The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert by Bob Dylan

Nobel Prize winning performer Bob Dylan toured England back in 1966. The concert at Royal Albert Hall achieved legendary status. Bootleg recordings circulated for decades. But now, through the magic of greed, we have an “offical” or “real” tape of that 1966 concert at Royal Albert Hall. The acoustic portion on Disc 1 is remarkably well-recorded. Disc 2’s sound quality varies. These two CDs are #27 and #28 of the 36-CD set released a couple years ago. If you’re a Dylan completest, then this is a must-buy. But I suggest you skip it. GRADE: B
Disc 1
She Belongs to Me
4th Time Around
Visions of Johanna
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like a Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man
Disc 2
Tell Me, Momma
I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad of a Thin Man
Like a Rolling Stone

30 thoughts on “The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert by Bob Dylan

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    “Through the magic of greed” pretty much says it all.

    I won’t be buying it. We did get a few CDs yesterday, including one which will interest you if you don’t already have it (doubtful, I know!) – Carole King’s THE LEGENDARY DEMOS, recordings of songs she wrote that were mostly sung by other people (other than the ones on TAPESTRY).

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        You should enjoy it. In the vintage pictures inside she looks like a baby! We got it on Prime along with Levon Helm’s Grammy-winning DIRT FARMER and Steve Earle’s debut album, GUITAR TOWN, which he performed in its entirety at Monday’s benefit concert at Town Hall. The free two-day delivery is a Good Thing. (We also got Community Coffee, Jackie’s favorite, cheaper from Amazon than direct from New Orleans, plus with two day free shipping. And she has two pairs of sandals coming on Sunday.)

        Gotta Keep stimulating the economy! We had the bathroom painted while we were in New Orleans, and we’re having the hallway redone when we’re in Florida.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, I love Gerry Goffin & Carole King songs. They’re my favorite husband-wife song writing team ever. But, I can only listen to Carol King’s voice in small doses.

  2. Patti Abbott

    We are seeing BEAUTIFUL on the 23rd with the whole family to celebrate our 50th, a month ahead. We saw Dylan in concert in the eighties and he was awful. I didn’t recognize half the songs and he insisted on turning his back to the audience. He may be a Nobel Prize Winner but he’s also a prize jerk.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, the 1965 Bob Dylan concert in Buffalo was the first rock concert I ever attended (I was 16 at the time). Loved it! After Dylan’s motorcycle accident, I thought his voice changed (and not for the better). I’ve seen concert footage over the years and none of it entices me to attend another Dylan concert.

      You and Phil will love BEAUTIFUL. Great music!

      1. wolfi

        Wow – you were there in 1965! Congratulations, George!

        I was 22 then and Highway 61 revisited was the first Dylan record I bought – my all time favourite is there:
        Desolation Row …

        Copied it to tape directly so I would not wear out the record …
        And I had a battery operated reel tape recorder in my little car – a Fiat 500!

        Those were the days …

        Back to the topic:

        I’m not a fan of all these reissues of different versions and badly recorded concerts, so I’ll pass.

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, I was just 16 when I saw Bob Dylan and The Hawks. It was my first rock concert and I cherish the memories of it. But, I’m with you on the endless releasing of versions of Dylan’s early converts. It’s a money grab.

    2. Steve Oerkfitz

      His touring band in the 80’s was headed by G.E. Smith and was among his worst shows. His live performances can be very good or very bad. Last saw him a couple years ago at DTE theater . He was okay but was upstaged by great performances by the other two acts on the bill: Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Saw him in the mid 60’s when he was backed by The Hawks-later to become The Band. Great show. Saw Carole King once, she played about 30 minutes. Felt ripped off. The tickets were pretty pricey-luckily they were free.

      1. george Post author

        Steve, you must have seen Bob Dylan and The Hawks right around the time I did: 1965. I’ve seen Carole King in concert (with her daughter) at a Canadian casino. It was about five or six years ago and she did a 90-minute set that sounded great.

