Bob Dylan at Budokan

Bob Dylan at Budokan

Infobox Album
Name = Bob Dylan at Budokan
Type = Live album
Artist = Bob Dylan

Released = April 23 1979
Recorded = February 28 1978
March 1 1978
Genre = Rock
Length = 99:41
Label = Columbia
Producer = Don De Vito
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|2|5 [ link]
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|1|5 [ link]
Last album = "Street Legal"
This album = "Bob Dylan at Budokan"
Next album = "Slow Train Coming"

"Bob Dylan at Budokan" is a live album by Bob Dylan, released in 1979 (1978 in Japan) by Columbia Records.

It is composed mostly of the artist's "greatest hits" performed in radically altered arrangements similar to Street Legal, backed by the same musicians who accompanied Dylan on that album. "Rolling Stone" magazine has characterised this recording as a "Las Vegas period" in Dylan's career. [ [ Bob Dylan: At Budokan : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone ] ]

Recording and Releases

The audio recording is from two different shows on February 28 and March 1, 1978. Columbia Records released this double LP on August 21, 1978; the original issue was limited to the Japanese market. Later that year it was released in Australia. On April 23, 1979, spurred by extensive importing and at least one counterfeit European edition, Columbia released the album to worldwide markets. The shows were the fourth and fifth in an eight-show appearance at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.


"Bob Dylan at Budokan" received some of the worst reviews of Dylan's career. Critically savaged, it was derided as "slick" and "sterile," with some comparing the new arrangements to Las Vegas lounge music.

In a sarcastic review published in his "Consumer Guide" column, Robert Christgau gave the album a C+ rating, writing "I believe this double LP was made available so our hero could boast of being outclassed by Cheap Trick, who had the self-control to release but a single disc from this location. Although it's amazing how many of the twenty-two songs--twelve also available on one of the other two live albums Dylan has released since 1974--hold up under slipshod treatment. And not only that, lyrics and poster are included." Critic Jimmy Guterman named it one of the worst albums ever released in the history of rock.

However, the album received stronger reviews in Europe, and critic Janet Maslin (then a music critic for "Rolling Stone Magazine") defended the album in her review. "However much they may offend purists, these latest live versions of his old songs have the effect of liberating Bob Dylan from the originals. And the originals - however lasting, however beautiful - constitute a terrible burden...this time the old songs have been recast sweetly, without that self-defeating aggression, in what sounds suspiciously like a spirit of fun...Many of the more recent ones, like 'Oh, Sister,' 'One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)' and 'Shelter from the Storm,' are vastly improved, as if, when they were first recorded, they hadn't been fully thought through. "Is Your Love in Vain?", by no means the prettiest song on Dylan's much-underrated Street-Legal, is prettier still...The method here is hit-or-miss, and the results are correspondingly spotty...The low point of the set is 'The Times They Are A-Changin"...The fire and brimstone are behind Dylan, [but] this hardly means the fight has gone out of him: "Bob Dylan at Budokan" is a very contentious effort -- and, for the most part, a victorious one." Ironically, fire and brimstone were to again become very much a part of Dylan's music, with the release of his gospel rock album Slow Train Coming later in 1979.

"Bob Dylan at Budokan" reached #13 in the US and went platinum, while simultaneously peaking at #4 in the UK.

Track listing

All songs by Bob Dylan, except as noted.

Disc one

# "Mr. Tambourine Man" – 4:54
# "Shelter from the Storm" – 4:30
# "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" – 3:52
# "Ballad of a Thin Man" – 4:47
# "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" – 4:55
# "Maggie's Farm" – 5:06
# "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)" – 3:19
# "Like a Rolling Stone" – 6:31
# "I Shall Be Released" – 4:12
# "Is Your Love in Vain?" – 4:02
# "Going, Going, Gone" – 4:22

Disc two

# "Blowin' in the Wind" – 4:25
# "Just Like a Woman" – 5:03
# "Oh, Sister" (Bob Dylan, Jacques Levy) – 4:44
# "Simple Twist of Fate" – 4:15
# "All Along the Watchtower" – 3:20
# "I Want You" – 2:34
# "All I Really Want to Do" – 3:37
# "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" – 4:00
# "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" – 6:04
# "Forever Young" – 5:38
# "The Times They Are A-Changin'" – 5:31

Musical Personnel

* Bob Dylan - Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
* Billy Cross - Lead Guitar
* Ian Wallace - drums
* Alan Pasqua - Keyboards
* Rob Stoner - Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
* Steven Soles - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals
* David Mansfield - Pedal Steel, Violin, Mandolin, Dobro, Guitar
* Steve Douglas - Saxophone, Flute, Recorder
* Bobbye Hall - Percussion
* Helena Springs - Background Vocals
* Jo Ann Harris - Background Vocals
* Debi Dye - Background Vocals

Production Personnel

* Don De Vito - Producer
* Hiroshi Kanai - Production Coordinator
* Toshiyuki "Heckel" Sugano - CBS/Sony Production Director
* Patrick Stansfield - Production Supervision
* Ava Megna - Chief of Staff
* Stan Miller - Sound Contractor
* Tim Charles - Monitor Mixer
* Val Lane - Sound Technician
* Joel Bernstein and Alan Bartz - Equipment Technicians
* Tony Broccoli - Production Assistant


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