Home Read Albums Of The Week: Bob Dylan | The Complete Budokan 1978

Albums Of The Week: Bob Dylan | The Complete Budokan 1978

If you thought the only thing wrong with this flute, sax and pedal steel-festooned live set was that it was too short, good news: It's back, augmented with 36 more tracks!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: A deluxe box set celebrating Bob Dylan’s 1978 world concert tour and the 45th anniversary of the artist’s first appearances in Japan, The Complete Budokan 1978 presents two full shows recorded on 24-channel analog tapes at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan Hall on Feb. 28 and March 1, 1978 and offers fans 36 previously unreleased performances. The Complete Budokan 1978 will be available in four-CD, eight-LP (Japan only) and digital configurations. Also available: Another Budokan 1978, a two-LP edition featuring 16 unreleased tracks from the box set.

Dylan’s World Tour 1978 marked the artist’s first international concert dates since 1966 and his first live shows since the Rolling Thunder Revue blasted through North America in 1975-76. A major international musical event, the year-long tour found Dylan performing 114 shows in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe, to a combined audience of two million fans.

The tour launched in February 1978 with eleven historic performances: Dylan’s first-ever concerts in Japan, including eight shows at the revered Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. Two of the Budokan shows — Feb. 28 and March 1, 1978 — were recorded, with 22 performances excerpted from those shows appearing on Bob Dylan At Budokan, a two-LP set first issued on Columbia Records as a Japan-only release in November 1978, followed by a global release in April 1979 in response to widespread demand. The Complete Budokan 1978 marks the first time any of Dylan’s complete performances from his 1978 world tour have been officially available.

For his 1978 performances, Dylan (rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals) led an ensemble featuring Billy Cross (lead guitar), Ian Wallace (drums), Alan Pasqua (keyboards), Rob Stoner (bass, vocals), Steven Soles (acoustic rhythm guitar, vocals), David Mansfield (pedal steel, violin, mandolin, guitar, dobro), Steve Douglas (saxophone, flute, recorder), Bobbye Hall (percussion), Helena Springs (vocals), Jo Ann Harris (vocals), and Debi Dye (vocals). The original Bob Dylan At Budokan album was produced by Don DeVito, who also helmed Dylan’s Street-Legal, recorded and released during the 1978 world tour, featuring the same musicians.

According to Tetsuya Shiroki, co-producer of The Complete Budokan 1978, the newly restored, remixed and remastered recordings “capture two days of this history-making tour. Nothing has been removed or altered in any way.”

Many individuals involved in the original Bob Dylan at Budokan album reunited for the new release. Under the supervision of Heckel Sugano, the CBS Sony product manager for Dylan in Japan at the time, the engineer responsible for the 1978 recording has worked on the new 2023 remix using the original 24-channel multi-tapes, while the album cover showcases artwork by the same photographers as the original. Chief engineer Tom Suzuki says, “We mixed the record with the keyword ‘passion’ in mind. The result is a mix that surpasses the original 1978 release, providing a crisper and clearer sound where each instrument and Bob Dylan’s voice are distinctly audible.” Sugano says, “The completed album documents the remarkable sound of the legendary Budokan shows that are forever etched in history. We tried to faithfully reproduce the sound the Japanese audience would have heard in the concert hall.”

Presented in a luxurious deluxe box, The Complete Budokan 1978 includes newly remixed complete live recordings from the two concert dates featuring 36 previously unreleased tracks; facsimile memorabilia such as concert tickets, pamphlets, posters, and flyers; 60-page full-color photo book of previously unpublished photos of Dylan on stage and behind the scenes at the airport, press conferences and more; and exclusive liner notes.

In her essay for The Complete Budokan 1978, music critic Edna Gundersen notes that the original Bob Dylan At Budokan album “has undergone a sober reappraisal over the decades as consumers and critics grew to admire its adventurous arrangements and provocative performances.” She heralds the new restored and remastered release, writing that “Captured at Budokan, Dylan is in good spirits and fully engaged. He sings with brio and urgency, his voice clear and melodic and his phrasing impeccable as ever… The band crackles with careening energy… (Dylan) saw the stage as a proving ground that brought his tunes to life.”

The Complete Budokan 1978 Track List 

Live at Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan – February 28, 1978
1 | A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall*
2 | Repossession Blues*
3 | Mr. Tambourine Man*
4 | I Threw It All Away*
5 | Shelter From The Storm
6 | Love Minus Zero/No Limit
7 | Girl From The North Country*
8 | Ballad Of A Thin Man*
9 | Maggie’s Farm*
10 | To Ramona*
11 | Like A Rolling Stone*
12 | I Shall Be Released*
13 | Is Your Love In Vain?*
14 | Going, Going, Gone*

1 | One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)*
2 | Blowin’ In The Wind*
3 | Just Like A Woman*
4 | Oh, Sister*
5 | Simple Twist Of Fate
6 | You’re A Big Girl Now*
7 | All Along The Watchtower*
8 | I Want You*
9 | All I Really Want To Do*
10 | Tomorrow Is A Long Time*
11 | Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
12 | Band introductions*
13 | It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
14 | Forever Young
15 | The Times They Are A-Changin’

Live at Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan – March 1, 1978
1 | A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall*
2 | Love Her With A Feeling*
3 | Mr. Tambourine Man
4 | I Threw It All Away*
5 | Love Minus Zero/No Limit*
6 | Shelter From The Storm*
7 | Girl From The North Country*
8 | Ballad Of A Thin Man
9 | Maggie’s Farm
10 | One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)
11 | Like A Rolling Stone
12 | I Shall Be Released
13 | Is Your Love In Vain?
14 | Going, Going, Gone

1 | One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)*
2 | Blowin’ In The Wind
3 | Just Like A Woman
4 | Oh, Sister
5 | I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)*
6 | You’re A Big Girl Now*
7 | All Along The Watchtower
8 | I Want You
9 | All I Really Want To Do
10 | Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
11 | The Man In Me*
12 | Band introductions*
13 | It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)*
14 | Forever Young*
15 | The Times They Are A-Changin’*

*Previously Unreleased


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