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  Columbia -
  CH 90340
  Bob Dylan: Love and Theft
  "Love & Theft"

Bob Dylan
Track listing:
  1. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
2. Mississippi
3. Summer Days
4. Bye and Bye
5. Lonesome Day Blues
6. Floater (Too Much to Ask)
7. High Water (for Charley Patton)
8. Moonlight
9. Honest With Me
10. Po' Boy
11. Cry Awhile
12. Sugar Baby
Recording type:
Recording info:
  See also CXH 90615

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Reviews: 2

Review by vonwegen January 23, 2005 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Bob Does Look Back: there isn't a musical influence later than 1959 on this, the supposed follow up to Time Out Of Mind. It's also one of his most cohesive musically, as he (wisely) let his touring band play at the sessions, eliminating an all-too-frequent Dylan bugbear: a thrown-together-at-the-last-minute bunch of musicians who never get a chance to actually learn the tunes because of Dylan's notoriously fickle moods in the recording studio.

The touring band, led by ace multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell and ex-Sir Douglas Quintet Hammond B3 whiz Augie Meyers, is t-i-g-h-t & gets the job done. Not many solos, just lots of terse guitar fills.

The 5.1 MC mix is interesting--and a bit quirky for a state-of-the-art recording, to be honest. For many songs, it's actually 4.1 because mix engineer Chris Shaw seems to regard the center channel as inessential--sometimes only the high-hat is there, other times some room reverb on the B3 organ, and once & only once--Dylan's piano. So, no dry Dylan vocals here--in most of the mixes, Bob appears in the front (and rear channels in varying degrees), hovering over the songs like a raspy old blues man (in "High Water (For Charlie Patton)") or like a hoarse-voiced 1940s Tin Pan Alley balladeer with a repetoire of well-worn jokes and a suitcase full of tunes.

The songs themselves are all good, but the only real classic is the aforementioned "High Water", which has a wonderful spooky vibe and all the feel of a minor-key Appalachain banjo hoedown (listen closely to the center channel on this one to hear how Dylan's piano playing seems like it's a half-step behind the band--but sounds perfect when you draw back and listen to all the instruments. Genuis? Could well be...)

Overall, a good, solid album for Dylan fans--but if you're a newbie looking to check out Dylan's genius, go back to his pre-1968-era work or 1974's Blood On The Tracks.

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Review by FivePointOne May 17, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:  
vonwegan's review is spot on, but I thought I'd pitch in my $0.02 anyway. I had the redbook-only CD for about a year before the Dylan SACDs came out, and I had grown to really like it. The songs are fun and you can tell Dylan is enjoying recording them. The band is top notch. Unfortunately, his voice is not the same as it used to be. He's a walking "STOP SMOKING" ad if I've ever heard one. Once I got beyond the initial shock from his voice, I began to hear how he had adapted his voice to fit the songs (much like "Time Out of Mind").

This is fun music performed very well, with pretty good 5.1 sonics.

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