Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bob Dylan - Live Unlicensed (1995) Bootleg

(U.S 1961 - Present)
Live at Free Trade Hall, Manchester 1966
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman May 24, 1941) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, music producer, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965. His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement, and this Bootleg recording comes from this era in his career.
Dylan playing at Free Trade Hall, Manchester
This bootleg has since been officially released as 'Live 1966'. Only for the completist. This is a guasi-legit release, as a loophole in the Australian copyright law allowed such releases as long as they were printed in plain view that they were not licensed by the controlling Label. This title went a little overboard.
Long thought to have come from the Royal Albert Hall (RAH) show, it has now seen official release as Live 1966. Though the recording is now known to have come from the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, even the official release is subtitled the RAH concert in a nod to the most famous mis-named bootleg of all time. This Label was the premier boot manufacturer in the mid to late 1980's, and simultaneously released this title on vinyl as well. The incredible cover artwork on RAH is from one of the most sought after posters among Dylan collectors... the 1960's Martin Sharp poster. The recording is as crisp and clear (Excellent mono) as any that had been released to date. As this has become a retro-active pirate, it should be left for the completeist [source:]

The Swingin' Pig Vinyl Release
The Swingin' Pig released this album in 1989 on vinyl and on CD.  Although it has been released to death, you can't fault this incredible package.  The front cover is the rare Martin Sharp sixties poster.  The back cover lists lots of historical information.  Genuine piggy gold foil sticker on front.  Nice full printed labels (as was standard with this company in the late 80's) best feature # one: incredible looking white marble vinyl.  Best feature # two: great sound mastered from all new plates.  Of course, the source is the Manchester show; but in a testament to the longevity of the myth created by that handful of bootleg pioneers 30 years earlier, even the official Sony release of 1998 would be sub-titled - The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert.
Note: During the end of the May 17, 1966 concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall, Dylan was called "Judas!" by audience member Keith Butler, between the songs "Ballad of a Thin Man" and "Like a Rolling Stone". Dylan answered back, and told the man that "I don't believe you . . . you're a liar!", before he shouted to the members of the band to "Play it fuckin' loud!", where they then finished off the set with "Like a Rolling Stone"
In more detail, the story is as follows:
The incident occurred during Bob Dylan and The Hawks (later The Band) notorious UK tour in May 1966. It was on these dates that Bob first appeared in Britain with an electric band. (His tour the previous spring, immortalised in the film Don't Look Back, was still solo Dylan, in protest mode, with just an acoustic guitar.)

The 1966 bootleg was not only of first-rate sound quality; it was also the most dramatic, confrontational concert I'd ever heard - and I was a regular at Clash gigs at the time. It remains, for me, the most exciting live album of all. Dylan, on that tour, split his audiences straight down the middle. Many were thrilled by his new psychedelic songs and the massive onslaught of The Hawks roaring through the biggest PA system that had, at that point, been assembled in the UK. It had flown in with the band from Los Angeles.

But many others in those staid, municipal concert halls were outraged and betrayed by their darling acoustic minstrel plugging into the mains. (It was, though no one realised it at the time, the birth of rock music as opposed to pop music). No matter that Dylan had released five electric singles - notably, "Like a Rolling Stone" - and one electric album in the previous 12 months: British audiences were still getting up to speed on his earlier records and they wanted back the Woody Guthrie protégé they'd seen in 1965.
This tension between artist and audience snapped in an almighty confrontation on the bootleg. Slow hand-clapping and jeering throughout Dylan's electric half of the show - which was later properly identified as his concert at Manchester's Free Trade Hall on 17 May 1966 and finally given official release by Columbia Records in 1998 - climaxes with one betrayed folkie letting fly with a long yell of "Judas!" It became the most famous heckle in rock'n'roll history.

Dylan is rattled, and for an awkward second the audience is stunned - until a yelp of solidarity with the heckler goes up. It is still a genuinely shocking moment. (Concert-goers in those days were routinely reverential. They still stood for the national anthem at the end). Dylan eventually composes himself and leers: "I don't believe you. You're a liar!" And then, off mic: "You fucking liar!" (some claim he said: "Play fucking loud!") before he and the band kick into the most majestic, terrifying version of "Like a Rolling Stone", their final number - a performance of Gothic immensity surely drawn from Dylan by his anger at that single shout.
The heckler was identified some 33 years later as 'Keith Butler' when he spoke with Chris Nelson in an indepth interview. He wasn't proud of what he had said, as he states "The 'Judas!' shout, that's something that I hadn't talked about barely at all....It was embarrassing. It wasn't something you felt particularly proud of. That had been buried away."
To read the full interview, see here. Note too, that I have included a podcast documentary of the concert produced by BBC Radio, that discusses this famous concert at length.

The post is an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from from CD bootleg and includes full album artwork, along with the alternative (and famous) artwork for the RAH release (see below). The quality of the recording is quite astonishing considering it was done in 1966.
Note that the original CD is a single music file, however, I have broken the recording into 8 separate audio files (using Audiodacity), according to the track listing. Also note that I have removed about 30 secs of inaudible banter by Dylan at the start of "One Too Many Mornings" to improve your listening experience.
Standout tracks for me on this album are "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Like A Rolling Stone".
Track Listing
01 - Tell Me Momma

02 - I Don't Believe You
03 - Baby Let Me Follow You Down
04 - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
05 - Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
06 - One Too Many Mornings
07 - Ballad Of A Thin Man
08 - Like A Rolling Stone

09 - Podcast Documentary of the Concert

Dylan is backed by The Hawks (aka The Band)
Rick Danko – bass guitar, vocal

Garth Hudson – organ
Mickey Jones – drums
Richard Manuel – piano
Robbie Robertson – electric guitar

Bob Dylan Link (177Mb)  New Link 05/08/2016


  1. Hi Guy don't often bother with overseas artists these days, but this looked interesting just from the historical perspective but it turned out to be a great listen as well. I aslo downloaded King Of Pop'74 - '75 Mostly for the artwork and it was a Flac thanks for both.

    Cheers Tony.

  2. Great stuff here but Track 8 only has about 30 seconds of Like a Rolling Stone and then cuts to something else.

    1. Hmm're right Rossco. Not sure what happened, but I've fixed the archive now and reposted it.
      I've also posted Track 08 - Like A Rolling Stone on its own, so you can get a quick fix.
      Thanks again for the heads up.

  3. This article is fantastic, precise in the description, and photos that bring in an appendix that explains what you're seeing.

    1. Thanks Barbara - appreciate the nice comments. I hope you find lots of more useful info here and I always try to keep it interesting. Please visit again

  4. Hello, I recently purchased the This is an Unlicensed Recording... CD at a local record store, from their used CDs section, and saw that you have split the tracks and improved some of the audio and shared it via FileFactory. I followed your link above, created a FileFactory account, and have attempted several times to download the files, but all that ever happens is that it takes me to a page with the file name and some advertisements. How do I download the files that you have shared?

    1. Yes - filefactory can be a bit funny sometimes, so I've reposted on MEGA - and its fast too!
      make sure you choose 'Download with Web Browser'. Enjoy

    2. Wow, thank you so much--this sounds great! And, it is nice to have the original file broken into tracks.

  5. good night, thanks but not download files