Nov 12: Bob Dylan @ The Summit, Houston, Texas 1981

Bob Dylan - Houston 12.11.1981

Dylan sounds well-oiled with alcohol on the Houston tape, his voice very low and rich, his commentary between songs (and his
pacing, when he talks) bizarre and rather charming. That voice! If you love Dylan’s work, then you must somehow get hold of copies of “Simple Twist of Fate” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” from Houston, 11/12/81. And “Solid Rock.” The new, “slow version” of “Solid Rock” performed at the fall 1981 shows is one of the highlights of a year of astonishing creativity and expressiveness for Dylan… Of course what you really want is a copy of the entire Houston concert; there are high points aplenty, and a fascinating sense of momentum from song to song, as the strange mood he’s in ebbs and flows, clashing with a song occasionally, more often discovering and magnifying itself in the folds and twists of the song’s lyrics and chord changes and rhythms and most of all in the accumulating composite message that the song exists to express..
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

Throughout 1981, Dylan slowly began reintroducing some of his standards back into the gospel shows. By the end of the year, they outnumbered the religious songs. This soundboard recording features very little audience noise. The vocals are way out front. Dylan’s phrasing and articulation that had made the christian material so powerful is now spilling over into the secular classics.

The Summit
Houston, Texas
12 November 1981

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Fred Tackett (guitar)
  • Steve Ripley (guitar)
  • Al Kooper (keyboards)
  • Tim Drummond (bass)
  • Jim Keltner (drums)
  • Arthur Rosato (drums)
  • Clydie King, Regina McCrary, Madelyn Quebec (background vocals

  1. Gotta Serve Somebody
  2. I Believe In You
  3. Like A Rolling Stone
  4. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  5. Man Gave Names To All The Animals
  6. Maggie’s Farm
    Thank you. All right! Houston, Texas. Houston. Well here’s another animal song. This is about the most dangerous animal there can be.
  7. Girl From The North Country
  8. Ballad Of A Thin Man
  9. Simple Twist Of Fate
  10. Heart Of Mine
  11. All Along The Watchtower
  12. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
  13. Forever Young
  14. Gamblin’ Man (trad.)
  15. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  16. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
    All right, thank you. The times they are a-changin’ still. Not changing fast enough though for some somebody? [shouts from the audience] Huh? Boy that serious, that’s true, ain’t it. I sure do. Everybody does, I guess so. Yeah, sure do. Even you.
  17. Watered-Down Love
  18. Shot Of Love
  19. Just Like A Woman
  20. Solid Rock
  21. Masters Of War
  22. When You Gonna Wake Up
  23. In The Garden

  24. Blowin’ In The Wind
  25. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
  26. It Ain’t Me, Babe
  27. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Bob Dylan - Houston 12.11.1981 back

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