“The reaction on the (U.S.) Slow Train tour was disheartening at times. But it doesn’t wound you because you get used to the ups and downs. You get to where the praise doesn’t mean anything because it’s often for the wrong reason, and it’s the same with the criticism. Besides, I don’t think I’ll be perceived properly till 100 years after I’m gone. I really believe that. I don’t think anybody has really caught on to Blonde On Blonde yet.”
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn – June 1984)
…. Musically, this is probably Dylan’s finest record, a rare coming together of inspiration, desire and talent that completely fuse strength, vision and art. Bob Dylan is the greatest singer of our times. No one is better. No one, in objective fact, is even very close. His versatility and vocal skills are unmatched. His resonance and feeling are beyond those of any of his contemporaries. More than his ability with words, and more than his insight, his voice is God’s greatest gift to him. So when I listen to “When He Returns,” the words finally don’t matter at all. They are as good as they ever were, maybe even better. … I am hearing a voice.
~Jann Wenner (the famous “Slow Train Coming” review Sept 1979)
The last recording session brought us 4 masters: Gotta Serve Somebody, Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others), When He Returns & Man Gave Names To All The Animals.
Continue reading May 4: Bob Dylan – 5th and last Slow Train Coming Recording Session in 1979
Today I’m accused of being a follower of religion. But I’ve always been a follower! My thoughts, my personal needs have always been expressed through my songs; you can feel them there even in ‘Mr Tambourine Man’. When I write a song, when I make a record, I don’t think about whether it’ll sell millions of copies. I only think about making it, the musical end-product, the sound, and the rhythmic effect of the words. It’s purely a technical piece of work because the most important thing is to come out with something that’s perfect artistically. Even Charlie Chaplin used to say that and I respect him for that judgment.
~Bob Dylan (to Sandra Jones – June 1981)
And it’s this dishonesty, this unhelpful concealment of the soul when we most needed to know what was going [on] inside the man, which hurts the hardest… …. His handling of matters spiritual is bad enough, but when he applies himself to more worldly topics he’s frighteningly inflammatory and positively dangerous..
~Chris Bohn (review – Slow Train Coming, Melody Maker – 26 Aug. 1979)
On the 4th recording session we got 2 new master versions… one of them “Slow Train” is i fact the best song from the album. The other is also among the best: “I Believe in You“.
Continue reading May 3: Bob Dylan 4th Slow Train Coming Recording Session, 1979
Photo special: Bob Dylan Warfield SF November 1979 (with 10 pictures never seen before)
A while ago we here at Alldylan got an email from Chris Bradford where he told us that he had started digitizing his old slides, among them quite a few Dylan photos never before published. He asked if we would like to publish some of them on Alldylan. We were stunned, what an offer! We wrote back and said that we would be honoured.
We have publish several posts with photos from Dylan’s tours in 1974, 1978,1979 and 1980, and after that we will maybe post other artists. Chris has pictures of great historic value and he can be contacted if anyone wants to buy Hi-Res shots for printing. He has a lot of shots from this Warfield show! We are not sure of the exact date.
Previous posts in this series:
We decided that this would be a fine addition to our Gospel Years series, and the PhotoSpecial from 1980 will also be a part of the series.
Here is the first photo special with Chris Bradford’s pictures, Bob Dylan & The Band Oakland 1974
Here is the second photo special with Chris Bradford’s pictures, Bob Dylan Oakland 1978
Here are 17 photos from Warfield 1979 from Chris’s large collection that we published earlier. At the end of the post I have added 10 more pictures, never published before (to my knowledge):
Continue reading Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 7: Photo Special Warfield SF 1979
In the autumn, Dylan made what many found a surprising appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live” on NBC-TV on October 20, performing three of the songs from the album, backed by five musicians and three female gospel singers ( and looking, despite the fire- and -brimstone lyrics sung, strangely tame: almost domesticated).
-Michael Gray (Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
He sang three songs that night. The least memorable was the first, a reluctantly delivered “Gotta Serve Somebody,” complete with a botched lyric. The other two — a passionate acoustic “I Believe in You” and, finally, a proselytizingly blazing “When You Gonna Wake Up” highlighted by searing support from Terry Young (organ) and Fred Tackett (lead guitar) — remain transcendent to this day.
-Villagevoice (Saturday Night Live’s Forty Essential Music Moments, Ranked)
Previous posts in this series:
Continue reading Bob Dylan´s Gospel Years Part 5: Saturday Night Live Performance
Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions
Are they lost or are they found?
Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend
If I could keep only one performance from the Slow Train Coming album, it would have to be the title song, “Slow Train,” much as I love to listen to “Precious Angel,” much as I am in awe of Dylan’s vocal performance on all of “When He Returns” and pieces of “I Believe in You.” But “Slow Train” is it, the white-hot core of the album, the one track that can and must be listened to again and again and again, inexhaustible, essential.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)
Previous posts in this series:
..nothing less than Dylan’s most mature and profound song about America.
– Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone Magazine)
Continue reading Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 4 – Best Song 1979 “Slow Train”