December 03, 1984

Album Review

It may be his first live album in six years, but Real Live still is his fourth live album in ten years, and, as such, it still feels a little redundant. Nevertheless, it doesn't feel anywhere nearly as unnecessary as At Budokan and if it doesn't capture a historically significant tour, as Hard Rain did with the Rolling Thunder Revue, this is a better record all the same, capturing a working band -- a working band featuring ex-Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, no less -- on a pretty good night. That means there are few revelations -- though diehards will certainly revel in "Tangled Up in Blue," which has several brand-new (not necessarily better) verses -- but it's still pretty good all the same, providing lean, relatively muscular renditions of Dylan's great songs. This isn't an important, necessary Dylan record, but it's a good, solid live album, his best live album since Before the Flood, even if it's hardly as monumental as that.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Highway 61 Revisited
  2. Maggie's Farm
  3. I and I
  4. License to Kill
  5. It Ain't Me Babe
  6. Tangled Up in Blue
  7. Masters of War
  8. Ballad of a Thin Man
  9. Girl from the North Country
  10. Tombstone Blues