Dylan sounds well-oiled with alcohol on the Houston tape, his voice very low and rich, his commentary between songs (and his pacing, when he talks) bizarre and rather charming. That voice!
If you love Dylan’s work, then you must somehow get hold of copies of “Simple Twist of Fate” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” from Houston, 11/12/1981. And “Solid Rock”.
~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 74-86)
Another amazing concert from the 81-tour. Great sounding youtube’s. I will of course include the 3 songs mentioned by PW.
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll:
How can I describe that voice? I cannot. There’s so much in it. It is full of detail, full of flavor, bursting with life. I suppose it is my job to explain how this is done, but I can’t begin to guess. I can only gesture awkwardly and enthusiastically at the result. And listen, and take in, and listen again, with enduring pleasure and awe.
~Paul Williams (describing “Simple Twist of Fate” from this show)
Here it is – Simple Twist of Fate:
- Gotta Serve Somebody
- I Believe In You
- Like A Rolling Stone
- The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
- Man Gave Names To All The Animals
- Maggie’s Farm
- Girl From The North Country
- Ballad Of A Thin Man
- Simple Twist Of Fate
- Heart Of Mine
- All Along The Watchtower
- I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
- Forever Young
- Gamblin’ Man (trad.)
- The Times They Are A-Changin’
- A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
- Watered-Down Love
- Shot Of Love
- Just Like A Woman
- Solid Rock
- Masters Of War
- When You Gonna Wake Up
- In The Garden
- Blowin’ In The Wind
- It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
- It Ain’t Me, Babe
- Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
“Hard Rain” from Houston is simply one of the all-time great performances of this great song.
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall:
- Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
- Fred Tackett (guitar)
- Steve Ripley (guitar)
- Al Kooper (keyboards)
- Tim Drummond (bass)
- Jim Keltner (drums)
- Arthur Rosato (drums)
- Clydie King, Regina Havis, Madelyn Quebec (background vocals).
Both the Nashville (11/14) & the Houston performances of this song are outstanding, exemplary works of religious art – like medieval paintings of the crucifixion, filled with the painter’s own feelings about mortality and faith and despair and about the human condition at the time of painting as well as at the time of crucifying. Time is collapsed in such art….
~Paul Williams (about “Solid Rock” – from “Performing Artist 74-86)