DVDylan ID: D2051
Recording type: ProShot


First broadcast by NHK, Japan on 11 December 2016 and repeated on 18 August 2017, Bob Dylan : Master of Change is fronted by actor Yutaka Matsushige and narrated by Sugano Heckel. Before the original transmission, online sources promised a number of clips Blowin' in the Wind (Bangladesh, 1971), Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Unplugged, 1995), Hard Rain (Nara, 1994), Hurricane (John Hammond, 1975), Love Sick (Grammy Awards, 1998), All Along The Watchtower (Woodstock, 1994), My Back Pages (30th Anniversary Concert, 1992) and more as well as a running time of 105 minutes. D2051 delivers none of that music and less than half of that time so something's odd. Maybe the producers had last minute second thoughts. But what, if more than nothing, is delivered?

First and most importantly, you get, not surprisingly, a welter of Japanese both in your ears and before your eyes. Though the DVDylan listing mentions subtitles, there are none of significance in English, so, be warned that, unless you're fluent in written and spoken Japanese, you won't get much from this DVD, which is largely incomprehensible and impenetrable. There are a dozen short video clips of live Bob from the period 1963-1966 (all familiar sources) plus a bit of the well-worn Tangled from Montreal 1975. There's a very brief clip of Sara Danius announcing (in Swedish with Japanese subtitles) Bob as the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. We are treated to about three minutes of footage from Al Kooper's New England home. "There's Shakespeare and there's Bob; not too much difference," he assures us. Perhaps most tantalisingly, scattered through the programme are seven short clips totalling around seven and a half minutes from the Dylan Archive at the Helmerich Center for American Studies at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma during which Curator in Chief Michael Chaiken displays for the camera a stage coat, some RTR photos, sheet music, draft lyrics in notebooks and on hotel stationery etc, dating from the mid-sixties to 2012. Brazilian Eduardo Kobra's huge 2015 mural The times they are a-changin' located in downtown Minneapolis is showcased to good effect (see image above) after which we pay a brief visit to the Civil Service Bookshop at 34 Carmine Street, NYC.

Draft lyrics: Tempest

Remarkably, a 3:40 montage of seven excerpts from D190.mix is then used, the reason being that it recalls D's first New York concert post-9/11. Contemporary clips of that event are featured, so too nuclear testing and the Vietnam War from the 1960s, the fall of the Berlin Wall from 1989 and Iraqi and Bosnian war footage from 1991. The DVD plays out over seven of the 98 verses of Tempest just to remind us how far off the mark Mr. Kooper (not to mention the Nobel Committee) was and is.

RUNNING TIME Excellent quality proshot. 49:05

THANKS Black Cat

STARS No reason to get excited. Two.

Reviewed by Miriam on 16th March 2018