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Before the Flood
Live album by Bob Dylan and The Band
Released June 20, 1974
Recorded January-February 1974
Genre Rock
Length 92:38
Label Asylum
Island (UK only)
Columbia (1981 reissue)
Producer Bob Dylan & The Band
Professional reviews
Bob Dylan chronology
Planet Waves
(1974)
Before the Flood
(1974)
Blood on the Tracks
(1975)
The Band chronology
Planet Waves
(1974)
Before the Flood
(1974)
The Basement Tapes
(1975)

Before the Flood is a live album by Bob Dylan and The Band, released in June of 1974 on Asylum Records, documenting the Bob Dylan and The Band 1974 Tour. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200, and reached #8 in the United Kingdom.

Contents

History

Before the tour even began, a live album release was already planned; a substantial number of the performances were professionally recorded. When it came time to compile the album, most of these recordings were taken from the final three shows at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood, California. After the tour ended, Rob Fraboni and Phil Ramone were both recruited to edit and mix the multitrack recordings so gained, drawing also on shows from New York City, Seattle, and Oakland.

The title of the album is thought to be taken from the novel Farn Mabul by Yiddish writer Sholem Asch; Dylan had a personal relationship with Moses Asch, son of Sholem and founder of Folkways Records, a record label hugely influential in Dylan's early life, as documented in his autobiography, Chronicles. Another theory in regards to the album's title is that the live album was released before the inevitable flood of bootlegs could surface, and saturate the underground market.

A double album released on Dylan's then-label, Asylum Records, it was a source of contention for The Band, who at the time were struggling to gather enough material to fulfill their contract with Capitol Records. Reviews for Before the Flood were generally positive as critical consensus was strong enough to place it at #6 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for 1974.

Personnel

Track listing

All songs written by Bob Dylan, except where noted. Sides one and four are performances by Bob Dylan and The Band; side two and tracks four through six on side three by The Band; tracks one through three on side three by Bob Dylan alone.

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Side one

  1. "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" – 4:15
  2. "Lay Lady Lay" – 3:14
  3. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" – 3:27
  4. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" – 3:51
  5. "It Ain't Me, Babe" – 3:40
  6. "Ballad of a Thin Man" – 3:41

Side two

  1. "Up on Cripple Creek" (Robbie Robertson) – 5:25
  2. "I Shall Be Released" – 3:50
  3. "Endless Highway" (Robertson) – 5:10
  4. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (Robertson) – 4:24
  5. "Stage Fright" (Robertson) – 4:45

Side three

  1. "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" – 4:36
  2. "Just Like a Woman" – 5:06
  3. "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" – 5:48
  4. "The Shape I'm In" (Robertson) – 4:01
  5. "When You Awake" (Richard Manuel/Robertson) – 3:13
  6. "The Weight" (Robertson) – 4:47

Side four

  1. "All Along the Watchtower" – 3:07
  2. "Highway 61 Revisited" – 4:27
  3. "Like a Rolling Stone" – 7:09
  4. "Blowin' in the Wind" – 4:30

Charts

Album - Billboard

Year Chart Position
1974 Pop Albums 3
1974 Pop Albums 3

Single - Billboard

Song Year Chart Position
Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) 1974 Pop Singles 66

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