Big surprise with this useless piece of product isn't that it adds fuck-all to our knowledge of Dylan's artistrya handful of these cuts already made it onto The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 over a decade ago and added nothing then. It's that Dylan the liberator really did grow out of Dylan the pious folkie. "Who Killed Davey Moore?" hints at why Dylan quit writing songs out of daily newspapers (a boxing indictment played to a folkie audience is as self-congratulatory as you'd imagine); "Gates of Eden" drags from entropy-not-tempo (though that, too); "It's Alright, Ma" is enunciated reeeeeally sloooowly so we understand every word precisely, making it more meaningless than ever. And in "Talkin' World War III Blues," Dylan switches Johnny Halliday on the radio for the Marvelettes, "Talkin' 'bout, uh, 'Leader of the Pack' "by the Shangri-Las. Dylan knew better; the crowd doesn't because all pop music sounds alike to them, and their cheers are as good a reason to play electric and wear polka dots as anyone needs. Throughout, Dylan sounds very stoned, which I'm sure amused him greatly. Joan Baez appears on four cuts, a warning itself. And the material that was released at or around the time is performed better on albums worth owning.
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