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  Listen Up! 12/2/03 Listen Up!

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Free, ďClassic Free,Ē Island Records. This import collects a bunch of stuff from the early 70s, when Free roamed the earth with a fierce rock style that combined soulful blues vocals from Paul Rodgers with impeccable musicianship from the rest of the gang. Iíve always enjoyed what Iíve heard from Free, but I havenít spent nearly enough time listening to them as Iíd like to. Of course, everybody knows ďAll Right Now,Ē but there was a lot more to this band than that. Alas, things have been too hectic for me to have paid enough attention to this today, so I still need to hear a lot more.

Bob Dylan, ďLive 1975,Ē Columbia Records. Today, Iím listening to the second disc of this two-disc set. The concept is laid out right there in the title. Itís all live, from the Rolling Thunder tour, and itís great. I should say that the first disc is more revelatory than the second, but thatís simply because the best version ever performed of ďA Hard Rainís Gonna FallĒ is on the former. Dylan has made a career of rearranging his songs for concert performance, but there were many, many times that he did this without regard for the end results. As long as he sounded different than the record, he was happy. On this tour, everybody, from Dylan to the band, sounds engaged with communicating these songs to the best possible effect. Highly recommended.

--Steve Pick

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