Singer’s Original Double Disc SODD

Pink Floyd Knobs

Pink Floyd Knobs b

Even though the date and venue are correct, the last track “Us And Them” must come from a different source as it had not been performed on the 15th and it’s a Frankenstein creation to boot, with the first verse repeated several times. More information on these Pink Floyd shows can be found here:

Pink Floyd Knobs

Although listed as a Toasted release, the reissue is commonly found with Beacon Island labels.


The extended IMP 2LP re-releases of older TAKRL titles:

2-08  Mott The Hoople – Rest In Peace
2-14  Jackson Browne – Live At The Main Point

were added to the original entries for these recordings and can be found by clicking on the artist’s name on the rignt.

[These questions were asked by a bootleg collector, not by myself.]

Q: Do you have a list which TMOQ titles you made on CV?

A: I’m sorry that I can’t answer all of your questions [there were a lot more and quite detailed questions asked], but I do remember a bit, so maybe I can help you a little. Just about every TMOQ record I did was available on colored vinyl at one time or another. We didn’t charge more for colored vinyl and we used it when we could get it. Usually when we pressed at Lewis.

Q: Is it correct that you started TAKRL with the 1300 series -RS and then went on with the main 1900 series ending with 1999?

A: We started TAKRL with 1900, the Beatles Five Nights in a Judo Arena. The 1300 series came later.

Q: I have read that you started : TAKRL-TMOQ-SODD-TKRWM-Flat-Highway Hifi (HHCER) – Pigs Eye but did you also start up the Phonygraf label ? I ask because when  I was looking for a copy of Yardbirds “Golden eggs”  on TAKRL (1387-RS),then I found a copy on Ebay which I thought was correct,but it turned out to be a Phonygraf pressing. What puzzled me what that the labels was usual TAKRL ones (meaning same colour with ONE and TWO on each side)…SO?

A: Herbie Howard did Pig’s Eye, not me. I don’t think I ever did “Golden Eggs”. But I might have, I just don’t remember.

Q: Who is TED in “The Kornyfone Re-issue series (Teds choice)”?
A: Ted was the owner of a record store in L.A. called Records and Supertape.


Who better than Ken himself o tell the real story and I’m glad he finally did.
Friday, February 12, 2010
It Coulda Happened this Way — In Our Hearts
“For me the bootleg saga was a wild ride, twisting one day toward the music, the next toward the cash. The story is full of heroes and villains, cops and crooks, idealists and shysters and the music, always the music. We did it for the music, but we spent the cash.

Clinton Heylin got some of it right in his book, Bootleg, but he missed the heart of it. The soul too. We were people bonded together by this business of being on the outside. We liked, but didn’t trust each other. We ran from the law, but our egos had us at record meets all over the world, standing in front of the crowd, showing our wares. We were complex. We were stupid. We were brave.

Someday I hope the real story gets told, because it’s so much more than a story of seedy, greedy guys robbing fists fulls of cash from rock legends. It’s a story of wonderful people who put their morals on hold, grabbed the music by the chords, put it out there and damned the consequences.

In our hearts we knew it was Stealin’, in fact that’s what we called our second Bob Dylan album, the one we put out just after “Great White Wonder”. Stealing yes, but we had the tapes and didn’t have much money, so we told ourselves we were modern day Robin Hoods, and who better to rob than Columbia Records. That we put our sub-standard stuff Mr. Dylan might have wanted forgotten never entered our minds.

We didn’t know we were spawning an underground industry that would span decades, make people rich, send some to jail, other to their graves. We didn’t know the record industry would see us as a threat, would call us everything from misguided to evil. We didn’t know they’d hire private investigators, would have process servers chasing us, would have the FBI knocking on our doors. We were kids.

