Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
Buy On
  1. Mojo
    Jun 5, 2019
    100
    You get the Dylan stuff from those places in full, which allows a real sense of how each show worked. ... There are plenty of other breathtaking moments, many collected onto a final disc of "rare performances." [Jul 2019, p.103]
  2. Jun 18, 2019
    90
    Completists may want everything and not be satisfied until that happens, but in the meantime The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings is a remarkably healthy--and even at its mammoth length (ten-plus hours) still not exhaustive account--of a time when the magic of a traveling carnival show, under the aegis of Dylan and theatrical director and co-conspirator/writing partner Jacques Levy, could accomplish anything.
  3. Uncut
    Jun 5, 2019
    90
    The two CDs from SIR Rehearsals in New York find Dylan in what might be described as his element. Which is to say, at the centre of a certain amount of chaos. His Approach to rehearsal is at best relaxed, if not entirely whimsical. [Jul 2019, p.44]
  4. Jun 13, 2019
    87
    This ungainly sprawl suits the Rolling Thunder Revue, which was meant not as a mere evening of entertainment but rather an immersive theatrical experience. ... The heart of the box sets lies in those five full concerts, all sharing the same basic momentum, all distinguished by passion. The vigor doesn’t belong to Dylan alone. The Guam band is unwieldy and enthusiastic, taking the time to let all their disparate voices mesh.
  5. Jun 7, 2019
    85
    Listening to the concert material is an experience not unlike auditioning the exhaustive 36-disc 2016 set of Dylan’s shows on his tumultuous 1966 world tour. ... What’s there is pretty spectacular. Dylan’s Revue crew was the biggest group he ever performed with, and certainly it was the loudest and hottest, with as many as five guitars being flexed simultaneously.
  6. Jun 7, 2019
    80
    Dylan is the unquestioned star, the magnetic, assured center of the sprawl. ... The longer view afforded by Dylan’s full set lists, rehearsals almost to opening night (with songs that appear nowhere else in the set) and a disc of additional rarities from along the itinerary captures both the acute showman’s focus the singer brought to this enterprise and the accelerating, play-for-the-moment drive that climaxes in that “Isis” from Montreal.
  7. Jun 7, 2019
    80
    The concerts all have excellent sound. While this box is only essential for hardcore Dylanophiles, it's immeasurably valuable for the way it illuminates a wildly spontaneous period in the songwriter's career.
  8. 80
    Both the boxed set and the film sprawl proudly and unpredictably, just as the Revue itself did. And both projects traffic in revelation and put-on, sometimes simultaneously. ... Dylan completists will likely cherish newly unveiled rehearsal tapes . ... For those willing to dig in, the new box also makes clear how consistently impassioned Dylan’s Rolling Thunder performances were.
  9. Q Magazine
    Jun 5, 2019
    80
    This is not a document to be eaten all at one, maybe, but it brilliantly records Dylan's skill for interpreting his own songs. [Summer 2019, p.118]
  10. 80
    Three discs worth of rehearsals are hit and miss; many songs are fragmentary and others don’t match the eventual live versions. Plus, the live shows don’t vary all that much in their set lists. Casual fans will probably stick with the ten or so Dylan songs they play on satellite radio. But true fans will greedily gobble this up and be more than pleased.

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