The title of The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert is a nod to the fact that the famous bootleg known as The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert was actually recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall on May 17, 1966. The historical record was corrected when the concert was released as the second installment in Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series in 1998 (it's labeled the fourth volume, but the first three editions were all rounded up in a 1991 box), so when it came to release a sampler album from the mammoth 36-disc set The 1966 Live Recordings, the only option was to release The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert, a show given on May 26, 1996. This double-disc set follows the same contours of the Manchester Free Trade Hall show, offering the acoustic set on the first disc and the electric on the second. Furthermore, the set lists are identical, so The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert feels a bit like a mirror image of the Manchester Free Trade Hall. Like on Manchester, the acoustic set is quite good, but it's overshadowed by an electric set that feels wild and alive. Perhaps the performance isn't as epochal as The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert, but it offers similar thrills and pleasures, and that's enough for any Dylan fan who wants to hear more music from this rich period.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2