It’s years later now and as I’m writing this, the winds is howling through the rigging. It’s three o’clock in the morning and Vesta and I are at anchor in rocky, roly Simpson Bay on the Dutch side of St. Marten, hunkered down on our sailing sloop aptly called, “Great White Wonder”. We named the boat after that first record and after a decade in the Caribbean, not one person has figured out where the name came from. In the weeks following our 1969 release of that unnamed double album, we got swelled heads, thought we were important. Who could blame us. Rolling Stone wrote about our record, wrote fabricated stories about us. Pretenders claimed to be us. B. Mitch Reed played it all the time. We were famous, even if nobody knew our names. But now, looking back, I see maybe we weren’t so important, after all. Sometimes we get an odd look or two from the customs officials when we check into some of these West Indian Island countries.

“Where’d you get the name, Skip, after a big shark?” They call everybody with a boat out here, Skip.

“Did you name it after yourself, Skip?” That’s one of their favorites.

If we would’ve been important, if we’d’ve been doing something that made a difference, these guys wouldn’t have to ask, they’d know.

Every time we check in they write the boat name in my passport, then stamp it. Thirty years ago I heard two customs officers talking about “Seems Like a Freeze Out” when I was clearing Customs at LAX. That was our fourth Dylan Boot, the one that had that great unfinished recording of “She’s Your Lover Now,” on it. CBS/Sony later put it on the Bootleg Series. I knew they were there for me. I knew I was going to jail, but hard as it was to believe, one of them was a collector.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In 1969 Dub and I worked at Saturn Records, my father’s one stop. In those days the record companies sold to the one stops, the one stops sold to the stores. We liked Dylan, sure, but we weren’t fans, not the kind that worshiped the ground he walked on kind of fans anyway. I owned all of his records, but I owned a lot of records. I didn’t have to pay for them. Did I think he was the second coming, no. Did I go to his shows, no. I’d never seen him live, thou Dub had. I liked his records, but I didn’t look between the lines, the man wrote good stuff. It was enough, he didn’t have to be a god.

Sitting here, listening to the wind howl, I’m trying to remember where the tapes came from for that first album and I’ll be damned, but I can’t. Except for “Living the Blues,” I recorded that. I remember critics chastising us because of the poor quality and because we didn’t release all of the Big Pink stuff, but with the exception of the other two songs done on the Johnny Cash Show, we put out everything we had.

The Johnny Cash Show, that takes me back. He had Doug Kershaw on that first show. That guy could play. I remember kicking myself for not recording him, but I didn’t. I had a big RCA color television that had no audio out plug. Could you even get a television with one of those in the ’60s? I had to take the back off and attach a wire to the speakers that I ran to the back of an old tube McIntosh amp to get the material.

It’s true we didn’t think we’d make much money, but a lot of the other stuff that was written about us is just wrong. Dub and I never went to Canada to avoid the draft, never opened up a gas station. That was a story I told a record store owner who was asking too many questions one day and damned if it didn’t appear in Rolling Stone a few weeks later. Those were crazy days. Life Magazine even did an article on one of our records, heady stuff for a couple of guys like us.

After “GWW”, Ted, who owned a store called Records and Supertape, called me at home. He didn’t know Dub and I were the guys, but he suspected we might know them. He had these amazing Dylan tapes. “Stealin’” and “Birch” were born. The outtakes from “Bringing It All Back Home” on “Stealin’” were so good they made you want to cry. And to this day CBS/Sony hasn’t released the version of “Talking John Birch Society Blues” that” appeared on “Birch”. That song was originally on “Freewheelin’ and should’ve stayed there. The guys that jerked that song, were, do I have to say it, jerks.

These records were every bit as good as anything Columbia had put out and we quickly followed them with “Seems Like a Freeze Out” and “Talkin’ Bear Mountain Massacre Picnic Blues”. Two more great albums. Good Stuff. We were proud, though we had no right to be, the stuff came right out of Columbia’s vaults. We didn’t record it, we stole it.

