Bob Dylan will release a massive, 36 CD box set from his 1966 world tour with the Band this November through Sony Legacy. Titled The 1966 Live Recordings, these legendary performances, a continuation of his first tour featuring electric accompaniment that began after Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in July 1965, changed the course of popular Music.

The Band

Dylan’s band on this tour, then known as the Hawks, were to be rechristened “The Band” in 1968: guitarist Robbie Robertson, organist Garth Hudson, pianist Richard Manuel, and bassist Rick Danko (who also sang backup on one song), with a revolving door of drummers to replace Levon Helm, who left after reportedly tiring of the negative reaction from hostile folkies in the audience.

Sandy Konikoff is the drummer for the gigs in White Plains and Pittsburgh, while Mickey Jones, later to star in television’s Home Improvement, plays on the remainder.

This set, a sequel to last year’s Cutting Edge 1965-1966 Bootleg Series release (available as a 2 CD/3LP, 6 CD, or 18 CD set, the latter with free downloads of 1965 concerts), is being released to combat archaic European copyright laws, which dictate that any material over 50 years old can enter the public domain. Dylan's The 1966 Live Recordings with the Band is expected to be much more affordable than the 18 CD set.

Dylan and the Band's  1966 concerts were divided into two halves - typically a solo acoustic first half of seven songs, followed by an electric set of eight songs. The acoustic set lists were “She Belongs to Me,” a preview of two songs from Blonde on Blonde - “Fourth Time Around” and “Visions of Johanna” (a.k.a.

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“Freeze Out”), “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “Desolation Row,” another Blonde on Blonde track, “Just Like a Woman,” and ending with “Mr. Tambourine Man.” The electric set featured the unreleased (at the time) “Tell Me, Momma,” followed by an electric take of “I Don’t Believe You,” Dylan’s rewritten version of the traditional “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down,” “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” another Blonde on Blonde preview, “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” “One Too Many Mornings” (with Danko on backing vocals), “Ballad of a Thin Man” (with Dylan on piano), and “Like a Rolling Stone.” Among the other tracks are a handful of versions of  “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” and “Positively 4th Street.”

Professionally recorded

The first 31 CDs feature professionally recorded shows, either by CBS Records, TV stations, or as soundboards (with the May 10 Bristol gig is a mix of soundboard and audience), while the last five discs are audience tapes. The recordings featuring a mix of complete and partially captured concert performances by Dylan and the Band. Aside from a few stray tracks included on 1985’s Biograph, The Bootleg Series Vol. 7, a box set by The Band, the films No Direction Home and Eat the Document, and the 1966 Manchester show (included here with an incomplete soundcheck version of “Tom Thumb’s Blues”), this material has not been officially released, although some have been traded among collectors for years.

In the mid-1960s, rock music was thought to be a passing fad, so we are lucky so much of this material was captured to posterity. Although the songs are often repeated, each concert has its own “personality.” This is an essential addition to the Bob Dylan canon.

After Dylan had a mysterious motorcycle crash in July of 1966, he did not tour again until 1974. The 1966 Live Recordings will be released worldwide on November 11.