2 will be a good venue for him and I await the reviews of those who are attending with interest.”