Now tapes were starting to come out of the woodwork. There’s some pretty screwy guys out there. Imagine having such a hard on for Dylan that you’d go through his trash, sift though his kid’s diapers. Steve Pickering was one of those, though it was A.J. Weberman, I believe, who waded thought the soiled pampers. My brother was arrested for cutting off a parking meter in broad daylight in Santa Cruz. He was on drugs, had just seen Cool Hand Luke and thought it would be a good idea. I flew up to bail him out and met Pickering at a record store there. This guy knew more about Dylan than Jimmy Swaggart knew about God, read his books if you don’t believe me. And he had tapes, the acoustic half of the 1966 Dublin Show and the Carnegie Hall Show Colombia was supposed to put out, but didn’t, so we did, and called it “While the Establishment Burns”. That title came from a poster advertising Colombia Records. It depicts three or four kids sitting in a circle. The girl is topless, I think, but we only see her back. They’ve got headphones on. Outside the window you see fire and the caption on the poster says something like, “They’re listening to Colombia Records While the Establishment Burns.” Funny thing, those folks at Columbia didn’t turn out to be so anti-establishment after all.

Sometime between “Birch” and “Freeze Out”, Dub and his friend Chris took some of the money we‘d made and went on tour with the Rolling Stones. Dub used a Nagra with a Sennhauser shotgun mike and recorded several shows from the audience and when he got back he mixed a masterpiece. Listen to “Yayas” it can’t light a candle to “Liver”. We did very well with that record and by then there were a lot of new guys out there copying it. If I remember right, and I’m writing this over three decades later, without notes, Rolling Stone even certified it gold.

Dub used the same setup to record a new band he believed in at the Forum. I didn’t like them, so I didn’t go. I thought it was a waste of effort, the band wasn’t going anywhere. A couple albums and they’d be history. But I was wrong and Led Zeppelin’s “Live on Blueberry Hill” was a great record for us. It also brought out the cops. If it happened today, we’d’ve probably quit, but you have to remember what was going on back then. The Vietnam war was raging. Dick Nixon was the enemy. The good guys had long hair, the bad guys didn’t. And God knows why, but we still thought of ourselves as modern day Robin Hoods, though we gave not a cent to the poor. Dub did however, one time drop a hundred dollar bill in a blind man’s cup outside of Licorice Pizza on Sunset Boulevard. True story, I was there.

After that record the fun sort of went out of the bootleg business. Till then the clandestine meetings in the middle of the night somewhere in Hollywood were, if not fun, exhilarating. We looked out of our rearview mirrors, gave ourselves different names, worried about our phones being tapped, but we never did anything about it. After “Blueberry Hill” I started carrying around a pocketful of dimes.

We didn’t quit. No, we didn’t do that. We soldiered on, making record after record. Dub and I split up. He made more records. I made more records. A host of others got into the act and they made records. I quit the business, moved to France, then Spain. I wanted to grow up with my kids.

I probably should’ve stayed away, but after the kids were grown, I came back. I was older now, not a kid anymore. I knew what I was doing. There was no fun in it the second time around, no illusions. It was in it for the money. I was a stealer of the music, a pirate. A record pirate.

Bootlegs were a big business now. They even had their own publication, the annual Canadian book Hot Wax. They rated and reviewed them all, year after year. Our records had full color covers now, the FBI couldn’t tell them from the real deal. How these guys got Dillinger is anybody’s guess. Luck, I believe, because they never figured out about looking up in the upper left hand corner of the record jacket for the logos for, Columbia, Capitol, or any of the other real record companies. I could bore you to tears with stories told me by record store owners, about how our federal law enforcement officials would raid a tore and take out only the white records with the rubber stamped covers or none at all when, in fact, the Dylan, Beatles, Stones and Zeppelin slots would be stuffed full of albums on Toasted, Phoenix or a host of other made up companies.

The FBI regularly checked one of the pressing plants where I made my records, but they never caught me, they couldn’t, because they don’t start work till eight. I made my daily pickup at five-thirty in the AM. For three years I dodged those guys. Imagine staking out a place form Nine to Five. How dumb. I truly believe if John D. would’ve robbed at night and slept during the day, he’d’ve died of old age.

