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Bob Dylan at the Forum

Bob Dylan at the Forum

Nov. 15, 1978: Bob Dylan, right, in concert at the Forum.

Pop music critic Robert Hilburn reported in the Nov. 17, 1978, Los Angeles Times:

Bob Dylan returned to the Inglewood Forum Wednesday night with his reputation tarnished, but his artistry intact.

Dylan, the most stimulating American songwriter of the rock era, has been ripped repeatedly by critics during a U.S. tour that began last summer at the Universal Amphitheater.

Disturbed both by the singer’s looser stage manner and his sometimes drastically revised arrangements, reviewers have accused the ’60s folk-rock legend of trying desperately to catch up with the ’70s by polishing up his act.

And, it’s true: Dylan has changed. This Forum show was far from the urgency and drive of his 1974 appearances at the same arena with the Band…

Starting with the controversial switch a decade ago from the acoustic to the electric guitar, Dylan by now has moved from the mellow country style of “Nashville Skyline” through the emotional exorcism of “Planet Waves” to the Gypsy frenzy of “Desire” to the blues/country/gospel stew of this year’s “Street Legal.”

Given those sweeping changes, it’s unrealistic to expect him to go back to any particular period and play a tune with the faithfulness of someone punching a selection on a jukebox…

A different photo by former staff photo photographer George Rose accompanied Hilburn’s article.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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1 Comment

  1. January 14, 2014, 9:28 am

    I was at those shows and Hilburn nails it. A Dylan concert was and remains the best game show in Rock and Roll. You never know what you're gonna get. When it's good it's great

    By: aelctcmichaelctc

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