Classic Shows::Dylan’s Dark Night On The Spanish Stairs

While i’ve heard a few Dylan shows in my life, I am a novice in terms of Dylan’s recordings. Having said that, I’ve been listening to A Dark Night On The Spanish Stairs, a show that took place in Augusta, Maine on the 26th of November 1975. This was the Rolling Thunder Revue tour and it included a star studded cast. On this night we have Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Roger McGuinn doing solo performances as part of their contribution. Dylan had a big band on his hands, and on this night he has control of it.

The sound quality of the recording is not good by today’s standards, but the show stands out because Dylan seems on fire. His voice is strong and he sings everything with passion. You get the sense he was having a good time. I mean he is a steam train on “It Takes A Lot To Laugh…,” speeding and barreling through everything. Bob and Joan sound great on “Dark As A Dungeon.” Dylan sounds great and has a certain swagger when he sings “I Shall Be Released.”Perhaps, he never sounds better though than on a heartfelt solo acoustic version of “Fourth Time Around,” which includes a powerful harmonica outro. Almost just as perfect is “Simple Twist of Fate,” done also solo and more proof that Dylan’s voice is in good form. The show ends with a rave up version of “This Land Is Your Land,” which is by far the funnest take on this now traditional. I could go on and on, but the point is that this sounds like a rare show to have seen. If only time travel was possible.

Here is Fourth Time Around & One More Cup Of Coffee from A Dark Night On The Spanish Stairs –

Also give a listen to Dylan’s bootleg series vol. 5 1975, which is a compilation of ’75 performances in very nice quality.

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