Rob Ricard kiest Forever Young van Bob Dylan at Budokan.
It is composed mostly of the artist's "greatest hits" performed in radically altered treatments from the originals, using the same musicians that backed Street-Legal, but the Budokan performances rely on a much larger band, and stronger use of brass and backup singers. In some respects the arrangements are more conventional than the original arrangements and the album was criticized for being so. At the same time that it was criticized for being too polished, it was criticized for being too sloppy. For many critics,[who?] the differences between the older and newer arrangements have become less important, and appreciation for the album has grown over time.
Recording and Releases
The audio recording is from two different shows on February 28 and March 1, 1978. Columbia Records released this double LP on August 21, 1978; the original issue was limited to the Japanese market. Later that year, it was released in Australia. On April 23, 1979, spurred by extensive importing and at least one counterfeit European edition, Columbia released the album to worldwide markets. The shows were the fourth and fifth in an eight-show appearance at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Bob Dylan at Budokan received some of the worst reviews of Dylan's career. Critically savaged, it was derided as "slick" and "sterile," with some, such as Rolling Stone magazine, comparing the new arrangements to Las Vegas lounge music.
In a sarcastic review published in his "Consumer Guide" column, Robert Christgau gave the album a C+ rating, writing "I believe this double LP was made available so our hero could boast of being outclassed by Cheap Trick, who had the self-control to release but a single disc from this location. Although it's amazing how many of the twenty-two songsxe2x80″twelve also available on one of the other two live albums Dylan has released since 1974xe2x80″hold up under slipshod treatment. And not only that, lyrics and poster are included." Critic Jimmy Guterman named it one of the worst albums ever released in the history of rock.
However, the album received stronger reviews in Europe, and critic Janet Maslin (then a music critic for Rolling Stone Magazine) defended the album in her review. "However much they may offend purists, these latest live versions of his old songs have the effect of liberating Bob Dylan from the originals. And the originals – however lasting, however beautiful – constitute a terrible burden…this time the old songs have been recast sweetly, without that self-defeating aggression, in what sounds suspiciously like a spirit of fun…Many of the more recent ones, like 'Oh, Sister,' 'One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)' and 'Shelter from the Storm,' are vastly improved, as if, when they were first recorded, they hadn't been fully thought through. "Is Your Love in Vain?", by no means the prettiest song on Dylan's much-underrated Street-Legal, is prettier still…The method here is hit-or-miss, and the results are correspondingly spotty…The low point of the set is 'The Times They Are A-Changin"…The fire and brimstone are behind Dylan, [but] this hardly means the fight has gone out of him: Bob Dylan at Budokan is a very contentious effortxe2x80″and, for the most part, a victorious one." Ironically, fire and brimstone were to again become very much a part of Dylan's music, with the release of his gospel rock album Slow Train Coming later in 1979.
Also worth noting is the exclusion of the seminal track "Love Her With A Feeling" with the lyrics "The woman I'm lovin' she's nice and fat; she's got a way of lovin' it's good like that". Dylan often opened with this song on the aforementioned tour and it was generally well received by the audience, as evidenced by various bootlegs it has surfaced on.
Bob Dylan at Budokan reached #13 in the US and went platinum, while simultaneously peaking at #4 in the UK. The album was collected by a talking tree in the PSN game Deathspank in 2010.
All songs written and composed by Bob Dylan, except where noted.
|1.||"Mr. Tambourine Man"||4:54|
|2.||"Shelter from the Storm"||4:30|
|3.||"Love Minus Zero/No Limit"||3:52|
|4.||"Ballad of a Thin Man"||4:47|
|5.||"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"||4:55|
|7.||"One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)"||3:19|
|8.||"Like a Rolling Stone"||6:31|
|9.||"I Shall Be Released"||4:12|
|10.||"Is Your Love in Vain?"||4:02|
|11.||"Going, Going, Gone"||4:22|
|1.||"Blowin' in the Wind"||4:25|
|2.||"Just Like a Woman"||5:03|
|3.||"Oh, Sister" (Bob Dylan, Jacques Levy)||4:44|
|4.||"Simple Twist of Fate"||4:15|
|5.||"All Along the Watchtower"||3:20|
|6.||"I Want You"||2:34|
|7.||"All I Really Want to Do"||3:37|
|8.||"Knockin' on Heaven's Door"||4:00|
|9.||"It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"||6:04|
|11.||"The Times They Are A-Changin'"||5:31|
- Bob Dylan – Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
- Billy Cross – Lead Guitar
- Ian Wallace - drums
- Alan Pasqua - Keyboards
- Rob Stoner - Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
- Steven Soles - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals
- David Mansfield - Pedal Steel, Violin, Mandolin, Dobro, Guitar
- Steve Douglas - Saxophone, Flute, Recorder
- Bobbye Hall - Percussion
- Helena Springs – Background Vocals
- Jo Ann Harris - Background Vocals
- Debi Dye – Background Vocals
- Ed Rash – Tambourine
- Don De Vito – Producer
- Hiroshi Kanai – Production Coordinator
- Toshiyuki Sugano|Toshiyuki "Heckel" Sugano - CBS/Sony Production Director
- Patrick Stansfield – Production Supervision
- Ava Megna – Chief of Staff
- Stan Miller – Sound Contractor
- Tim Charles – Monitor Mixer
- Val Lane – Sound Technician
- Joel Bernstein and Alan Bartz – Equipment Technicians
- Tony Broccoli – Production Assistant
- Ed Rash – Best Boy
Voor de meeste westerlingen is het gebouw beter bekend als rocktempel. The Beatles hielden hier in 1966 hun eerste concert op Japanse bodem en diverse artiesten namen er vanwege de ambience een "Live at Budokan"-album op. Van 1970 tot 1989 was er elk jaar het World Popular Song Festival.
Heden ten dage is het nog steeds naast een concert- een sporthal. Het complex bestaat in feite uit drie hallen, waarvan de grootste (voor 14000 toeschouwers) is gemodelleerd naar de Hxc5x8dryxc5xab-ji–tempel in Nara. De nationale kampioenschappen in de diverse vechtsporten (judo, kendo, karate,aikido, shorinji kempo, kyudo, naginata enz.) worden er jaarlijks gehouden. Ook zijn er worstelwedstrijden. Op 15 augustus vinden er de jaarlijkse nationale herdenkingsceremoniexc3xabn ter gelegenheid van het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog in 1945 plaats.
Het gebouw staat naast het Kitanomaru Park, vlakbij het Kudanshita Metrostation en het omstreden Yasukuni-schrijn.