|Released November 29, 1984|
I imagine if Dylan ever fronted a band like The Rolling Stones it would come out something like Real Live. While the arrangements were nothing special, even static at times, Real Live succeeds as middle of the road 80s stadium rock.
The opening number "Highway 61 Revisited" moves along with Taylor laying down some Chuck Berry riffs to keep the song afloat, although it dilutes the power of the lyrics. "Maggie's Farm", another standby from his 60s catalog, sounds routine. Then two tracks from Infidels, "I and I" and "License To Kill", are both well done.
Then three acoustic numbers "It Ain't Me Babe", "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Girl From the North Country", are classic Dylan, just a guitar and harmonica. "Tangled Up in Blue" includes some revised lyrics.
"Masters of War" still sounds powerful and relevant. "Ballad of a Thin Man" is all over the map. "Tombstone Blues" feels a little random for a closer, but moves along nicely with Carlos Santana standing in on lead guitar.
What else can I say about Real Live? Nothing special, not a total loss either. Strictly for a Dylan completist.