How come the FBI couldn’t catch us. I could’ve caught us. There were only four or five places in L.A. where we could’ve been making the bloody things and we were at three of them. The pressing plants called me at home all the time. How hard would it have been to look at their phone bills, see who they called? For the longest time I had my own FBI agent, he found out about me because somebody told. We met, he told me he was going to catch me with the goods. We talked on the phone a few times, but I stayed free.

Records died, CDs were born and still I was a pirate. But finally, after years, local cops and the the FBI started catching people. A few times they got closer then I like to think about and I started having this reoccurring nightmare. There’s a knocking at my door, loud, like a cop with one of those stick things they beat up Rodney King with. I open it and there’s Bob Dylan with a couple really big bully types and he says, “That’s the guy, get him.” So I quit and moved back to Europe. We spent a couple years in Spain, then a year in New Zealand. Then we bought a boat, named it “Great White Wonder” and I started writing sailing stories and we never looked back.

I have no records now. I kept nothing from those days, save one of the original Great White Wonder rubber stamps. In the cruising world, that’s what we call ourselves, us over the hill new millennium hippies, cruisers, we stamp every book we read with our boat stamps so that when we get to a marina somewhere we can check the bookswap and see who’s been that way by going through the books. Vesta and I stamp all our paperbacks with that stamp. And still no one has figured it out.

Looking back, was what we did so wrong? Stealing, yes, but Napster made anything we did a pebble before a mountain.

Six or seven years ago my daughter mailed me the hard cover book (rare for a guy who lives on a boat) “Bootleg, the Secret History of the Other Recording Industry” by Clinton Heylin. It chased us around the Caribbean for a couple of months, finally catching us in Trinidad. It had been so long since I’d thought of those days, so I was able to read it as if I were reading about someone else. I knew all those guys who were quoted in that book. Funny how all those other bootleggers, the ones Mr. Heylin interviewed, were such good guys, only in it for the music, and the one money grabbing whore was the one guy who was unavailable. But that’s the way it goes, we all remember things in the light that shines on us best. Actually it was sort of cathartic, looking at myself through their eyes. If that’s the way they saw me, then maybe that’s the way I was. Anyway I kept the book. Maybe I’ll read it again in a few years. Maybe to my nieces and nephews if I ever get back to L.A.

And will I ever go home? In the ’60s we just knew that when we were old enough to govern, things would be better. Marijuana would be legal. They wouldn’t take a girl to jail because she took her top off at the beach. Medicine would be free. Guns would be controlled, better, gone. There would be no more war, peace would be everywhere.

But it didn’t happen. America has five percent of the world’s population but twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners. One out of every eight black men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five is in prison. Our last president didn’t think carbon monoxide was pollution. The DEA is looking for drugs everywhere, even here. The cost of medicine is through the roof. Every bad guy wannabe gets a gun and becomes a bad guy for real. War is everywhere. Peace is a word used only by politicians who want to get elected. Girls still gotta keep their titties covered at the beach. Christ, we couldn’t even fix that one. We should be so ashamed.”

Monique D'Ozo lbl
One of a number of paper labels used by Ken on his various bootleg labels from 1975 onwards: TAKRL PLAIN (Side 1/2) – WORLD RECORDS – MONIQUE D’OZO – SPINDIZZIE – BLANK/PISTOL

Monique D’Ozo is actually a real person. She was one of the members of Saint Tropez, kind of like a French language version of Prince’s all female protegee group Vanity6. 
 Below: back cover of the “Je T’Aime” 12″: writes: “In 1977, TAKRL (The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label) used this label extensively for about ten different artists. The real  Monique D’Ozo is one of over a dozen singers that were involved in a project called St. Tropez. The idea behind the 1977 project spearheaded by Michael Lewis and Laurin Rinder was that they would take the then hot disco music, and sing racier lyrics in French. Inspired by gay disco, the theme would be gay and bi-sexual women. Over a five year period, the project produced three albums and five 45 rpm singles. The first  LP that came out (on the AVI Label?) [it was actually Butterfly Records] in 1977 was called Je T’Aime, and was released on pink vinyl. [Follow up releases] were Belle De Jour (1978) and Hot And Nasty (1982 ). There was most likely a connection between TAKRL and D’Ozo, but it is unknown exactly what that connection was.
Regarding the alleged gay and bi-sexual content, each St. Tropez song I dialed up on Youtube [the things you have to do as a blog writer!] featured a dude calling up a female and either these are the ultimate blue balls’n teaser songs or the girl-on-girl action was limited.
Anyway, my theories how a bootleg label ended up with these labels is that “Je t’aime” was first envisioned as a solo release before that idea was scrapped and these labels – who made Monique look like an arm- and chest-less Venus De Milo anyway – were no longer needed. I dare to suggest that the only connection there ever was between Ken and that label was that he got his hands on these for free from the printer somehow.

