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Bob Dylan: Woodstock '94

Album Notes

Bob Dylan snubbed the original Woodstock festival in 1969, so it was more than a little surprising when he signed on for its disastrous 1994 sequel. Most shocking of all was the intensity and conviction of his performance, which overcame some early hiccups to rank among the otherwise dismal event's few memorable moments. Given the number of frat-boy meatheads and date-rapists in the Woodstock audience, Dylan receives a surprisingly rapt and reverent welcome, and he responds with a thoughtful, well-considered performance that avoids populist cheerleading, eschewing "Blowin' in the Wind" and other generational anthems in favor of a lacerating rock & roll show highlighted by "All Along the Watchtower," "Highway 61 Revisited," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." While Living Legend's Woodstock '94 is an acceptable edition of this much-bootlegged performance, with crisp sound and shoddy packaging, Crystal Cat's North Stage remains the definitive release, combining a soundboard-quality recording of the complete performance with more than two-dozen screen captures from the broadcast feed. ~ Jason Ankeny


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