Bob Dylan has three albums due for release (one here, two in Japan), a world tour underway and, in an attempt to save Renaldo and Clara, is returning to the cutting room.
Street Legal, the reported title of his U.S. album, is finished and has been described by someone who heard it as "the best material he's done in a long time. There are a few cuts on that album that are killers." Another source said: "It's very rock & roll with some rhythm & blues and a typical slow Dylan tune and typical upbeat Dylan tune." Among the album tracks are "Baby Stop Crying" and "Or Is Our Love in Vain."
During a recent tour of Japan, CBS/Sony released a three-record set of Dylan's greatest hits, called Masterpieces. Dylan was so impressed by the attention and care given to the Masterpieces album by CBS/Sony that he agreed to let them release a live album recorded at his last Japanese show. Tentatively titled Dylan Live at the Budokan, the LP should be ready by August.
By press time, Dylan will have completed his seven-night stand at Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheatre and will be on his way to Europe. The band will be essentially the same one he toured with through Japan and Australia. Most of the musicians also play on the new album. They are the Alpha Band's Steven Soles, vocals and guitars, and David Mansfield, mandolin, violin, etc.; Bill Cross, guitar; Bobbye Hall, percussion; Alan Pasqua, keyboards; Steve Douglas, horns; Jerry Scheff, bass; Ian Wallace, drums, and backup singers Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris and Carolyn Dennis.
The European leg of his tour opens June 15th at Earl's Court in London, continues through the Netherlands, Germany, France and Sweden. He will return to England in mid-July to end with a concert in Blackbush, Surrey.
If that's not enough to keep a young man busy, Dylan is also hard at work cutting his 232-minute baby, Renaldo and Clara, down to a more commercially viable 120 minutes. It seems Dylan was having problems renting the film to theaters. Since the decision to cut it, he reportedly has received more than $2 million in letters of agreement for the shorter version. The Cannes Film Festival, however, has requested the original version of the film for screening.
This is a story from the June 29th, 1978 issue of Rolling Stone.