There must have been a longer gap between SODD 012 and this one, as it was a repackaging of the following titles, which appeared much later than the SODD series:

Colonel Parker’s Boy – TAKRL 1816

Rock My Soul – IMP – 1108

Side 1: Don’t Be Cruel; Love Me Tender; Ready Teddy; Hound Dog (Ed Sullivan September 9 ’56)/ Don’t Be Cruel; Love Me Tender; Love Me; Hound Dog (Ed Sullivan October 28 ’56)
Side 2: Rags To Riches/ First Time Ever I Saw Your Face/ It’s Only Love/The Sound Of Your Cry/ Come What May/ Where Did They Go Lord/ Let Me (Studio ’56 -1974)
Side 3: Don’t Be Cruel; Ready Teddy (Ed Sullivan ’57)/ That’s All Right Mama (live ’57)/ Lead Me Guide Me; Rock My Soul; I John (Gospel studio outtakes 1960)/ Nothing Left To Do (studio 1971)
Side 4: Funny How Time Slips Away; American Trilogy (live Richmond. Va. 1972)/ Mystery Train (live ’58)/ I Got A Woman; Big Hunk Of Love; You Gave Me A Mountain (Dayton, Ohio 1972)

(*) Brussels, Forest Nationale, Oct. 17, 1973 – 1st show
(**) London, Wembley Empire Pool, Sep. 9, 1973
(+) NYC, Madison Square Garden, July 26, 1972

101 Brown Sugar (*)
102 Happy (**)
103 Gimme Shelter (**)
104 Tumbling Dice (*)
105 Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (**)
106 You Can’t Always Get What You Want (*)
107 Dancing With Mr.D. (*)
108 Angie (*)

201 Honky Tonk Women (*)
202 Midnight Rambler (*)
203 All Down The Line (+)
204 Bye Bye Johnny (+)
205 Love In Vain (+)
206 Sweet Virginia (+)
207 Rip This Joint (*)
208 Jumpin’ Jack Flash (*)
209 Street Fighting Man (**)


Review from

These sources come from the famous KBFH recordings and are excellent performances in superb quality. Even though this is a assortment of several different shows, personally I like the way this collection flows which is very nicely done. Listening to this several times I can’t help but focus on how Mick Taylor added a different dimension to the early 70′s Stones with his amazing solos and sadly this was his last tour with the group.. I also noticed that these are some of the best performances I’ve heard of Jagger. Highlights for me are Brown Sugar, Heartbreaker, Midnight Rambler, and Street Fighting Man.

And one more from

“The lack of an official live album about the Stones Golden Era of 72-73 has prompted bootleggers to produce the definitive live version of those live concerts many a times. The New York Jagger Birthday Party at Madison Square Garden, the Philadelphia ’72 Lost Album, the live ’73 Perth, Australia show, or the European ’73 King Biscuit Flower Hour have all been contenders so far. One of the most known vinyl bootlegs of the late 70s was Nasty Music (a.k.a. Nasty Songs) that featured songs from NY ’72, and the European excerpts from KBFH radio shows, taken at Bruxelles 1st show and London 2nd day.

