Skip to main content

Dion’s 'Recorded Live At The Bitter End, August 1971' Coming April 7 On Omnivore Recordings

Dion DiMucci helped define rock music, from his initial doo-wop hits with the Belmonts in the late 1950s, to solo work in the ’60s with smashes like “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer,” “Ruby Baby,” and the iconic “Abraham, Martin, and John” in 1968.

Such is the reverence for this artist that the Beatles even featured his photo on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (he’s next to Tony Curtis, above John Lennon’s head).

Omnivore Recordings will release Recorded Live at the Bitter End, August 1971, an unissued live performance recording, on April 7, 2015.

Armed with only his pure voice and an acoustic guitar, Dion moves through his catalog flawlessly, making listeners feel like they were in the club that night. This is Dion at his best, at the beginning of his third decade as a star.

In addition to the aforementioned hits, Dion presents his then-new material, such as the singles “Your Own Back Yard,” “Sunniland,” and “Sanctuary,” while classics like “Too Much Monkey Business,” a stunning version of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” and Leonard Cohen’s “Sisters of Mercy,” plus Bob Dylan and Lightning Hopkins covers round out the set.

Produced with conjunction with Dion himself, Recorded Live at the Bitter End, August 1971 is an essential, and previously unheard release in the Dion canon. The package features rare photos and memorabilia, as well as quotes from an in-depth interview with the singer himself.

View the trailer:

Music had changed since his first release in 1958, and this recording proves that Dion was not only an innovator, but also an artist who could transcend genres while still staying true to what made him a legend. You’ll hear Dion, a guitar, his voice and an intimate crowd.

Dion, in an interview with album annotator Dean Rudland, said of the Village folk scene: “Hanging out in the Village, everyone seemed to be a singer-songwriter. I was having fun; it was helping to keep me young, keeping me very interested and engaged in music.”

According to Rudland, “Recorded Live at the Bitter End, August 1971 encapsulates Dion as a performer at this time. The music shows an artist who is aware of his own legacy and is intent on molding it into something new.”

And as Lou Reed said while inducting him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “Who could be hipper than Dion?”

  • Track Listing:
  • 1. Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind
  • 2. Brand New Morning
  • 3. Too Much Monkey Business
  • 4. Abraham, Martin and John
  • 5. One Too Many Mornings
  • 6. Blackbird
  • 7. Sisters of Mercy
  • 8. Your Own Back Yard
  • 9. You Better Watch Yourself (aka Driknin’ That Wine)
  • 10. Don’t Start Me Talking
  • 11. Sunshine Lady
  • 12. Sunniland
  • 13. Sanctuary
  • 14. Willigo
  • 15. The Wanderer
  • 16. Ruby Baby
  • 17. Harmony Sound

Find out more at

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to (opens in new tab), Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network (opens in new tab), she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.