Bob Dylan

Minstrel Boy

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Bob Dylan's August 31, 1969 appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival represented his much-anticipated return to the live stage following his reported motorcycle accident three years previously. A reunion with the Band, the support unit on the 1966 U.K. tour that remains the unequivocal zenith of his touring career, the show failed to meet expectations, hampered by an unusually tame and tentative Dylan performance coupled with a set list heavy on rustic, nuanced John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline material that failed to translate to the outdoor festival setting. Especially with four tracks later resurfacing on the much-maligned official release Self Portrait, the bootleg Minstrel Boy is recommended strictly for serious Dylan enthusiasts -- the performance is noteworthy almost solely for its historical significance. World's edition represents the first CD release of this material, and its limited entertainment value is further diminished by the mediocre fidelity of the tapes in circulation -- the sound quality varies wildly from track to track, and collectors seeking this music are recommended to acquire Wanted Man's superior Isle of Wight release.