Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour is quite possibly the longest tour in the history of music with the legendary singer-songwriter beginning the run in 1988 and it’s still going strong over 30 years on.
The 1990 run of performances saw Dylan perform at some of his favourite theatres in the world including a six-night residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo — where he delighted fans with this tremendous rendition of ‘I Want You’.
The track which appeared on Blonde to Blonde all the way back in 1966 has been reimagined in many different ways over the years with Dylan opting to play ‘I Want You’ as a slow ballad during his 1978 world tour which can be heard on Bob Dylan at Budokan.
However, twelve years on, Dylan reimagined the beauty once more only this time as an exhilarating five-minute barnstormer that ended with everyone in the iconic London venue giving him a much-deserved round of applause. Despite the London crowd’s elation at the version the mercurial artist treated them to — nobody in the room enjoyed it more than Dylan himself, who was wearing a smile ear to ear.
In 1990, he was firmly back on form following his so-called ‘decline’ which began in 1986 with the almost universally slammed album Knocked Out Loaded which, despite some impressive moments like ‘Brownsville Girl’, was filler rather than killer.
Being panned critically, the record also performed poorly commercially and failed to even break into the top 50 on the Billboard Chart.
Shortly after, 1988 effort Down in the Groove was even more widely criticised than it’s predecessor and, somehow, performed even worse commercially. This was unchartered territory for Dylan, who was facing criticism from multiple angles. Not content to back down, the musician bounced back with The Travelling Wilbury’s alongside George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne and released a record to universal adoration. A year later, Dylan was back with his 1989 effort Oh Mercy which saw a reinvigorated artist truly return to form.
As you can see from the footage of this stunning performance of ‘I Want You’, Dylan’s love and passion for music had truly been reinvigorated with him looking like he doesn’t want to be anywhere else in the world apart from at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Check out the incredible footage, below.