The liner notes neglect to mention in what year this April 29th birthday performance was recorded, but given the orchestra's lineup and set choices, 1953 or 1954 is likely. Unlike the majority of recently-discovered live tapes, this dance at Portland's McElroy's Ballroom was professionally recorded (by the great engineer Wally Heider) and so the sound is astonishing. This five-CD series is easily the best representation we have of Ellington's early-'50s lineup in an intimate ballroom dance setting.
Given the acclaim of The Bootleg Series and the perceived disappointment of Under the Red Sky, it seemed like it was time for Dylan to bounce back with a convincing album of original material. Instead, he delivered a record of folk songs, his first straight covers album ever, not to mention his first guitar, harmonica, and voice record since the early '60s.
The ultimate compendium of a half century of the best music, now revised and updated. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die is a highly readable list of the best, the most important, and the most influential pop albums from 1955 through today. Carefully selected by a team of international critics and some of the best-known music reviewers and commentators, each album is a groundbreaking work seminal to the understanding and appreciation of music from the 1950s to the present. Included with each entry are production details and credits as well as reproductions of original album cover art. Perhaps most important of all, each album featured comes with an authoritative description of its importance and influence.