Flagging Down the Double E’s is an email newsletter exploring Bob Dylan shows of yesteryear. Some installments are free, some are for paid subscribers only. Sign up for either option here:
In early January 2020, I launched this newsletter. It started with the format it mostly still follows today, exploring a past Dylan show that took place on today’s date. I soon realized, though, that January was an inauspicious time to launch such a thing. Why? Bob barely ever toured in January.
Every time I went to see what shows I had to choose from that day, I had just one. All from 1974, the reunion tour with The Band and the only time Bob toured to any significant degree in January. So my first half-dozen entries were just about that single tour. Not a problem, as I had about six subscribers at the time (and that includes family members)
Anyway, last year I took January off, and I mostly am this year too (I'll be back properly in early February, kicking off with one of the biggest interviews I've done yet). But I decided to dip once more into the '74 well. As I was listening to the Boston show that took place 48 years ago today, it struck me just how many songs from it weren't included on the tour's official document, Before the Flood.
So I made a sequel.
I'm just calling it Before the Flood II, but you can add any Hollywood-style subtitle you choose. Before the Flood: Reloaded. Before the Flood II: Judgement Day. Before the Flood II: The Band Strikes Back. Personally, I like Before the Flood II: The Wrath of Lev-ahn.
This faux live-album compiles one version of every song left off of Before the Flood, all unreleased, using the best tapes I could find. Most tracks sound good, though, in cases where he or The Band only performed something once or twice, we gotta take what we can get (I’m looking at you, “As I Went Out One Morning”).
It's 28 songs long, just like most of the shows were. It mirrors the running order of the '74 show, just like Before the Flood did. And it includes the best-sounding version of every song Bob performed with The Band and every song The Band played solo that wasn't on the official album.
I also included a short solo set, like the shows and original album had. But that left quite a few additional solo-Bob tunes - he mixed those up a ton from night to night - so I added the remainder of those as bonus tracks. With this plus Before the Flood, you have one version of every song performed on the tour.
Anyway, to hold you over until the newsletter returns, download Before the Flood II below.
PS. Paid subscribers will get another dose of 1974 in a couple weeks - a complete soundboard show, plus the most interesting print ephemera I've found from the tour: handbills, posters, an ad for the jet Bob and the Band flew around in, etc.
Before the Flood II
Bob Dylan & The Band:
1. Hero Blues (Chicago, Jan 4)
2. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (Los Angeles, Feb 14 early)
3. As I Went Out One Morning (Toronto, Jan 10)
4. Tough Mama (Chicago, Jan 4)
5. One Too Many Mornings (Largo, Jan 16)
6. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (Boston, Jan 14 - early)
7. Going Back to Memphis (Memphis, Jan 23)
8. Long Black Veil (Chicago, Jan 4)
9. Share Your Love with Me (Chicago, Jan 3)
10. Holy Cow (Chicago, Jan 3)
Bob Dylan & The Band:
11. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (Boston, Jan 14 - early)
12. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Toronto, Jan 9)
13. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Chicago, Jan 4)
14. The Ballad of Hollis Brown (Los Angeles, Feb 14 - early)
15. Mr. Tambourine Man (electric) (Los Angeles, Feb 14 - late)
Bob Dylan solo:
16. The Times They Are A-Changin' (Oakland, Feb 11 - late)
17. She Belongs to Me (Los Angeles, Feb 14 - late)
18. Wedding Song (Philadelphia, Jan 7)
19. Visions of Johanna (Denver, Feb 6 - early)
20. Nobody 'Cept You (Chicago, Jan 4)
21. Life Is a Carnival (Chicago, Jan 3)
22. Rag Mama Rag (New York City, Jan 31)
23. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Hollywood, Jan 19)
24. This Wheel's on Fire (Boston, Jan 14 - early)
Bob Dylan & The Band:
25. Forever Young (Los Angeles, Feb 14 - early)
26. Something There Is About You (Boston, Jan 14 - early)
27. Maggie's Farm (Oakland, Feb 11 - late)
28. Most Likely You Go Your Way (reprise) (New York City, Jan 31)
Bonus Solo Acoustic Tracks:
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (St. Louis, Feb 4 - early)
Desolation Row (St. Louis, Feb 4 - early)
Fourth Time Around (Memphis, Jan 23)
Gates of Eden (Los Angeles, Feb 14 - late)
Girl of the North Country (Philadelphia, Jan 7)
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Los Angeles, Feb 14 - early)
It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding (New York City, Jan 31)
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (Chicago, Jan 4)
Love Minus Zero / No Limit (Toronto, Jan 10)
Mama You Been On My Mind (Philadelphia, Jan 6 - early)
Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) (Philadelphia, Jan 6 - late)
Song to Woody (Philadelphia, Jan 6 - late)
To Ramona (Philadelphia, Jan 6 - early)
And the show that inspired the set: