Real Live

Infobox Album
Name = Real Live
Type = live
Artist = Bob Dylan

Released = December 3, 1984
Recorded = Summer 1984
Genre = Hard rock
Length = 50:15
Label = Columbia
Producer = Glyn Johns
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|3|5 [ link]
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|3|5 [ link]
Last album = "Infidels" (1983)
This album = "Real Live" (1984)
Next album = "Empire Burlesque" (1985)

"Real Live" is a live album documenting Bob Dylan's 1984 tour of Europe, released at the end of that same year by Columbia Records.

Produced by Glyn Johns, it features Mick Taylor (formerly of the Rolling Stones) on lead guitar, Ian McLagan (formerly of the Faces) on keyboards, and a guest appearance from Carlos Santana. The performances on "Real Live" were recorded in support of his successful "Infidels" album. While "Infidels" was hailed as a "return to musical form" (as described by Kurt Loder in "Rolling Stone Magazine"), critical reception for "Real Live" was generally mixed.

Released in December to capitalize on the Christmas shopping season, "Real Live" still sold in disappointing numbers, reaching a then-career low of #115 in the US and #54 in the UK.


In his review for "Rolling Stone Magazine", Loder writes, "Although cynics may find that Dylan's trademark wheeze is verging on self-parody by this point, his singing is truly spirited throughout. The band he assembled for the tour generally serves him well, if without inspiration...Dylanologists will savor the heavily revised, third-person lyrics for 'Tangled Up in Blue' (although they scuttle the original song's compelling intimacy), and some fans may get a giggle out of the rhythm riff – lifted from Ray Charles' 'I Believe to My Soul' – that graces 'Ballad of a Thin Man.' But 'Highway 61 Revisited' and 'Tombstone Blues' suffer from formless arrangements, and the band simply can't replicate the reggae groove called for on 'I and I'...If [Dylan's] rag-and-roll approach to rock is dated, that's essentially a cosmetic problem. One continues to hope that he'll someday assemble a full-time band he really believes in...a band that will enable him to reassert his brilliance in the modern rock marketplace."

Track listing

All songs by Bob Dylan.

#"Highway 61 Revisited" – 5:07
# "Maggie's Farm" – 4:54
# "I and I" – 6:00
# "License to Kill" – 3:26
# "It Ain't Me, Babe" – 5:17
# "Tangled Up in Blue" – 6:54
# "Masters of War" – 6:35
# "Ballad of a Thin Man" – 3:05
# "Girl from the North Country" – 4:25
# "Tombstone Blues" – 4:32


*Colin Allen – drums
*Bob Dylan – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals
*Glyn Johns – producer
*Ian McLagan – keyboards
*Carlos Santana – guitar on "Tombstone Blues"
*Greg Sutton – bass
*Mick Taylor – guitar

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