Bob Dylan’s ’30th Anniversary Celebration’ Gets Expanded Reissue

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Bob Dylan performs with George Harrison and Roger McGuinn at the 30th Anniversary Celebration in 1992 (AFP/Getty)

Bob Dylan performs with George Harrison and Roger McGuinn at the 30th Anniversary Celebration in 1992 (AFP/Getty)

This week sees the re-release of Bob Dylan – The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, the live album documenting the all-star tribute concert to Bob Dylan, which took place in the fall of 1992. The concert marked the 30th anniversary of Dylan’s 1962 self-titled debut album. 

The show,which took place at Madison Square Garden, featured an impressive lineup, including Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, The Clancy Brothers, Richie Havens, Johnny Winter, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Chrissie Hynde, The O’Jays, Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Sinéad O’Connor, Tracy Chapman and George Harrison.

The reissue includes a digitally remastered version of the performances in the form of 2 CD’s, 2 DVD’s and a Blu-Ray Disc. These newly released materials will also include bonus performances from the show’s sound check that did not make it into the concert. There also a number of bonus interviews and behind the scenes footage. One extra is Sinéad O’Connor’s performance of “I Believe In You.” O’Connor was scheduled to perform the Dylan classic that evening during the show, but when she was booed by the crowd she veered from her planned performance and instead did an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War.” Her performance of that song on Saturday Night Live days earlier (where she infamously tore up a photo of the Pope on national television) was likely what inspired the boos. 

The other bonus audio track from sound check was Eric Clapton’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.’

Twenty years on, the concert serves as a tribute of sorts to a number of the performers who are no longer with us, including  Havens, Cash and Harrison. The Beatles legend was making his first concert appearance in 18 years when he took to the stage to perform “Absolutely Sweet Marie”; it would also be his final U.S. performance. 

The concert also introduce Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready to an older audience; at that point, their band was still riding high on the success of their debut album, Ten. Vedder and McCready, along with musical director G.E. Smith performed “Masters Of War,” a song which Vedder has performed at his solo concerts in years since (and which occasionally surfaced in Pearl Jam’s sets as well). 

- Ray Boyd, WOGL.com

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