You don’t need to be biased towards early beat era with Brian or late Mark 3 (or 4 without Wyman) Ronnie’s version of the band not to acknowledge the greatness of the early 70s live Stones. Songs are so well played without losing any of the spontaneity of those fantastic performances. Taylor solos shine on longer versions of “YCAG” and “Midnight Rambler”, but the subtle “Sweet Virginia” or the bluesy “Love In Vain” have added value too. The 73 recordings have the late Billy Preston on organ while the ’72 Madison tracks show the remarkable fizz of Nicky Hopkins’ piano. On this version of Nasty Music the accent is strong also on the bass playing of Bill Wyman that contributes dynamics to each song development.”

Re-released as TAKRL 24909 with “Spunk”, “Monique D’ozo” or “SIDE ONE/TWO/THREE/FOUR cream colored labels, and black and white printed cover shots of Jagger circa ’75 and ’72. The original SODD matrix has been scratched out and is replaced by 24409-A/B/C/D.

The cover depicts a “surreal birthday party for Anna” according to I am not sure which ‘Anna’ is referred to here.

Sides 1&2 is a repressing of “Ode For Barbara Allen” (TAKRL 1912) and sides 3&4 a reissue of “now your mouth cries wolf” (TAKRL 1963). The original pressing plates were used. 6/10 stars

Matrix:  2011 A/B
(Old matrices crossed out LP one: KF 1912  LP two: 1963 / 1805)

Live in Sydney around ’75/’76, however, apparently not the same recording or master as “Welcome To The Late Show”/”Live In Sydney, Australia 1976” on ZAP 7849

So, when was this recorded? I have found tour dates in Australia for January of 1975 and 1976 but they are obviously touring the “One Of These Nights” album here, which was released in June of 1975 and the best website I could find on the Eagles touring & live recordings history lists no recordings from the 01/1975 dates but several for the 1976 tour start, so I”m going with that year. I’m spending so much time on this to find out in which year the SODD label got its start.

Set list from Osaka shows in early February of 1976:

1 Take It Easy
2 Outlaw Man
3 Doolin-Dalton/Desperado (Reprise)
4 Turn to Stone
5 Lyin’ Eyes
6 You Never Cry Like a Lover
7 Take It to the Limit
8 Desperado
9 Midnight Flyer
10 One of These Nights
11 Already Gone
12 Too Many Hands
13 Good Day in Hell
14 Witchy Woman
15 Rocky Mountain Way
16 James Dean/The Best of My Love
17 Funk #49
18 Oh Carol
19 Tequila Sunrise

Compare to the track list of the SODD double:

Take it Easy / One of These Nights / Turn to Stone / Outlaw Man / Doolin-Dalton / Desperado / You never Cry Like a Lover / Midnight Flyer / Already Gone / Tequila Sunrise / Early Bird / Foggy Mountain Breakdown / Witchy Woman / Take it Easy II

Source for sides 1 – 3 confirmed as a decent quality audience recording from Sydney, Australia on January 27, 1976.

Side 4 (starting with ‘Tequila Sunrise’):ABC-TV In Concert” from the Santa Monica Civic Center, August 3rd, 1973. with the exception of the last song, which is most likely from California Jam, as it was broadcast as the only Eagles’ track on May 10th 1974 in show # 32 ‘California Jam part one’.

Eagles Crazed & Snake Eyed 2

Reissued in ’78 on TAKRL 24901 with a b&w cover:


And after that as the third and very rare release on the Terrific Tunes label, pressed from the original SODD plates with the matrix crossed out and TAKRL number added. Record one has Spunk labels and record two has Monique D’Ozo labels. 

Eagles CaSE TT R b

Eagles CaSE TT R or


In my opinion, the following is a fake ZAP title, using a number(1849) they knew ZAP would not use as their series started with 1850.  Note the Anti Gravity label and atypical cover design.

Side 1: Take it Easy (5:20) / Outlaw Man (5:30) / Doolin’ Dalton (6:23) / Desperado (2:37) / One of these nights (4:10)

Side 2: Turn to Stone (9:00) / You Never Cry Like a Lover (4:18) / Midnight Flyer (4:32) / Already Gone (5:13)

Hot Wacks description: Exs. S: Sydney, Australia Jan. 27 ’76 Very limited pressing (one eBay seller claimed 500; it is certainly a rarer title)

Also available on Anti Gravity 102 as:

First edition was on black & blue ‘splatter’ vinyl.