      2. wolfi

        Steve, we just watched “The Last Waltz” with The Band – amazing!

        I liked Carole’s Tapestry and of course all those songs she wrote for others performers – after I realised that she had written them. In those days the songwriters often were not published – unless you bought the record and looked you didn’t know …

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Patti, you should enjoy BEAUTIFUL. We saw it for our Anniversary too (though only #46!) in October. And congratulations to you and Phil.

    We saw Dylan last in 1999 at Jones Beach, with Paul Simon. That day he was more “bizarre” than a jerk, as he did many of his songs with such odd arrangements that it took a while to figure out what he was singing. The most bizarre part was when he and Simon did a couple of each other’s songs (though at this late date I can’t remember which) and one duet. It was definitely an odd night, after which Jackie said she would never pay to see him again.

    Two years later we saw Simon do a similar concert (complete with cross-over songs) with Brian Wilson, which was somewhat better, though Simon seemed almost comatose that night.

  4. Deb

    I love Dylan but how many versions of “Visions of Johanna” or “Like A Rolling Stone” does one need? I’ll stick with my current Dylan CD stash.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I’m with you. I listen to HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED and BLONDE ON BLONDE mostly. I have a 2-CD collection of Dylan’s GREATEST HITS that gets some play, too. Although I have most of Dylan’s CDs, I seldom listen to the later ones.

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        Can’t believe I accidentally deleted my comment.

        Anyway, I’d take the two you mentioned plus Freewheelin’ with its incredible lineup of songs, and Bringing It All Back Home.

        But I also have the 2-disc THE ESSENTIAL BOB DYLAN and The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: BOB DYLAN 1965-1966 – The Best of THE CUTTING EDGE.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, the “Freewheelin'” Dylan gets on my nerves. I like some of BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME but it’s an uneven album. THE ESSENTIAL BOB DYLAN contains most of his best music.

  5. Dan

    Dylan is legendary, and I’m sure he has many admirable personal traits, but I don’t know if I would agree with your description of him as a “Noble prize winner.”

  6. mary mason

    I loved Dylan in the 6o’s Highway 61 being my favorite. I never saw him in concert, which sounds like a good thing in his later years.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, sorry to hear about your freezing fog. The communities south of Buffalo are getting bombed with snow: 18 inches! But we’re north of Buffalo so we have freezing temperatures with no snow yet. We may get a couple inches tomorrow. The Steelers and the Bills will be playing in snow!

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        George, the Giants and their fans are keeping their fingers crossed for snow tomorrow night… and the return of Tony Romo to the Cowboys lineup. It will certainly be cold enough.

      2. wolfi

        George, wow!
        Will the Niagara Falls be frozen over soon?

        Here in Europe it’s still relatively warm, just above freezing.

  7. wolfi

    Just realised that asan admirer of Highway 61 I’m in good company here …

    A bit OT:
    One year ago Dylan played open air in my home town Tübingen in Southern Germany – and it was a disaster!

    It was raining heavily and people were not allowed to bring umbrellas – a friend of mine stould in the pouring rain – horrible!
    And the sound also wasn’t too good.
    He’s the proprietor of a local bar and told me afterwards he wouldn’t go to more concerts – instead he’s been inviting local, not yet known bands into the bar – entry is free for the customers. If you’re interested here’s a link :
    PS: This is not a restaurant but a bar – but you can bring your burger or sandwich and eat it there, no problem.

    1. mary mason

      W This sounds like a nice place, loved the reviews for it. Not sure when/if I’ll be going back to Europe, but hopefully it’ll be in the works before I can no longer travel.
      thanks for the heads up

  8. Steve Oerkfitz

    How much Dylan can you listen to. I tend to play Blood On the Tracks, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde On Blonde. I like a couple of his later cds such as Love and Mercy and Time Out of Mind. I also like Street Legal but am in the minority on that.


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