The first complete performances from Bob Dylan‘s 1978 tour highlight The Complete Budokan 1978, which will be released Nov. 17 by Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings as a four-CD and digital-only set with 36 previously unreleased songs, as well as a Japan-only eight-LP edition. Another Budokan 1978, a condensed two-LP set with 16 unreleased tracks, is also due the same day.
The Complete Budokan comprises full shows from the famed Tokyo venue on Feb. 28 and March 1, 1978, which were part of Dylan’s first international performances since 1966 and first tour of any kind since the North American Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975-6. Portions of the Budokan shows were previously released as Bob Dylan at Budokan in Nov. 1978 in Japan and April 1979 globally.
Dylan was backed at Budokan by Billy Cross (lead guitar), Ian Wallace (drums), Alan Pasqua (keyboards), Rob Stoner (bass, vocals), Steven Soles (acoustic rhythm guitar, vocals), David Mansfield (pedal steel, violin, mandolin, guitar, dobro), Steve Douglas (saxophone, flute, recorder), Bobbye Hall (percussion), and vocalists Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, and Debi Dye.
The first taste of The Complete Budokan is “The Man in Me,” which can be sampled below. Pre-orders are available here. “We mixed the record with the keyword ‘passion’ in mind,” says engineer Tom Suzuki of the set, which is augmented with facsimile memorabilia such as tickets and flyers. “The result is a mix that surpasses the original 1978 release, providing a crisper and clearer sound where each instrument and Bob Dylan’s voice are distinctly audible.”
The Complete Budokan will arrive a month after the Oct. 20 career-spanning compilation Mixing Up the Medicine, which itself is a companion to a 608-page book of the same name delving into Dylan’s archives. It features nearly 1,000 rare images as well as essays from the likes of Greil Marcus, Clinton Heylin, Richard Hell, and Ed Ruscha.
Dylan, 82, begins a North American tour Oct. 1 in Kansas City, Mo., and has dates scheduled through Oct. 30 in Schenectady, N.Y.