Bob Dylan & The Band – Before The Flood – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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More Before The Flood


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

One of the great Live Classic Rock albums of all time, now available in White Hot Stamper form! We recently undertook a massive shootout for this spirited double LP and three of the better sides from the whole shebang are on this here pressing. Sides one and two each earned our top grade of A+++, while side four clocked in at A++. Side three, as is often the case, was not quite up to the same standards. 

We feel that the best material is contained on the other three sides, so we doubt this will be a dealbreaker for many of you.

Dylan and The Band team up for exuberant versions of many classics from each of their repertoires and a copy like this lets you appreciate just how wonderful the performances are.

We played a ton of these and found that most copies bored us to death. Some lacked energy, even more never opened up, and most of them were too thin-sounding. We had to play a HUGE stack of copies to come up with a few good ones, and on a double album like this that’s a TON of work. Finding, cleaning and critically evaluating a dozen-plus copies is a lot of work on a single album, so you can imagine how time-consuming it is when we have to double those efforts just for one album.

Sides one and two were unbeatable — nothing we threw up against them could take them down from the top spot. The sound of each is very musical and lively with the kind of clarity, transparency and presence that will allow you to feel like you are right there in the front row. The overall sound is amazingly natural and realistic.

Side four, at A++, is excellent as well. Big, open and energetic with a strong bottom end, it should destroy the typical pressing.

I suggest you read the insightful AMG review linked above. If you’re a fan of this album, I bet you’ve never heard it sound so good. Those of you who are fans of Dylan and/or The Band but missed out on this album should definitely check it out, and what better way to do it than with a copy that sounds like this?

The version of Ballad Of A Thin Man that closes out side one is simply MONSTROUS. Live rock and roll just don’t get much better than that, my friends!


Side One

Bob Dylan – Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) 
Bob Dylan – Lay Lady Lay 
Bob Dylan – Rainy Day Women 
Bob Dylan – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Bob Dylan – It Ain’t Me, Babe 
Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man

Side Two

The Band – Up on Cripple Creek 
The Band – I Shall Be Released 
The Band – Endless Highway 
The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down 
The Band – Stage Fright

Side Three

Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right 
Bob Dylan – Just Like a Woman 
Bob Dylan – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) 
The Band – The Shape I’m In 
The Band – When You Awake 
The Band – The Weight

Side Four

Bob Dylan – All Along the Watchtower 
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited 
Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone 
Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind

AMG Review

Before the Flood, a double-album souvenir of the tour, suggests that these were generally dynamic shows, but not because they were reveling in the past, but because Dylan was fighting the nostalgia of his audience — nostalgia, it must be noted, that was promoted as the very reason behind these shows. Yet that’s what gives this music such kick — Dylan reworks, rearranges, reinterprets these songs in ways that are still disarming, years after its initial release… And this is a storm — the sound of a great rocker, surprising his band and audience by tearing through his greatest songs in a manner that might not be comforting, but it guarantees it to be one of the best live albums of its time. Ever, maybe.