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Bob Dylan

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Bob DylanThe Band. Befare the Fhod, Asylum Records AB 201 . If you've been out of the country foi a while pr in suspended anima tion, you might not know thai Bob Dylan let the public have a look at him this past winter. And if you weren't one of the tens of thousands with tlie cash to witness the Minnesota Mohammed, Asylum Records would like you to scrape up what you've got and buy the four-sided evidence they've assembled. Basically, the record pretty much approximates what happened at the concerts. Dylan did a set with the Band, the Band followed with their familiar standards and Dylan finished with an acoustic set, alone with his harmonica and guitar. As was the case with the concert, the solo performance of the Band was much like watching scènes from Mary Poppitis during a showing of Citizen Kanc. But when Dylan returned those in attendance literally couldn't get enough. Though everybody and his sister knew the songs and nearly all the lyrics, Dylan's vigoróos and willing attempt to communicate brought a newness and a strength to the music. He seemed to want to be diere as much as those who carne to see him. The album does as much. The thing that proves the mettle of Dylan's music is its lastingness. This latest concert, though stocked with songs that dealt with the immediacies of over ten - years ago, smacked of no nostalgia. Listen again to 'its All Right Ma (Fin only Bleeding)" where Dylan prophetically foresees our current domestic idiocy: "But even the President of the United States must sometimes have to stand naked." Dylan indeed has a voice that stil! needs to be heaid. As regards the record itself, it is technically every bit as good as the sound Dylan achieves live. The Band was dealt the short end of the stick by being billed with the most popular solo attraction in the country. They are, alone, a tight group of instrumentalists whose sound does not rely on the marveis of studio electronics. Their accompaniment of Dylan was a forcé ful bit of ensemble work. They know his music as well as anybody and their contribution was forceful and informed with a great feeling for his music. All in all, whether you were fortúnate enough to see the concert or not, the album is not a mere rehashing of oíd material. Dylan's approach is fresh and will be appreciated by those either familiar or unfamiliar with his past work.