NY, NY – Madison Square Garden on December 8, 1975

8 / 10 stars for this very good audience recording of a great performance

Side 1: 
When I paint my masterpiece 
It ain’t me, Babe 
Lonesome death of Hattie Carroll 
Tonight I’ll be staying here with you 
It takes a lot to laugh 

Side 2:  (duets with Joan Baez)
The Times 
Dark as a dungeon 
Mama you’ve been on my mind 
Never let me go 
I dreamed I saw St. Augustine 
I shall be released 

Side 3: 
Romance in Durango 
Oh sister 

Side 4: 
One more cup of coffee 
Just like a woman 
Knockin’ on heaven’s door  (Providence, RI – November 4 ’75  2nd show’)
This Land is your Land (Bangor, ME – November 27 ’75 )


Second release ca. 1978 with a b&w cover on TAKRL 24910 – This seems to be rather rare.

Dylan Hurricane Carter BenefitDylan Hurricane Carter b


Third release in 1980 on Phoenix:

wolfgangsvault has a full recording of what they call “set 1” plus more Rolling Thunder shows:

I tried to find out if any tracks on the official “Bootleg Series Vol. 5 – Rolling Thunder Review” release (now here’s a great name for a series of releases. If bootlegs are so bad, why use that description as a selling point?) came from this show but I was unable to.

That having been said, I wanted to include a positive review of the officially released package (as this blog is as much performance-based as it is bootleg-based). Obviously, those in ’76 didn’t have a chance to buy this official item but most would certainly have preferred it over the audience recording as their first choice:

“The Bootleg Series Vol.5, chronicling the early months of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour back in ’75, was probably the biggest surprise for me in terms of sheer quality; to put it bluntly, it is the best live Dylan record I have heard, and unless I am pleasantly surprised later on (unlikely, considering that I have Real Live and Dylan & The Dead to look forward to) I imagine it will stay that way. Whereas Dylan’s 1966 “Royal Albert Hall” concert – often cited as his best live document – captures Dylan at his angriest and most elusive, reinterpreting his older folk classics as brash electric rockers whether his audience liked it or not, The Rolling Thunder Revue is nothing but celebratory. The first six tracks here are, to me, some of the best music this guy’s ever created: “Tonight I’m Staying Here With You,” previously the sweet, unassuming final track on Nashville Skyline, is recast here as a driving anthem without losing a hint of its intimacy; “It Ain’t Me, Babe”, beyond all reason, works as a reggae-tinged country song; and “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” takes a previously dour protest song and intensifies it beyond all measure. Far and away my favorite track here, however, would be “A Hard Rain’s-A Gonna Fall,” which manages to take one of Dylan’s most prophetic standbys and turn it into a boogie-rock hoedown. Just this track alone – featuring one of Dylan’s fiercest vocal performances – may be proof that when it comes to reinterpreting Dylan, nobody does it better than the man himself.
The rest of Rolling Thunder isn’t nearly as exciting as those first six tracks, but what it lacks in intensity it more than makes up for in intimacy and open-heartedness. For one thing, it features Dylan’s first duets with Joan Baez in over a decade, with the two of them performing lovely versions of “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “Mama You Been On My Mind” and “I Shall Be Released.” Dylan’s solo acoustic songs are practically as good, with effective takes on “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Love Minus Zero,” and then-recent Blood On The Tracks classics “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Simple Twist Of Fate”. And while I will admit that most of the live Desire tracks here don’t do much for me – they’re fine, but not remarkable – the Revue’s performance of “Isis” is so great that it almost makes the studio version redundant. The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 succeeds by combining the best of both worlds, leavening Dylan’s penchant for defying audience expectations with a sweet sense of nostalgia that never comes off as pandering. Even if it doesn’t replicate the exact feel of a Rolling Thunder show, it feels like a complete Dylan experience.”