Bob Dylan – Empire Burlesque

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Empire Burlesque

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  • With Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound on side one and a solid Double Plus (A++) side two, this is an excellent copy of Empire Burlesque
  • Incredibly big and rich, with correct tonality from top to bottom, tons of bass and plenty of space, this copy sounded right to us
  • About as quiet as we can find them — Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • “… it’s the most consistent record Bob Dylan has made since Blood on the Tracks” – All Music

This is one of the better sounding Dylan records from the ’80s. It’s not exactly Blood on the Tracks, the only Dylan album we think is qualified to be on our Top 100 Rock and Pop List, but it sounds good for a record from this era.

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Here are some things we specifically listen for on a record by Mr Bob Dylan – whether from 1963 or 1983, makes no difference to us.

Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than the other copies we played in our shootout.

The best copies have:

  • Greater immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree);
  • Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);
  • Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);
  • Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);
  • Tubey Magic, without which you might as well be playing a CD;
  • And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)
Seeing The Real You At Last
I’ll Remember You
Clean Cut Kid
Never Gonna Be The Same Again

Side Two

Trust Yourself 
Emotionally Yours 
When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
Something’s Burning, Baby
Dark Eyes

AMG 4.5-Star Review

Say what you want about Empire Burlesque — at the very least, it’s the most consistent record Bob Dylan has made since Blood on the Tracks, even if it isn’t quite as interesting as Desire. However, it is a better set of songs, all deriving from the same place and filled with subtle gems.

… The record’s biggest flaw is its state-of-the-art production; this is every bit as slick as Street Legal, but now sounds more focused and more of its time — thanks to a reliance on synthesizers and mildly sequenced beats — than it did upon its original release. All this makes Empire Burlesque seem more transient than it actually is, since — discounting the production — this is as good as Dylan gets in his latter days.