I mentioned last time that Bob Dylan held every spot in this Top Ten Countdown except for one. This was actually surprising to me as I figured some of the other artists I post regularly around here would show up more. Though I post lots of Van Morrison, Jerry Garcia, Neil Young and others none of them will show up on this list. This is the only time the Grateful Dead will appear. Can anyone guess who the other artist will be?
I suppose it makes sense that Bob would dominate. Dylan fans are rather obsessive. Unlike the Dead his shows are relatively difficult to find online. Where the Dead exist on archive.org and a bevy of other sites where you can find essentially every show of their in existence no such place exists for Dylan (at least that I’ve ever found). He’s also got a very long history of performances and is still touring regularly which means there a ton of shows out there to collect.
For whatever reason Van Morrison doesn’t have that big of an online presence. He still makes records and tours but his heyday is many years in the past, at least in terms of popularity. While I’ve found he’s got a dedicated group of followers and bootleg collectors, its a pretty small group. Jerry Garcia solo stuff is similar in that way.
I don’t really know why Bob dominates on here so much but here we are at number 7 and this is the first time another artist has made an appearance.
#7 Most Visited Shows on The Midnight Cafe
On paper having the Grateful Dead tour with Bob Dylan sounds like a dream come true. The Dead would play a couple of sets on their own and then become Dylan’s backing band. What could be better? The Dead were clearly longtime fans of Dylan as they’d been covering his songs since nearly the beginning. Dylan too had a great respect for The Dead, especially Jerry Garcia. Putting them together should have been amazing.
And yet, it clearly wasn’t. 1987 was not a great year for either artist. Bob was still in the midst of his 80s funk with his early 90s resurgence still a few years away. Garcia had come out of a coma just a year earlier and had to relearn how to play the guitar. Though the Dead still had plenty of good shows left in them they were very much on a downward spiral. The officially released album they put out from this tour has been pretty well derided by critics and fans alike.
However, I really feel that listening to the entire tour shows that it really wasn’t as bad as its reputation, and in some moments its really quite wonderful. The Dead are clearly enjoying playing with one of their heroes and they help elevate Dylan in nearly every way.
With DylanDave’s help I posted each show from the tour with multiple sources and then did a master post of the whole thing. It makes sense that this master post garnered a lot of hits as fans of both artist would enjoy various shows from the tour. All of the shows were originally posted via Mediafire and I have no replaced those links with ones from Amazon. Please do let me know if I am still missing anything or if any of the links are bad.
Here at the other Ten Years of Bootlegs posts.
#10 – Bob Dylan – Abandoned Desire
#9 – Bob Dylan – 1978 Tour Collection
#8 – Bob Dylan – The Genuine Never Ending Tour Covers Collection (1988-2000)