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Are You Experienced?
source: Todaiji Temple, Nara, Japan 1994

May 19, 1994 rehearsals:
Ring Them Bells
May 20, 1994 performance:
Hard Rain
I Shall Be Released
Ring Them Bells
I Shall Be Released (ensemble)
May 21, 1994 performance:
Just Like A Woman (Jon Bon Jovi)
Hard Rain
I Shall Be Released
Ring Them Bells
I Shall Be Released  (ensemble)
I Shall Be Released  (ensemble)
May 22, 1994 performance:
Just Like A Woman (Jon Bon Jovi)
Hard Rain
I Shall Be Released
Ring Them Bells
I Shall Be Released  (ensemble)
interview segment with Michael Kamen
(In May) Dylan participates in The Great Music Experience... a three day concert in Nara, Japan co-sponsored by UNESCO's World Decade For Cultural Development Project. This was intended to be the first of a series of events to be staged at important and beautiful cultural sites each year until 2000. No more instances were however realized. This year the "western world" artists that joined various artists from Japan included Joni Mitchell, INXS, Ry Cooder, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Dylan performed the same three songs each day: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, I Shall Be Released and Ring Them Bells. He was backed by the New Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and a backing group with the ubiquitous Jim Keltner on drums and the inevitable Ray Cooper on percussion. Dylan's performance was nothing short of stunning. Made grown men cry, as Q put it. Each concert ended with I Shall Be Released (again!) with all the participating artists on stage. The last day was broadcast live on radio and TV in over 50 countries around the world. 
The Particulars:
The Great Music Experience
Todaiji Temple; Nara, Japan 20 May 1994
Produced by Tony Hollingsworth.
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
I Shall Be Released
Ring Them Bells
Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal) backed by Phil Palmer (guitar), "Wix" Vickens (keyboards), Pino Palladino (bass), Jim Keltner (drums) and The Tokyo New Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen.
I Shall Be Released
Bob Dylan (guitar & backup vocal) in the grand finale with all participating artists, among them Joni Mitchell, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Ry Cooder, Roger Taylor and the members of INXS and X Japan.
May 22 performance:
Broadcast in the radio and TV program THE GREAT MUSIC EXPERIENCE COUNTDOWN, in over 50 countries all over the world.
Hard Rain released in Scandinavia on CD single Columbia COL 660942 2, 15 December 1994.
(also) released on CD single Dignity (MTV Unplugged), Columbia COL 661 400 2, 11 April 1995. Stereo FM and TV broadcast, 25 minutes.
interview segment:
Broadcast in the radio and TV program THE GREAT MUSIC EXPERIENCE COUNTDOWN29 May 1994 on BBC in the UK.
© 2001 by Olof Björner All Rights Reserved
View enlarged images below

Fan CD-r
Great Music Experience Nara, Japan May 19-22, 1994

Manufacturer / Catalog No.
Don't Ya Tell Henry / CD-r project


Quality:  5-8 stars (see review)

Bob's Boots ref  #

Disc Review:
The disc I reviewed didn't contain the first track. The final seven tracks are from broadcast recordings, and are quite good. The other tracks are from audience recordings, and range from unacceptable in the beginning of a couple of songs to very nice on others. There is the incredible experience of hearing Dylan backed by such power, but there are a couple (although brief) moments when he seems out of his element. The overall experience, however, is stunning. Well worth hearing this unique performance. There are basically only 3 songs performed 3 times each by Dylan. The Bon Jovi Just Like A Woman tribute (in his best Springsteen voice) is quite nice... especially for fans. The various takes of the ensemble's  I Shall Be Released are moving, but don't look for Dylan. He's completely buried in the overall sound wall. This release is included at, as it was distributed world wide via the internet trees; and enjoyed a wide audience. The cover (made available by download) was very professionally done with a great looking front photo; and rivals some of the commercial releases for overall aesthetics.
©  2002 Craig Pinkerton
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© 2002 Craig Pinkerton
© 2002 Craig Pinkerton
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