Bob Dylan

Talking Too Much

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CBS Records documented Bob Dylan's October 26, 1963, performance at New York City's venerable Carnegie Hall for a proposed live LP provisionally titled In Concert, pressing acetates and even printing cardboard sleeves before abruptly scuttling the project for good. The assassination of John F. Kennedy altered most everyone's plans, of course, and legend also proclaims that execs were flummoxed by the six-minute spoken narrative "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie," one of several cuts added to the album from an April 12 gig at New York's Town Hall. Hence the title of the bootleg release Talking Too Much, one of the first CD editions of this much-pirated material. An extraordinary record of the young Dylan at the apex of his craft, Talking Too Much captures his transition from the protest anthems on which his early fame rests toward the deeply personal and hauntingly poetic songs that remain his greatest legacy. From a fiery rendition of "Who Killed Davey Moore" to a luminous "Percy's Song," this is music that transcends space and time. While this is essential listening, consumers are recommended to bypass Talking Too Much in favor of Wild Wolf's 1997 bootleg In Concert, a definitive release boasting crystalline sound and even copping CBS' proposed cover design for good measure. In late 2005 Columbia also issued a must-have six-song promo titled Live at Carnegie Hall with never-booted material.